If you’re reading this post, you probably run a business, and hopefully, you have a website for said business. Starting a company or online store is hard and requires a lot of constant work. You’re probably super busy. So, when was the last time you refreshed your website? Like, really refreshed it? As in, you went in and updated the design, changed the outdated information, and got rid of irrelevant bits and pieces? Was it last month? A year? A few years?
A website design has a surprisingly short lifespan. Most websites get minor updates pretty
regularly, and we tend not to notice those. But the best, most lasting websites and online
businesses do sizeable updates on their websites regularly. For example, we can look at how often Facebook has updated its design over the last decade.
Now, your website probably isn’t the multi-billion-dollar behemoth that is Facebook, but your
website still needs regular updates for several reasons. This is important because your website will stay up to date against competitors, build trust with your customers, and keep the search engines happy.
Here’s a breakdown of these three big reasons to refresh your website:
Your Competitors have websites too.
In the modern era of e-commerce, any new potential consumers will often check out a
company’s website before purchasing a product. Suppose a consumer is purchasing
directly from a company’s website (rather than a more prominent e-commerce site like Amazon). In that case, they might even check quite a few websites before settling on one to do business with. Your website is your first impression to consumers, and you want to make sure that you make a better one than your competition.
Many factors can actively hinder the perception a consumer might have of your website.
Maybe the website loads slowly, or some of the information is outdated or irrelevant now. Or
perhaps the website just looks old. It’s best to assume that customers are looking for an excuse to check out a different website unless you’ve developed a solid reputation and brand loyalty.
Either way, it’s good to keep a website updated, looking all new and shiny, so you score any
new customers away from your competition.
It’s essential to show your customers that you're trustworthy.
It’s not just about what your competition is doing, though. While other businesses offering
similar products or services are reasons to remain up to date. First and foremost, the most
significant thing a polished look on your website can provide is trust. While websites with older design looks can be unattractive compared to the newest design trends, poorly designed websites that look both older and not up to date might deter customers as these websites can appear like a scam.
When a potential customer is looking around the various online markets, a website that follows the design trends from even five years ago can be a red flag. Additional red flags for consumers can be links that don’t work (dead links), empty web pages, long loading times, and glitchy user interfaces. Any one of these factors will push a user away from your website in fear of being scammed.
The good news is that some issues are fixed with simple updates to your website. For example, it’s not too much work to go through and clean out old junk that has accrued on the website. Old junk can include dead links, empty pages, outdated information.
The other issues like long loading times and glitches can be a bit more of a re-do for your
website. An outdated design can take the longest, but it can potentially be the best option. A seasoned web designer will be able to fix all the more minor concerns with your website (dead links, empty pages, long loading times, and glitches) as they refresh your webpage’s design.
Websites Need to be Mobile Friendly Now!
Lastly, a webpage needs to be updated to be mobile responsive and mobile-friendly. This
design principle is not optional anymore if you want to keep good search engine optimization. In the last year, Google changed how their search engine algorithm prioritizes
websites with Mobile-First indexing (you can read our blog post on the topic on how Google changed the algorithm ). While updating a website can feel daunting, the rewards for doing so are also bountiful. Just remember to follow the best practices in both design and development (how it looks and how it’s engineered).
We have a blog on google's new mobile-first priorities that will help you refresh your website design to fit with the current trends. This blog focused on graphics, but the principles apply to website design too. Be on the lookout for our next blog this month, where we’ll delve into the current web design trends.
And if running and maintaining a website isn’t your strong suit, reach out to us to see how we can help.