These days, it seems like everything is getting an upgrade every year or two. TVs, cell phones, fashion trends, even Google’s own search results algorithm seems to get an update every year. So the question remains to be asked…
Is it time to update my website?
While there may be many reasons not to update your website, here are some questions you can ask yourself when deciding if an update is in order.
1. How old is my website?
What might seem like a no-brainer is actually something that can be overlooked more often than not. While there are many factors to be taken into account on the lifespan of your web design, the general consensus of how long you should keep a design is between 2 to 3 years.
Some key points to take into account on if your web design is outdated is if you are currently still using some of the following outdated technologies:
- Intrusive audio or popups
- Animated GIFs
- M.dot sites
2. Is my website responsive?
Although it isn’t new technology, it is still surprising how much of the web has not gone responsive! Responsive Web Design not only makes your website more accessible to mobile users, but with Google’s new search ranking algorithm, it gives a helpful boost in being recognized by Google.
3. Am I being found on search engines?
Search engines have gotten smarter, and they have most certainly become stricter in what they want to display on their results page. This is due to the advancements made in semantic code. If your website is still relying on keywords to achieve search engine results, or if your website’s code is lacking semantics, it might be time to consider a redesign.
4. Have my competitors updated their websites?
While you don’t need to update your website every time your competitors do, it is a good idea to keep an eye out if they do. With that said, assuming they have made changes that would improve their rankings, it can only mean your website is being pushed further down the results page.
Additionally, if you find yourself on your competitor’s pages and find it easier to navigate and located information easier than your own, it might be time to seriously consider how to improve your own website.
5. How many small changes have I made to my website?
So you’ve had your website for quite some time now, and over the years you’ve made a quick change here, and small update there, and your website is looking great. What some fail to realize is that small changes, when not done correctly, could lead to some hidden issues ranging from performance to underlying bugs.
Consider this: your website uses a third-party application that you no longer need, so you have it hidden from your website but the code has not been completely removed. This is taking up valuable load time which could affect your visitor’s experience on your website.
While there is no definitive answer as to whether you should update your website or not, there are many clues that hint to an update. Your website is a vehicle meant to bring your business traffic. If it is not, it’s time to consider why not and remedy the problems. If an update is an option for you, here are 10 web design trends to consider for 2015.