Some things become extra awesome as they age. Think about fashion staples like a denim jacket or fine wine, music, architecture ... and Paul Rudd(does he even age?). Websites, however, don’t improve as they get older. Constantly evolving technology and increased functionality mean that ‘keeping up’ is not just a good idea, it is essential to give your audience an informed and gratifying experience.
Your website is also the face or virtual front door of your business where those oh-so-important first impressions are made. What would visitors to your current site say about it?
We are going to look at 5 key reasons to update or redesign your website. The goal is to get the traction you need to convert potential customers into actual customers while continuing to engage your faithful fans. They are there for an experience – so be sure to give it to them.
1. Mobile Friendliness
How does your website look when you view it on your cell phone? Do you have to scroll endlessly to find what you need? Expand the text to read it? Are images cut off, or entire pages misaligned? If your website doesn’t load quickly and perfectly when you view it on a mobile device, it’s time to fix that. As we move towards a predominantly ‘mobile first’ online population, having a convenient, mobile friendly site will keep you from becoming redundant or worse ... ignored.
2. Modern design
Beyond being user-friendly across devices, great websites incorporate modern design and accessibility features. While you don’t want plain, static (i.e. boring) web pages, you also want to avoid flashy and distracting trends and pop-ups that obstruct the user experience (or UX).
Some popular design options for websites that continue to gain traction include:
- subtle animation
- multiple colour branding navigation
- interactive web designs
- dark mode / low light mode
3. Online shopping / e-commerce functionality
Covid-19 has forced companies large and small to quickly embrace e-commerce opportunities. Businesses that previously worked to make their shops, restaurants and showrooms appealing on the inside have had to redirect their processes to get their products online, packaged and shipped.
This change in traffic means that your website needs to clearly showcase your inventory and keep your people coming back for more. Customers are looking for a straightforward, secure online shopping experience, so make sure you give it to them. This could mean a full website redesign, or for somealready-updated websites, it could be a matter adding on a PayPal, WooCommerce or other 3rd party service for online purchases.
Waiting 2 to 3 seconds for a website to load was standard a few years ago. Now, it’s simply too long. Users quickly lose interest (and confidence in your business) if they have to wait. Fast load times engage and retain your audience while increasing conversion rates. A well-performing site also gets ranked higher on search engines like Google.
You can test your current site’s speed using one of the online tools that analyze site performance, such as gtmetrix.com. Simply enter your URL and, from your scores, you will have a good idea how to proceed. You can also callon a local web development agency and get a thorough performance and SEO audit done to know exactly how your site measures up.
Hackers continue to find new, clever ways to gain online access, meaning your website must be locked up tight. If your website is not secure, one breach can mean a significant loss of revenue, staff time, search engine rankings and even worse – a permanent loss of your trusted website visitors and customers.
A combination of prevention, early detection, and regular monitoring will help avoid cyberattacks. Here are some ways to achieve that:
- Invest in security software.
- Install an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate on your website. The ‘lock’ in the address bar tells users that your site is secure.
- Reduce the use of website forms and use spam filters like Googles' reCAPTCHA service.
- Know who is hosting your website and where your data is stored. Your hosting service / server should be as local as possible.
- Keep your website up to date with the latest versions (e.g. Wordpress, PHP, etc.). Updated versions are less appealing to hackers and almost always include security patches.
If you still aren’t sure if you need a new website, why not try a staff-wide assessment of your site and seek input? Fresh eyes can help you gain insights about your site’s performance and design. You should also review your website analytics to see what is working and what you want to keep for your new development or redesign. At Element 6, we don’t just build custom websites that are affordable, professional and appealing, we make sure they are sleek, secure and speedy. Connect with us to get your website performing its best – so you can out-perform your competition.