There is no set timeframe for how often a business should upgrade its website. Unfortunately, websites won’t last forever (perhaps with the exception of the first website).
As with any digital or physical asset, a website needs constant maintenance and updates. However, sometimes even with regular content changes, minor redesigns or navigation changes, there inevitably comes a point when a complete redesign is unavoidable.
Here are some signs that your website might need a makeover.
Your website looks out of date
First of all, if your brand has undergone a significant transformation, it is probably time for a redesign. Even if your brand hasn’t changed, keep in mind that design trends are constantly evolving and what might be considered popular in terms of design will shift over time.
Sometimes, after looking at something for a long time, business owners can become unaware of issues with their website, particularly in terms of design. Some flaws could enter their blind spots and become invisible. In many cases, business owners won’t see what’s wrong because their design perspective or priorities are simply different.
Keeping an eye on Analytics is always important. Low engagement rates (or high bounce rates for Universal Analytics users) might indicate there is something wrong with the website. And, while we always encourage businesses to make decisions based on data, there are hidden opportunities that a professional designer and a new website design can uncover.
We are not necessarily talking about one change in particular (as there are changes every day), but instead, cumulative changes. All of the small, incremental changes within a business can create enough impact to trigger consideration for a website redesign, particularly when there has been growth in the business.
Your business might have introduced a new product or perhaps a whole new category of services. What about new team members or a new branch? Perhaps the business has explored interstate markets or found a new business partner for international clients. On top of that, you might have a new marketing team who have defined a new content marketing strategy that requires a blog and a newsletter subscription form. What about receiving online payments? Or connecting your social channels to the website? Do you have a place to share how you give back to the community? And the list goes on.
By this point, your website might ‘function’ but it could look like a dog’s dinner. With extensive navigation menus, sliders, carousels, tabs, accordions and buttons scattered throughout, the appearance (and user experience) is chaotic. While your webmaster is trying to make everyone happy, things will start to fall over pretty quickly, affecting both you and your visitors.
Designing with the user in mind and with a clear set of goals will improve the chances of delivering a clear message and increase user engagement and conversions.
Difficult and slow maintenance
As we have said before, creating a new website is just the beginning. Ongoing maintenance is required to ensure it continues to work smoothly and effectively for your business. For that reason, monitoring the time required to maintain your existing website is critical.
Some of the maintenance tasks include content updates, adding new products, new services or new website sections, plugin updates, platform updates, backups, navigation changes, security patches, etc.
Depending on the size of the business and the complexity of the website, these tasks could take a few of hours per month to days or even weeks. And regardless of who is in charge, whether it’s an internal team or an external agency, the costs allocated to these tasks could quickly crop up and become bigger than the associated benefits.
When the answer to everything you ask is that it takes a long time or is that it is too difficult, perhaps is time to reinvest those costs to build a brand new site.
We don’t like to reinvent the wheel and sometimes small changes can go a long way in improving user experience or fix an issue on your site. However, there are times when a more drastic approach is required to ensure that the site is both functional and beautiful. If you are unsure whether it is time for that, get in touch and let us do a professional review for you.