Hopefully, you get this kind of reaction when someone visits your site.
75% of website visitors admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on that company’s website design. (Stanford University)
Your website is the virtual face of your business.
It works for you and represents you 24/7. It’s often the first time someone will interact with your brand. Don’t let a bad first impression ruin your chances for growth or a positive user interaction with your brand.
If you have had a set-it-and-forget it approach to your online presence, it’s likely that you can tell by its appearance or outdated information and technology. Or, have you been diligently updating your site, accumulating a large body of assets and content? It may have become cluttered, unfocused and difficult to navigate – and therefore ineffective.
It may be time to reevaluate.
First, what is the general life span of a website?
Approximately 3 years, the same as the life expectancy of a hamster.
The general consensus among professionals is a range of 3-5 years. This can depend on your industry – what is the pace of change in your own industry? And, the ever-changing web technologies and standards. Remember when you had a phone that only made phone calls? Barely.
Besides age, what other signs are there that it’s time for a website re-design?
So glad you asked! Here are some important flags that might indicate your website is ready for an update.
What is your Competition Doing?
Did your competition just have their site re-designed? If your neighbor just repainted their house, all of a sudden your house doesn’t look so good – simply by comparison.
Appearances and impressions do matter. By not keeping up with the competition on this front, you may be harming yourself now and in the long run. If it’s been many years (3-5 in web design land), your competitor’s site may help them not only look better, but rank better in search engines as well.
Does the look match your current branding?
If you’ve got a new visual identity, it’s crucial to take a look at your website as well. Plopping a new logo on an old site won’t be helping you any.
Perhaps your identity has not changed, but you’ve simply failed to update your information or offerings online. Make sure the customers finding you online have an accurate reflection of what you’re currently doing!
Is your website causing technical problems?
Are you getting notices from your host about malware? Are you receiving complaints that the site is slow to load or not functioning well on mobile devices? Or, worse, is no one saying anything to you at all because you have no traffic or interaction?
All websites require regular maintenance. If left unattended, it may not be able to adapt to current web standards, causing users to leave (or not find you at all), and become susceptible to security threats.
Is your website bringing you new and continued business?
Visitors’ expectations keep increasing, so unless your website keeps improving, conversion rates (how many site visitors become customers) tend to decline. A redesign can reverse the aging process by focusing on meeting and exceeding visitor expectations.
So do I need to throw my current website out the window?
Sometimes it’s easier, say if your site is more than 4 years old. In other cases, get someone to do an evaluation – what’s working, what isn’t. A technical overview and a clear goal for how you want it to serve you will reveal the best course… you may just need a facelift.