There was a time when you would look at a website and think you were standing in the future. It couldn’t get better. You would never need a new website, because this did everything. Alright, you couldn’t use the phone whilst you were looking at it. And, you could watch a series of Game of Thrones whilst you waited for it to download anything.
These were the days before LimeWire.
Am I showing my age yet?
Since then our interactions with the internet have reached stratospheric proportions. We can walk the earth and literally pluck the internet out of the sky. Those telephone bricks we used to carry around with us have slimmed down, and we spend more time browsing the internet than we do phoning or texting.
So, if your website can be reached from a field, and a foreign country (and probably parts of outer space) surely it will never need renewing.
How do you know when you need a new website?
1. My Nan runs faster than your website
Despite other people telling us that the 8 second attention span is a myth, what it signifies is still applicable. We have become so reliant on an express delivery system of information and entertainment, that if it isn’t served up to us near-instantaneously, then we search elsewhere. This is what technology has done to our lifestyle.
And it isn’t only the user that has grown impatient. Speed affects your rankings with Google. The biggest search engine will favour the faster websites. In short, a slow website is seriously damaging to your brand. It might just be time to admit you need a new website.
2. Simple website edits are costing too much
When websites were first conceived you would have needed a degree in programming, or to have been fluent in HTML just so you could add a single page to your website. Way before online technology evolved, it seemed that only horrifically qualified, enigmatic hermits were able to create anything.
Needless to say, things have got a whole lot easier.
To do basic changes to your website in the twenty-first century, there are content management systems that enables anyone to make changes. If you are having to hard code new content, then you need a new website.
3. Google has you listed…somewhere…perhaps
Google is good. Google is your friend. Without a shadow of a doubt it is the most used search engine on the internet. In fact, its name has become the verb synonymous with using a search engine. We don’t just search. We google.
That’s how important it is.
So, if your website is not ranking very highly on Google, then your website is going to need a complete overhaul. Your SEO is important. Moreover, if your content is optimised and you are still having the same problem, then it is a nice early sign that you need a new website.
SEO is a sensitive and delicate animal to try and appease. An out-dated website is unlikely to have the stamina to satiate its voracious appetite.
4. It looks rubbish on mobile
By this point in the twenty-first century you would expect this point to be so moot and redundant that we wouldn’t still be writing about it. However, there are still websites out there that are not optimised for the mobile experience.
Look at your own site on a mobile. If just looking at it makes you feel nauseous, brings on a fluid rush of vertigo, or pains you in some way then you need a new website. Remember the eight second attention span, but also remember the user experience.
If your user has to continually attempt to resize your website on their phone, you need a new one. If a cassette game on a Commodore 64 loads quicker than your website does on mobile, you need a new one.
5. It simply looks old and battered
Sometimes the best way to judge whether or not you need a new website, is to just look at it. Is this a product you are proud of? I mean, it might be like that bloated sofa in your sitting room. It just about does its job, and you love the familiarity of it. But then, if you were to bring someone new to the house you would throw a massive blanket over it.
It may just be that it no longer fits your brand. Perhaps, as your industry has evolved, your company has had to move away from the branding your website presents. There are many reasons why you now cringe at your homepage. That’s fine, nothing was built to last forever.
Trust yourself, trust your instincts. Back yourself, and your instincts up with a bit of research. However, you know your position within your industry better than anyone.
It is a shame that websites weren’t built to last forever. We will always need to update or rebuild. That goes for everyone, whether you are a global conglomerate, or a local business for local people.
But redesigning and building a new website is an exciting time. It means you can play with your brand, look at new ideas, see what is popular in the industry. You can bring your brand marching into the twenty-first century with a glittering unicorn of a website. Believe me, if it improves your user’s experience, it is worth the expense.