Ever heard the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Of course you have.
Does that stop people from doing it?
Whether we want to believe it or not, first impressions are EXTREMELY important, especially when it comes to branding. Think of your website as the cover of your book, and your book is your business. In order to create a memorable first impression and convince people to do business with you, your site needs to accurately portray your message. A site that looks like it’s from the early 2000s screams that your business is, too, stuck in the past.
Accurate or not, people will make negative generalizations, and this can be devastating to your business.
Your site should help you not hurt you!
Below I am going to describe a few signs you need a new website – or at least a site redesign.
1. You think you might need a new site
If you think you might need a new website, your customers probably think you do too. Also, If you are doubting that your website is effectively portraying your business as a whole, then that is reason enough. If your site is not in line with your business goals, what the heck do you have one for?
2. Your site looks like its stuck in the early 2000’s
Ok so your site may have been awesome 10 years ago, but today, that means squat. Technology has grown. New web trends have emerged. People are viewing sites on a gazillion different devices. Times change and your business adapts (hopefully), so why hasn’t your website? Realistically, a site should be reviewed and redesigned every 3 years. Now this is not always feasible, but you really should not let it go for too long.
3. Your competition’s site is much better
Remember I said that your site represents your business? Well your competition’s site is better than yours… I think you can figure out where I’m going here.
4. Your site is not mobile-friendly
Just look around, people are GLUED to their cellphones. If your site is not easily navigable for small screens and fat thumbs, then that kid walking out into the middle of the road with his head down is going to very upset with you!
According to statista, “As of 2013, worldwide mobile phone internet user penetration was 73.4 percent. In 2017, figures suggest that more than 90 percent of internet users will access online content through their phones.”
Oh, not to mention, Google came out with an updated algorithm on 4/21/15 that penalizes sites that are not mobile friendly. They called it Mobilegeddon. In my opinion, it was a little overblown, but the fact remains the same; your site needs to be mobile-friendly.
You can check if Google considers your site mobile-friendly by clicking here.
5. You can’t easily update site information
Changing a sentence or adding a news article should take 5 seconds. If your site is not built with a content management system, you are making your life harder.
You should not need to pay your webmaster $50 to update your hours of operation because you can’t do it yourself.
6. Your site uses flash
Flash was a popular technology used a while back to display web pages, graphics, and cool animations. It has been outdated for about 5 years now. Mobile devices (iphones, tablets, android devices) do not support it. Search engines cannot read it. Its load time is abysmal. Need I say more?
7. Your site is sloowwwww
People are very impatient. Users will not wait around very long for your site to load and once they leave, you can bet they aren’t coming back.
8. You have an animated splash page that says “Enter site”
Sure it may look cool, but a person came to your site for a reason, and I can guarantee it isn’t to see a splash page. It is an outdated trend that does nothing but waste a user’s time…
9. Your site is cluttered and not intuitive
People on the web don’t want to think. They may not admit it, but they want to be held by the hand and shown exactly where to go. A bunch of cluttered text is not only overwhelming, it requires a lot of decision making about where the heck to begin and how to get what you came for.
Your site should use headings and white-space effectively. Also, good content hierarchy and intuitive navigation is very important. A site that is built without the users in mind, shows that the business behind the site is not very customer oriented.
10. You don’t have analytics
Site analytics can give you extremely valuable insight to not only your website, but your business as a whole. Your site should be growing and improving alongside your business. And after all, you cant improve what you can’t measure.
I’m going to say this again and again…
Your website represents your business!!!
I cannot stress this enough. The same opinions people will form about your site, they will form about your business. Why give your customer the reason to make negative assumptions about your business just because of a poorly designed website?
*Another easy way to tell if you need a new website is to check out your site score at nibbler.*