Five Reasons to Get a New Website

old website and computer in trash can

The internet is a moving target. It’s constantly changing and evolving as new technology, new tools, and new ways of connecting with customers are developed. Has your website kept pace?

You put a lot of time and effort into your website. And you were probably very happy with it when it launched. But that may have been years ago. Have you reviewed your website recently? How does it look now, in 2015? How is it working? Is it accomplishing what you want it to accomplish?

Here are five reasons why you might want a new website:

1. It looks dated.

A site built years ago can look out of date. And that communicates that your company is out of date, not up with the latest technology or best practices. Flashing or blinking images, for instance, went out in the 1990s. Graphics using Flash are not even visible on smartphones or mobile devices. Text buried in Flash graphics cannot be read by search engines.

“Splash” pages that contain only your company logo and an “enter” button waste customer time and make your site look old-fashioned. The first thing site visitors should see is your Home page with easy, clear navigation.

Sites built using tables or slicing layouts instead of CSS look and feel dated these days. The old “cereal box” web designs, with a lot of small, competing elements and clashing generic colors look like a relic from the past – because they are.

Give your website a critical look. Does it communicate that your company is modern, forward-thinking and up-to-date? If it doesn’t, you might want to look at a new website.

2. It’s not working.

What’s the purpose of your website? Is it accomplishing that purpose? Are you getting the clicks, visits, leads and sales that you want?

There are many reasons that your website may not be working for you. It may not be optimized so search engines can find it. The navigation may be missing or confusing. There may not be a clear “call-to-action” on the home page that directs visitors as to what to do next. There may not be enough good content to attract and hold visitors to your site.

What’s the first impression your site visitors get? Is it clear right away what products or services you provide? Is there good, benefit-oriented content right on the home page? Can site visitors easily find the information they need?

3. It’s limiting your ability to expand.

Sure, that do-it-yourself website builder was great when you first created your site. You were able to get a site up right away and it looked fine. But now you’re starting to see its limitations. Maybe it doesn’t support e-commerce. It’s difficult to customize – you can’t make it look the way you want it to. You can’t add the functions you want. It’s loading slowly due to the shared hosting environment.

As your business expands, you want a website that expands with you. You want to be able to add new functions and ideas as they come to you. You want to be able to change with the times. If your website can’t track with you, it may be limiting what you can do.

See my article Pros and Cons: Should I Build My Own Website.”

4. It’s not responsive.

Back when you created your website, life was simple. People accessed the web on their desktop computers or laptop computers. And your website looked fine on a computer screen. But nowadays, more than half of online traffic now comes from mobile devices and through mobile apps. And it’s continuing to increase.

How does your site look on a smartphone screen? Is it readable, or do people have to “pinch and zoom” to see the text clearly? Is part of your site cut off? Can mobile viewers find and use the navigation easily? Can they easily find your address and phone number?

A responsive website responds to whatever device is accessing it and reformats itself to deliver a design that is clear and readable at that screen size. That means that your site is clear and readable on any device. See my article What is Responsive Web Design and Why You Might Need It.

And Google recently changed their search algorithm so that it favors responsive sites when a person is searching on a mobile device. So you’ll get a search engine boost if your site is responsive.

5. You can’t access it.

I have had clients who literally had no idea how to access their own website. They knew that they had a website, but it was a mysterious “black box” controlled by a technical expert. Making any sort of change was complex and pricey – one had to contact the web developer and get that person to make any changes. It was usually too much bother to make changes, so the website was allowed to go slowly out of date. In one case, the executive could not even remember who had put the website together.

If your website is being held hostage by a mysterious technical guru, maybe it’s time to upgrade to a modern content management system which allows you or your staff to easily update your website without knowing any code.

See my article How to Get Your Website Back Under Your Control.”

These days, your website is your most valuable promotion. When people are looking for a service or a product, they go to the internet. It’s well worth your while to make your website as good as possible, and keep it up to date and relevant.

About Jefferson Hawkins

With over 40 years experience in graphic design, marketing and advertising, Jefferson brings a wealth of old-school basics to the digital age.

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