Is Your Website Obsolete?
Here are 5 indicators that it's time for a website refresh.
We all remember the humble beginnings of the Internet—horrible background, rotating GIFs all over the place and so, so many cat pictures. Well, some things never change. But web standards do. In this day and age, your website has to be top-notch in order to attract and retain users on a daily basis. Can you imagine looking into a grocery store window and seeing nothing but 5-year-old produce? That’s not a store you’d want to stop in. The same goes for your website. If it consists of the same content and visuals you had years ago, people are going to pass it by. After all, they’ve seen it before and there’s a better site that’s just a few clicks away. So, how do you know if your website is in need of an upgrade? Let’s take a look at a few of the most important factors.
In today’s socially driven world, content is king. With Twitter and Facebook reshaping the Internet landscape in their image, your site needs to have a clear content strategy in order to maintain a certain level of dynamic content. Whether it’s a blog, a twitter feed, a podcast or a web series, your site needs to give users a reason to come back, again and again. This approach also allows you to maintain an ongoing conversation with your core customer base. You can inform them with important updates or help give them a little insight into your company’s culture. The more you interact with users, the more engaged they become and the better your company/customer relationships become.
Is your site a maze of links, icons, buttons, menus and taskbars? A great website has the ability to present a lot of information content, without it resulting in a cluttered and confusing mess. When you present too much, too soon, users are either going to give up without reaching the content they want or just leave the website entirely, never to return. Clean and simple is always your best bet.
With mobile and tablet use on the rise, you need a website that can easily adapt to these varying screen dimensions. No one likes having to constantly zoom in and out to read or access content. Whether you build a corresponding mobile site or employ responsive design, users need the ability to access your site without hassle. At the same time, you have to do your best to ensure users can access all of your content from any device. If you eliminate content from a mobile site for space concerns, it could mean the difference between a new customer and a missed opportunity.
Is your site built with the latest code? Or was it created using an archaic language from the days of Netscape? If your site is built using out-of-date coding, you run the risk of dealing with a host of problems—from browser incompatibility to issues with updating or redesigning your site in the future. It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s always best to make sure you’re using the right coding for your needs.
Website style plays a significant role in catching the eyeballs of new visitors. A good style usually helps get your brand identity across. It is always recommended that you pick one that matches the business and industry you are in. However, since web technology has been evolving over the past years, a style that was beautiful two years ago may look just ordinary now. Therefore, a good practice for web masters is to check the websites of your competitors on a regular basis, ensuring you are always ahead of the game.
Do any of these issues ring true for your website? Ask some co-workers or friends. Perhaps you’ve seen your website to much that you don’t even notice the problem. Engage users and discover what they think of your site. Ask for feedback and see what changes they’d like. If you give users what they want and hire a well-versed web design firm to execute it, you’re site has nowhere to go but up.