11 signs your website needs an overhaul
You spent time and money on your website a few years ago but it’s starting to look a little rusty now. You added the latest jQuery slider to your home page hoping that would solve the problem. Still, it doesn’t look like all those other cool websites out there.
Then you increased the text size so that people with larger monitors or mobile devices could easily see the text, thinking that would propel you into the modern mobile age. Something’s still not right. Your site doesn’t look right on all the devices out there.
Your readership is down or web sales are tanking. What could be the problem? The problem may be that you’re hanging onto your old, out-of-date website like an overly worn, aged pair of running shoes that need to go.
Here are eleven tell tale signs your website needs an overhaul.
1. It’s not responsive and mobile friendly
Your website not only needs to work great on a desktop computer, but it also needs to work well on all the non-desktop devices on the market – from mobile phones to tablet devices. More people are using their phones to find your website, and if it’s not mobile ready, the user won’t be able to read the text as it’ll most likely be too small. Worse yet, when they search for you via a search engine, your listing might not even come up as some search engines are giving preference to mobile ready websites. Users generally frown upon a website that is not mobile ready as it’s very difficult to navigate.
2. Security issues.
Has your site been prone to security flaws? You may be at risk for extra spam in your inbox, or denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Does your site tend to go down when no other sites go down on the server (if you are on a shared server environment)? If any of this rings a bell, it may be a wake up call to look at upgrading the technology on your website.
3. It looks outdated or just plain looks bad.
Let’s be honest here – does your website look out of date or just plain bad? Is the look and feel reaching your target audience? Design plays a large part in the success of a website. Users expect to see a website that is fresh and modern. At the very least, you could swap out some of the images you have for new ones or change the colour scheme. However, that may not be enough to save a website. A whole new face lift may be required. You might have a great back-end admin area, but the front end (that your users see) may not be getting the attention it deserves.
4. Users have a hard time navigating the site.
Are you making it difficult for your users to navigate through your website? This causes user frustration, which leads to them leaving your site early. If you are selling product online, this can means lower sales and bad reviews. Spend some time to get users from “A” to “B” quickly and easily. Make sure you test your design out on a large demographic to ensure your site can be used easily by all.
5. Your website is slow.
6. You are invisible to search engines.
You have a website, but have you spent the time investing in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or in social media? Websites aren’t like they were 10-15 years ago. Back then, you could build a website and let it sit there for a while without any work. It’s much different now! You are up against a lot a fierce competition. Search engines are more sophisticated and have quite the algorithm of determining who sits on top. You need to play by their rules and get all your ducks in a row, or else the search engines will ignore you. Most people miss out on even the simplest of things, like using the correct header tags, and adding the proper meta data. Don’t think that by adding a good meta description and filling in 150 keywords is the answer. A lot of people spend money on web advertisement like Google AdWords, but if your site isn’t set up right you are wasting your money. You’ll gain no traction, just ad space.
7. Areas of your website don’t work or are not used anymore.
8. Your site is in Flash.
We all love to see Flash in action. It looks sexy, is super fast, and makes a great impression. So why do we need to avoid it? For one thing, certain mobile devices don’t even display Flash; so, that really great intro you’ve created looks like an error when people view your website. Another reason to avoid Flash: Search engines can’t read it. Sure, with some helper tools and hacks you can do, but it can be more of a hindrance to users and search engines than the convenience you are most likely going for.
9. You can’t easily update it.
Your website had the latest technology two and a half years ago, but times have changed. What seemed easy before now takes you, or your employees, hours to update. We used to drive to the bank to pay our phone bill, but that just doesn’t make sense to do today as we can pay it online now. If you are spending a great deal of time updating your site, or if updating is very painful, you should consider a fresher approach. Use code on your site that is relevant to what you see in other areas of your life. User expectations have greatly increased in the last few years and will continue to do so. Expect the same from your website.
10. You are embarrassed to give people your website URL.
This is the ultimate point of no return. If you can’t provide the URL of your website, with confidence, to your friends, family or customers, then you already know there’s a problem. Why carry that burden? Start a plan of action to get your site revamped.
11. There are fewer visitors to your site than before.
You can use analytics to determine how many users are on your site, on which page, and for how long. Are users spending less time on your site than before? What could be the reason? Find out what those reasons are, and fix them. Having fewer visitors to your site means they are not happy about one of the areas listed above.
People today want everything at their fingertips. If your users can’t easily navigate your site, whether it be a responsive issue or a poorly designed UI, then they’ll simply find another site that works better. No matter which way you look at it, website maintenance will be an ongoing concern for any one with a website. A full website redesign should be expected, planned, and budgeted for every 2-3 years. For the more assertive or socially-conscious, or for e-commerce websites, 1-2 years may be more realistic.