Is it time for a new website? If you’re even reading this post, then you have probably been considering an update. Here are 10 signs that you’re ready for a new website or some major updates.
That thought can spark excitement, anxiety, confusion, decision paralysis, or a combination of feelings. Hopefully this post helps you decide if it’s time for that update. It’s a big deal! Your website is likely the main face of your business, especially if you provide digital resources, services, or have a large blog following. It needs to clearly communicate how you serve your visitors, function well, and reflect you, especially if you’re the face of the business.
1. You're Embarrassed of Your Website
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I hate how my website looks” when talking with potential clients. Is this you? Do you cringe when telling others your web address? Whether it’s an old site, bad layout, ugly fonts, odd functionality, or something else, a lot of people just get to the point where they don’t even update their website because they’re embarrassed to send visitors to their site. It’s a vicious cycle. An ugly site leads to an outdated site, which leads to an even uglier site if left alone for too long. If this is you, then it’s time.
2. You're Frustrated
Do you spend a significant amount of time trying to figure out how to edit or add content? Maybe you have a website theme, but it’s difficult to customize. Your website shouldn’t be a source of frustration. Okay, maybe it occasionally makes you want a glass of wine, but it shouldn’t be a constant battle. If you are in a pattern of getting frustrated by your site then it might be time for a new site. OR it might just mean that you may need to spend some more time learning the platform. If you want to manage your own site, then you certainly have to put in time to learn how. Give it time. If, however, you’re comfortable with the platform and STILL find your forehead vein popping out every time you log in, then it’s time.
3. You've Rebranded, Niched, Added Revenue Streams, or Changed Strategy
Maybe you’ve recently rebranded, niched down to a more specific market, totally changed your products and services, or updated your strategies. If this describes you, then it is certainly time for a major update. You want to make sure that your brand is consistent throughout all platforms (website, social media, physical location, etc.), otherwise it will serve as a disconnect for visitors. Niching down to serve a more specific audience is smart, but you want to make sure your site reflects that and you don’t attract the wrong visitors. Finally, if you’ve recently added new products or services to your offerings, then you 100% should ensure those are added.
4. Your Website Isn't Mobile Responsive
A large percentage of your visitors are likely viewing your website on a mobile device or tablet. In addition to making sure your website looks great on a desktop, you should also ensure it responds on mobile devices. Poorly rendered sites drive away visitors.
This will depend on your business and audience, but for example, you can see my analytics in the photo. 73% of my visitors use desktop browswers, 26% are on mobile, and less than 1% on tablet. You can view your data on Google Analytics if you have that connected to your site. To check what your site looks like on various devices, just grab a phone or tablet and pull up your website, or use the link below.
5. It's Sloooowwww
Does your website slowly creep into the browser? It’s possibly a hosting issue, but it could also be related to your site’s optimization settings or a heavy theme. There are a wide variety of opinions out there, but I typically tell clients that anything under 3 seconds is a good place to be (Ecommerce pages, ideally, should be around 2). Especially with the more dynamic features you can add these days, it’s really difficult to get it under that unless you have a fairly simple site. Features like carousels, text effects, forms, beautiful graphics and photos, other dynamic widgets, and things like advanced filtering take a bit longer to load, but the payoff is a better user experience. Bottom line, you want to make it as fast as possible without sacrificing user experience. I’ve linked my favorite tool below so you can check your speed.
6. Your Visitors Aren't Sticking Around
Maybe you’re good at adding content and keeping things up to date, but your visitors aren’t sticking around. You can check your Bounce Rate in Google analytics. This tells you the % of visitors who “bounce” (aka leave) without doing anything. This could be due to a variety of reasons:
- Maybe you are attracting the wrong type of visitors.
- Maybe you have a slow or poorly rendering site (See #5 Above).
- Or maybe your site is confusing to visitors and they aren’t sure what to do or where to click.
An updated, strategic, highly functional, and visually appealing website will do wonders for your business!
7. Your Website Doesn't Have Any Action Items for Visitors
This relates to #6 above. Your site needs to have actionable steps for your visitors. Even if your website serves as more of an informational site for your business, you still need to give visitors something to do. If they don’t have anything to do other than read the homepage, they’ll leave. Give them action items like: read a blog post, contact you, check out a new product, read your about page, schedule a meeting, browse through your portfolio, etc. Make it engaging.
8. Your Site is Unorganized and/or Confusing
Do you give your visitors “decision paralysis” when they land on your site? This means you’ve got a TON of menu items and ALL. THE. THINGS on your homepage. Or maybe the layout is confusing. The goal is to simplify. You want to make it incredibly easy for people to make a decision, and guide them to where you want them to go on your site. Don’t feel like you need to throw everything at visitors right away. Prioritize what is most important, what yields the most return, and give those sections more real estate up top and on the homepage. The other pages and sections can be worked in elsewhere.
9. It's Too Expensive
Cost is relative, so this is one a little subjective. Bottom line, if your website is a financial strain on you then you need to regroup. These are things that may make your website costly:
- The platform is expensive (if you have a site on Squarespace, Wix, etc. then those are typically higher cost plans than WordPress)
- Plugin or Theme Subscriptions
- Maintenance Plans
10. You Don't Have A Site
I don’t think I need to add much here. If you don’t have a site, but need one… then of course you’re ready! I’d love to see if we’re a good fit! If I’m not a great fit for you then I’m totally happy to point you in the direction of a designer who might work in your specific industry or budget. Get in touch with me!
Having a website is a big deal, and an investment. It can make or break your business, depending on your industry. A beautiful and strategically designed site draws visitors in, encourages them to engage with the content, and converts them to customers or clients. Hopefully this list either encouraged you that your website is in good shape, or confirmed what you’ve been thinking all along… that it’s time for a new website.