With a lot of things in life, you can tell when it’s time to move on. When food goes bad, the smell – or a trip to the ER – will let you know it’s time to throw it out. When your shoes are worn out, you get a hole in them. But how can you tell if your organization’s website is out of date?
There’s no one simple rule that will allow you to determine if it’s time to upgrade your website, but you can ask yourself a few simple questions that might steer you in the direction of the nearest web design firm… or put you at ease for another year or two.
Is your site easy for users to navigate?
Your site should be organized in a manner that makes it simple for a visitor to find the information they’re looking for very quickly. Clear, user-friendly navigation is an expectation — not a bonus. Ideally, a user should be able to get to all your important pages within 1 to 2 clicks. If that’s not the case with your site, it’s probably time to upgrade.
Are there a lot of images that contain text on your site, such as buttons or headlines?
Search engines like Google can’t read text contained within graphics, so keywords or important phrases appearing on top of photos, or as fancy graphics, aren’t indexed by search engines. Even more problematic, text converted to graphics requires special software and extra steps to modify. With the recent development of web fonts, it’s now possible to achieve through search-engine friendly code what could only be done by static graphics a few years ago. Whenever possible, your web pages should render as much text as possible in searchable, stylized html code. Time and effort spent now will pay off in easier maintenance and better rankings later.
Does your site display nicely on mobile devices and desktop computers?
A large and growing number of people will access your website on mobile devices. If your site doesn’t display well for these visitors, they may move on to your competitor. Mobile-responsive websites have gone from a luxury to a requirement in just the last few years. It may require a small investment to make this upgrade, but it’s one that will really serve you well in the long run.
Is your site achieving good search-engine placement?
Old sites tend to suffer when it comes to search engine rankings. Bad or outdated code, lack of frequent content updates, content that’s invisible to search-engines, or security issues are just a few of the possible problems that cause sites to suffer with search engine placement. If your site isn’t achieving, it’s probably time to make some upgrades, or even rebuild your site.
Is your site easy for anyone to update?
Now more than ever on the web, content is king. Your site will undoubtedly benefit from regular doses of fresh content, which will not only engage your audience, but provide active search engine optimization. You shouldn’t have to enlist a web developer and pay hundreds of dollars to make your content changes. These days, it’s commonplace for a non-technical person to update virtually all content on your site without the urge to put their foot through the monitor. Not possible with your site? It’s time to give your site, or your web developer, the boot.
Does your site allow visitors to submit information to you easily?
One of the most valuable features of a website is the ability to collect information from your visitors, such as their contact information or services they’re interested in. Depending on your industry, this could be a critical way for you to compete for customers. If there is no way to easily gather helpful visitor information from your site, perhaps it’s time to kick it to the curb.
Does your site match your company’s branding?
Most successful organizations spend a considerable amount of time and effort developing and maintaining their brands. In a world clogged with competing advertising, brand consistency is extremely important — so your website should reflect your other marketing materials as much as possible. If you’re unable to easily apply your company’s brand to your website, it’s definitely time for a makeover.
Does your site look like it was designed in the 90’s?
Sure, the 90’s were great, but if your website looks like it was designed then, we’ve got problems. Some telltale signs that your site design is out-of-date include animated intro pages, glossy-effect buttons, skinny 640-pixel-wide layouts, flash animations that make words move like Jumanji magic, or a “hit-counter” that displays how many dozens of visitors you’ve had since leg-warmers were popular. Like scrunchies and mullets…your 90’s website is better left in the past!
Do you have social media integration on your site?
As annoying as Facebook can be at times, the nearly 1 billion people who are using it sure would look great as your customers. So, if your organization has an active account on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest or the like, you should consider upgrading your site onto a platform that integrates easily with these social services. Otherwise, your site could end up in a lonely place.
Still not sure if your site is out-of-date?
Contact us. We’ll be happy to help you determine if your site is ready for primetime, in need of a little love, or destined for the trash bin.