With the Internet becoming more and more vital to everyday lives, your website is one of your most important business assets. Even if your site is functioning as it should, both consumer and search engine expectations for websites shift as technology advances. To keep up with these “new standards,” a website refresh is something you should come to expect.
We get it; redesigning a website is not simple or something you might not find as a priority. However, if you allow your site to become outdated, it will reflect on your business and brand. After all, websites are today’s windows into your business; don’t allow your business to look stale or out of touch!
Learn how often your website needs a facelift and what you can do keep it looking current and fresh.
Should I Redesign It Now?
There is one reason why you should stop everything you’re doing and redesign your website: if your site is not mobile-friendly, this needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
We’ve written plenty of posts about the importance of responsive web design, but the reality is that consumers will more than likely view your website through their mobile device than a desktop. Search engines are considering your site’s responsiveness when determining your rankings (in fact, Google just rolled out their mobile-first index this year), and the overall user experience will be tarnished if your site isn’t working on any-sized device.
In short, embrace mobile-friendly website design, or your business will not be competitive online.
If a website redesign is out of the question, for now, there are a few things that you can do for immediate website improvement:
- Tune up your site’s speed. Your site’s speed is imperative for the overall user experience and its search rankings. There are many ways to speed up your website, but without a full redesign, you may be limited to what’s possible to improve your site’s speed. This is all based on multiple factors, but even a little bit of improvement goes a long way. You can use sites like Pingdom to see how fast your site speed is currently and how to quickly improve it.
- SSL. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) will provide your visitors with peace of mind and confidence knowing they’re looking at a secure website. Not only is Google highlighting it, but it has recently became a ranking factor with search engines. While it might cost you a little bit of money to correctly set it up, it’s well worth the investment (especially if you have an eCommerce website).
- Keep your plugins/themes/core up-to-date. Websites are not a one-time project; you need to dedicate time to make sure everything is up to date. If you have a WordPress website, keeping your plugins, themes, and WordPress core up to date will protect your site from hackers and keep it running smoothly.
Warning Signs You Need a Redesign Soon
Even with these short-term fixes, a website redesign is inevitable. Period. That being said, keep an eye out for these warning signs that it’s time to have that redesign conversation:
- High bounce rates: A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who did not view more than one page on your site. If you review your site’s bounce rate in Google Analytics, take note if it’s higher than 60 percent. There are many reasons why a bounce rate can be high, but a common cause could be because of your site’s design. It could be confusing, unorganized, or even not be what the visitor expected.
- Complex navigation: Another reason why a bounce rate can be high is due to a site’s navigation. When a visitor comes to your site, he or she relies on your navigation to explore the rest your site has to offer. Poorly-designed or complex navigation can disrupt the user experience and lead your visitors clicking the back button on their search engine. A great way to find out if your navigation is working or not is through user testing or asking your visitors directly.
- Overall look and feel: Appearance is significant when it comes to sites, as a whopping 70% of people don’t trust a poorly-designed website. Take a look at other websites within your industry or other brands you appreciate personally. Ask yourself what you like about their websites and compare it to your current site. If you don’t feel like your site can be competitive in your space, it’s probably time to redesign it.
So, When Exactly Should I Redesign My Site?
In short, there’s no exact time you should mark on the calendar to revamp your site. That being said, with today’s ever-changing evolution of the Internet, websites can have a short shelf life if they’re for a brand in an innovative, digital industry. Think about it: eight years ago, it was rare that your website was viewed on a mobile device. Now, it’s the new standard, and standards on the web come quickly and with force.
If you came to this post wanting to know a rough idea when to start redesigning, we’d estimate that your website should be redesigned once every three to five years.
There are many signs to keep a look out for when deciding if it’s time for a website redesign (other than the ones we mentioned), but if your gut is telling you something about your current one is off, it’s time to get the conversation going.
If you need any assistance with your website redesign or curious how your site compares to others within your space, we would love to help you out!