How Do I Know If I Need a New Website?
We've compiled a list of five quick checks you can do to help you answer the question, "how do I know if I need a new website?" If your website fails all five, then you almost definitely need a re-design; but if you only have one or two then starting from scratch may not be necessary.
- Can you edit the content of your website? Or, does someone else still need to do that for you? Editing a website shouldn't be any more difficult than editing a Microsoft Word document; and, if it is, your website is probably more than a few years old. The software available to the general public, even the free versions, make it that simple to make content changes. So, if you still have to ask someone else to do it, you probably want to ask your webmaster to install a Content Management System. If that's not your only issue, you may want to consider that re-design.
- Does your website look great on your phone? Or, does it look like a tiny version of what you see on your desktop? Over the last few years, developing responsive designs has become the standard in web development. By responsive, we mean that the website will respond to the size of the device it's being viewed on, and re-size itself to highlight as many key features as the screen size will allow. This way, if someone views your website on a mobile phone, they can easily proceed to the important parts of your website, without having to dig through the rest.
- Can you find your website on Google? If not, then there are likely some very significant structural issues with the way your website was coded. Even the most basic of websites, when coded correctly, will still start to show up for particular search terms that are niche to your business. If you can't find your website, then neither can your customers.
- Does your site take too long to load? If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, then you have a problem. The attention spam of human beings is decreasing, and most consumers won't take the time to wait for a website to load, unless they are positive that you have what they need. So, for existing customers, a 4 second load time isn't going to scare them off; however, if an unknown consumer stumbles upon your website, and it doesn't load right away, they will leave immediately to find your competitor's site which does load on an instant.
- Does the Copyright in your website's footer say anything other than 2014? It's almost November, so if you're copyright says anything other than 2014, then your website likely hasn't been updated in over ten months. If your website says 2012, or anything older than that, then you're telling your customers that you don't care very much about your business's online identity and subsequently your business. That's a bad message to send in terms of customer retention.
In summary, a few of these issues are quick fixes. If you have a content management system, your website looks great on your phone, your website is easily found in Google, your site loads at a moment's notice, and your copyright is 2014, then you have nothing to worry about. If not, then you now know what to do.