5 Reasons Why You Should Refresh Your Website
3 – 4 years is a long time in web design so if your website is more than 5 years old you definitely need a refresh. Technology moves quickly and there are bound to be new standards, practices, and new coding to have emerged since your site was built.
So, with that in mind, if you’re sitting on a website developed pre-2012, it could be time to think about a refresh. While the site may still look fine from a design perspective it can be the parts that you can’t see that need the most attention.
Here are a few reasons why you need to refresh your website:
#1 Your Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly
Google released its algorithm that penalised non-mobile friendly pages in May 2016. Any pages not mobile friendly are going to get left behind in the search results. However it’s not just the search engines we build websites for. The user experience has got to be good too and with roughly 56% of web traffic now coming via mobile devices it makes sense to make your design mobile friendly.
If your website isn’t responsive i.e. it doesn’t respond and change to fit the screen of a tablet or mobile, then you could be missing out on valuable traffic but also limiting your visitors’ browser experience.
#2 No access to your website – you can’t update it yourself.
It used to be the norm that a web agency would create your website and then every time you wanted something changed off you would go back to the developer with your cheque book in hand. These days this shouldn’t be the case. Yes go to a specialist to get your site created and designed but your site should come with a user friendly content management system. A nice straight forward site in WordPress will usually do the trick.
There will always be technical aspects to owning a website that might be beyond your skills, but being able to change some text or upload a photograph shouldn’t require a support ticket and an invoice at the end of it.
#3 Your Brand/Content Isn’t Up-to-date
Just as technology changes so does your business. If your business is growing fast, then your website simply must reflect that growth. You must not undergo a re-brand, move offices, or add new personnel to your team without making sure your website is fully up-to-date with this new information. If you have inconsistency across your marketing channels i.e. website, print, social media, etc., it will only breed doubt in the minds of your prospective customers. Not only that, content does become out of date. For example in the legal or accounting sector, legislation changes frequently. Any technical data should be checked regularly to make sure it is still current and correct.
#4 Your Website Loads Slowly
For both search engines and users your website needs to load quickly. According to Google, your website should load in under 2 seconds. People don’t have the patience to wait, if the images don’t load instantly people will click off the page and your bounce rate will shoot up.
A 1-second delay in page load time yields:
- *11% fewer page views
- *16% decrease in customer satisfaction
- *7% loss in conversions (source: Aberdeen Group)
Too slow? Time for a tune up…
While a lot of the changes you need to make to increase page speed will have to be implemented by your developer you can make a start by optimising your images.
Over-sized images take longer to load, so it’s important that you keep your images as small as possible. Use image editing tools to:
- *Crop your images to the correct size. For instance, if your page is 570px wide, resize the image to that its width matches the page. Don’t just upload a 2000px-wide image and set the width parameter (width=”570”). This slows your page load time and creates a bad user experience.
- *Reduce colour depth to the lowest acceptable level.
- *Remove image comments.
- *Image format is important too. JPEG is your best option although a PNG is also good, though older browsers may not fully support it. GIFs should only be used for small or simple graphics (less than 10×10 pixels, or a colour palette of 3 or fewer colours) and for animated images. If possible do not use BMPs or TIFFs.
#5 Your Website Isn’t User Friendly
Information needs to be displayed in such a way that a visitor to your website can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
If visitors have to resort to picking up and dialing their phone to ask questions that should be answered by your website, then your site could be in need of a refresh. Getting someone who is not familiar with your website to review its usability will be invaluable.
If you are still not sure whether your site needs a refresh we can carry out a free no obligation audit. Please get in touch to have a chat.