Every website needs an update from time to time. Online users prefer to use sites that are fast, optimized and current, so it’s critical that your site meets these expectations. But how do you know when the time for a refresh has come? After all, there’s no alert that sounds off when this time is near.
What many people don’t realize is that it doesn’t take much for a site to enter the retirement phase. Even a site that’s 2-3 years old can quickly become outdated. This mostly has to do with technology and how quickly it evolves. If you don’t keep up with it, you could be left behind.
10 Signs Your Website Needs an Update
Below are ten telltale signs that indicate your website is out of date and needs a little love from a website management company like Magna Technology. If you notice any of these things going on, reach out to your web consultant and find out how you can bring your site up to speed as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
1. Slow Loading Pages
Google pays a lot of attention to how quickly web pages take to load. They know how important this is to users, so once your load times increase, your rankings may drop. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to test your site. Anything over 2 seconds needs attention. Fortunately, this tool will tell you what areas are a problem and why.
2. Poor User Experience
Not only should your site work fast, but also it should deliver an optimal experience. If there are broken links, poor navigation, slow loading images, etc., it’s time to bring your site up to date. Make sure it’s easy for visitors to use your site. If there are ways to simplify the navigation, do so. Ideally, users should be able to complete their tasks in a few clicks or less.
3. Not Mobile Friendly
Even websites that were considered mobile friendly years ago may no longer meet this criteria. On average, 40-60% of traffic comes from mobile devices, so it’s imperative that your site loads quickly and beautifully on these devices. Choosing a mobile optimized theme is a start, but there are other things you can do to improve mobile friendliness.
4. Lacking a CMS
A content management system (CMS) gives control over your content without having to use code or understand programming skills. If you’re not using a CMS, it’s definitely time to upgrade. WordPress, for example, makes it easy to edit pages, write blog posts, add users with different permissions and more.
5. Low Ranking Keywords
If you’re not getting qualified traffic from your most important keywords, it’s definitely time to refresh your content. Optimization is important, so write high-quality, well-researched content that supports your keywords.
6. Not Generating Qualified Leads
If you want to see more conversions and sales, you need qualified traffic coming to your site. If you’re no longer generating this traffic, your site definitely needs some attention. Successful, high-converting websites have well-designed landing pages, short contact forms and prominently placed CTAs.
7. Still Using Flash and Java
If you’re still using the programming languages Flash or Java on your website, this is a definite no-no. Most mobile devices won’t support these programs, which means your website won’t load on these devices. Even Google Chrome no longer supports Java. HTML5 is the better alternative – the code is much cleaner and neater.
8. Old Fashioned Appearance
Take a look at some of your competitors’ sites. What do they look like? Or ask employees, colleagues, etc. to look at your site. If it’s old and outdated, it’s time for a design refresh. First impressions are everything, so make sure your site is taking advantage of the latest technology and trends.
9. Poor Analytics
What are your analytics telling you about your site? If they’re showing high bounce rates, low time spent on your site, decreased traffic and so on, it’s clear that you need to make some improvements. Fortunately, analytics shows you where to focus your attention.
10. Spam Emails
Are you getting a lot of spam emails or warnings of attack? These are clear signs that you need to act on your site immediately. You don’t want to suffer an attack due to poor web security. Trust us, the fix is far easier than the damage that can be done to your website and brand name.
Refresh vs Rebuild: Keeping Your Site Up to Date
Usually, the first question people have is whether they need a refresh or redesign. If you’re happy with the overall design and functionality of your site, then you probably just need a refresh. This could be as simple as updating security plugins, optimizing pages for more traffic, changing CTAs and shortening contact forms.
On the other hand, if your site looks outdated and lacks mobile friendliness, an overhaul is probably what you need. Sometimes, you can achieve this with a new design and updated content, which doesn’t have to cost much. So, don’t sacrifice your online image due to cost. There are always ways to build fast, optimized websites on a budget.
Even though websites don’t last forever, taking advantage of the latest features and technology make it easy to update and edit your site. By far, the best policy is to regularly check your website to ensure it’s fast, fluid and user friendly. If you notice things that need updating, either you or your web management provider can address them.
Once your site is where you want it to be, all you need to do is keep up with minor changes. This prevents having to do another major overhaul in the near future. To learn more about how Magna Technology can help you refresh, rebuild and maintain your website, contact us today.