Asking your web designer or web design company to update your website design can seem like a very costly decision for your business but have you considered the cost of not updating your website?
When was the last time that you upgraded your phone or computer?
Less than 2 years? The reason that you update your computer or phone would probably because the technology was outdated and given the choice you preferred using modern technology to allow you to be more productive. It is unlikely that your own laptop or mobile device is over 2 years old but is is likely that your website is over 2 years old. So now consider, when was the last time that you upgraded your website? Has it been over 2 years? Over 4? Over 8? Are you using an 8 year old cell phone? Then why is your website so old?
Technology changes faster and faster by day.
If you are not willing to pay for a new website, you can bet your competition will be willing to do so for the competitive edge. If you competitor has a website that loads faster than yours, your audience will be surfing on their site. Load time affects SEO rankings, plus, appeals to the instant gratification needs of humans. It your site is too slow, no one is going to wait around for it to load.
If your competitor has a mobile website or mobile adapting website design, then you have lost more of your audience; I even do it myself. There are plenty of websites out there; if the one I am trying to view takes too long to load a page, I leave. If I have to pinch and squeeze to force a desktop design to fit on my mobile device, I move onto the next website.
Other things that can get your viewers leaving your website for your competitor’s website would be navigation buttons that don’t work with touch screens or plug-ins like flash that display vital or all of your website’s content. These are real barriers that physically do not allow search bots and humans to access the content of your website. If this sounds like your website experience, it’s time for an overhaul.
Issues and concerns like these were non-existent a few years ago but today they are critical to keeping people on your website. You could have very well had the best of the best website according to yesterday’s standard but we are living today. If you are waiting to upgrade your site to modern coding standards, then you are losing money due to lost website visitors. During good economic conditions, this would be bad but during tough economic conditions this can be enough to shut the doors or your business.
When is the time?
To be fair, an website overhaul is probably not needed until it is 3 years old if you got a good website for it’s time (a lot sooner, or even as soon as launch if the website design is a belly-flop), a touch up on your design may be useful after 1-2 years; this is due to improving technologies and changing business needs. Be sure that you paid all your invoices on time and are on good terms with your original website designer, as they will know all of the quirks of your site and can probably updates handle it the best.
Depending on your scale of business and selected designer, a website may take 1 month or 1 year to make, so keep in mind the time it takes to make a site for your business when considering the age of your site; from the day that you commission the new website, to delivery, how much age will that add on to your current site? If your website is 3.5 years old and your new website is going to take 6 months to build, your facing having a 4 year old website towards your launch date of the new website.These are just guidelines though. If you website is not making you money now, I’d say it’s now for that website re-design.
(PS: if it only takes 1 week to make your website, someone probably is not taking enough time to plan and craft your site for success.)
A bit More
There is something else to consider. I have noticed, for some niche industries, all of the websites are bad. They are time capsules to the 1990’s, have content that is completely outdated and useless and due to the legacy structure of the website, some pages plain just don’t work. Just because all of your competitor’s websites are bad, doesn’t mean yours needs to be bad. In fact, you should take advantage of that position and be the only company in that industry to have a great website.
Are you considering updating or overhauling your website?
Check out my blog post How to Pick a Graphic Designer for Your Next Project , What You Should Ask Your Website Designer About When Getting a Website Estimate and for those of you who are on the fence of whether it is worth the money to commission a new website, Why You Should Consider a Professional Designed Website a True Investment .