Featured Are You Due for a New Website__.jpg

Are You Due for a New Website?

Websites have changed a lot over the past several years.

The first website was created in 1991, and in the 30 years that websites have been around, they’ve evolved numerous times. And, the reason websites have evolved is that the way people use them and how they look at them have also evolved.

It used to be that the only way someone might encounter your website is on a desktop computer, but these days, everyone has a fully functional computer in their pocket that they can check your website out on. It used to be people would only search by putting keywords into Google, but now, people can search by asking Siri or by saying, “Hey Google.”

Your website is your business’s main hub online, and it needs to be effective. However, because websites are changing and evolving at such a rapid rate, it’s also important to recognize when your site is no longer effective.

5 signs that it’s time for a new website

#1. Your website isn’t responsive

A website that is responsive is a website that is designed to render on a variety of screen sizes and devices. Responsive web design ensures that a website is functional and effective regardless of whether it’s viewed on a desktop computer, a cell phone, a laptop or a tablet. Responsive design gives you the ability to have one website that’s equally effective on any device.

When a website is designed to be responsive, it eliminates many of the issues that can affect the user experience when a nonresponsive site is viewed on a tablet or a mobile device, like scrolling, zooming, resizing and panning.

In addition to enhancing the user experience on every device, responsive design is cost-effective, easy to manage, flexible and equipped for SEO (search engine optimization) success. If your site isn’t responsive, it’s time to upgrade to a new one.

How can you tell whether or not your website is responsive? One easy test is to open your website on your computer and then make the window smaller. Is part of the page hidden or does it reconfigure itself to display the content in a different way?

If the site gets reconfigured, then it’s responsive. Another quick test you can do is to pull up the source code (using CTRL+U on a PC or Option+Command+U on a Mac) and search for the word “responsive” in the code.

#2. Your website isn’t mobile-friendly

Did you know that 7 out of 10 Google searches now happen on a mobile device? Mobile search used to be a small share of the overall search, but it’s become the dominant form of search in recent years.

Mobile search is so big now that Google has even updated its algorithm to drop rankings for websites that aren’t up to scratch on mobile. To make a long story short, mobile-friendliness isn’t optional, and if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it could be hurting its visibility online.

When a lot of people think of mobile-friendliness, they think of responsive design, which is, without a doubt, a critical part of a mobile-friendly site. However, it’s not the only thing that you should do to make the user experience enjoyable for your visitors across all devices.

Quick tips for a mobile-friendly site:

  • Make buttons big enough to be clickable on a mobile site
  • Make the site easy to navigate
  • Break your text up into small paragraphs and lists whenever possible; otherwise, it may look like a wall of text when viewed on a mobile device
  • Make sure your website isn’t too slow

#3. Your website is slow

Back in the days of dial-up and the early days of the internet, sites took so long to load that you could make a sandwich, or even get dressed for the day, while waiting for a page to load.

These days, however, people are accustomed to websites that load much, much faster. In fact, we’re so used to immediate results that we’ve entirely lost out patience for slow-loading websites.

I’ve talked a lot about the attention span of the average internet user — or should I say, the lack thereof — so you’re probably already familiar with the fact that the average internet user has a shorter attention span than even a goldfish.

And, if your site doesn’t load fast, you’ll probably find that a lot of people won’t be patient enough to stick around.

How do you tell if your website makes the cut when it comes to site speed? One of the best ways to check site speed is with Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. This free tool makes it easy to test the speed of your website across all devices.

#4. Your branding has outpaced your website

Consistency is one of the most important aspects of effective branding, but there also comes a time when brands need to evolve or be updated to keep up with the times. If that time has come for your brand, but your website still features your old branding, then it’s time to upgrade to a new site for your new brand.

As your business’s main point of contact online, it’s absolutely essential that your website is truly reflective of your brand — what your brand is now, not what it was five years ago.

This is important for creating the consistency that I mentioned earlier, which helps to establish trust in your brand, as well as authenticity.

#5. Your website has a high bounce rate

The bounce rate of your website is the rate at which visitors come to your site and exit before clicking on any other pages. This happens quickly, and for many reasons.

These reasons can include poor quality images, a failure to ensure that people know who you are and what you do, a poor user experience, a slow site speed and many more.

But, regardless of why your website has a high bounce rate, it’s a sign that it at least needs to be updated and maybe even replaced altogether.

Has the time come for you to upgrade to a new website? If so, build your small business website (or let our professionals do it for you) with the easy-to-use Websites 360® website builder! Get started today.

Originally published on 1/31/20