When Is It Time for a New Website?

Posted November 12, 2015

Q: My organization has been talking about the possibility of redoing our website for a little while, but we’re not sure now’s the time. When should we make this a priority?

A: Simply put: it’s time to go through a website design whenever your existing website starts to suck.

That’s a vague answer, but most of the time, we know a sucky website when we see one. But if you’re unsure of whether or not your site stinks, here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself: a step-by-step guide for identifying the smell of rotting code, if you will.

8 Quick Ways to Tell When Your Site Sucks

  1. Is it ugly? This is obvious, but important. If your website looks like your grandmother’s kitchen wallpaper, it’s worth making the experience better. Not only will your customers and site visitors thank you, but your page rank on Google will increase — which means you’ll get better SEO results. Winning all around.
  2. Is your website mobile-friendly? Does navigating it on a smartphone require a degree of elegance that the chimpanzee at the local petting zoo doesn’t have? Your website should be mobile and chimp-friendly.
  3. Does it convert? If you sell a product, how many of your visitors are buying it? If the number is very low, it might be time to consider a redesign.
  4. Do people spend time on your site? Tools like Google Analytics will tell you how many of your visitors are staying and for how long. If your bounce rate is high, that means people aren’t exploring your content or engaging with your brand.” And that usually means something is wrong. (Side note: you or an advisor are keeping an eye on your analytics, right?)
  5. Is your brand or organization properly represented by the website? In other words, does it look and feel like you? If it doesn’t, you’re probably attracting the wrong kind of customers.
  6. Is the site easy to update? If you have to call your developer every time you need a new page or blog post, that flushing sound you just heard was your money in the toilet. It’s almost 2016 — time to free that sucker up into a proper Content Management System like WordPress. And if your developer doesn’t like that, they’re not in it for you. Good developers make updating your site’s content easy.
  7. Does your site have all the features you need? Because if it doesn’t, they’ll sadly never pop up it of thin air. Websites aren’t like trees: they don’t grow and change on their own. (Unless they’re hacked. And hey, if your site got hacked, that’s also a good reason to make a new one.)
  8. Is your site broken? Seriously, you should check. You’ll laugh, but the number of times we’ve been asked why nobody’s visiting a website only to check it out and see it utterly and horrifically dismembered in our iPhone browser is embarrassingly high. If your website is just plain old and busted, it might be time to welcome the new hotness.

Time to Bring Sexy Back

If any of the above rings true at all, then you might have some thinking to do. It’s never too early to involve a pro in the conversation — we can help you determine the feasibility, scope, and cost of a project well in advance. And yes, we can tell you if it’s time for a new website. Give us a shout if you want to ask a few more questions.

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