We’ll explore ways you can check if your website is dated and the positive impacts upgrading can have.
Why Do Websites Become Outdated?
Technology is the fastest growing industry and I’d say the most innovative.
Other than some genius on TikTok coming up with a new way to cut a carpet around a radiator pipe, some industries don’t need to change the way they work frequently.
Website development is a rapidly growing branch of technology changes are being made constantly to increase the security and usability of its users.
Why Would My Website Be Outdated?
There are two main reasons we find that websites end up becoming outdated:
- Lack of Experience
Sure, there are more reasons for websites to end up like this but in the majority, these two above are most encountered by Everything Digital.
This is usually found in service jobs, local businesses, and long-established brands/companies. It’s easy when the work is coming through to not focus your attention on a website, “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” right?
The website is by far the best method to deliver information to a large number of potential customers and should always have a priority and not be pushed back with “but I don’t get enquiries online.” Ever wondered why?
Lack of Experience
Running a business requires you to spend a lot of time doing other things. Contrary to popular belief, learning how to create a website on YouTube isn’t going to get you all the skills you need to keep your website running. Website development is a full-time vocation, especially in a rapidly changing environment.
Our advice if you’re worried about the cost of building or maintaining your website is to learn enough about the basics so that you understand the difference between a good and bad website developer.
Important Reasons Why Your Website Needs Upgrading
We’ve chosen the top reasons you may not think about when it comes to upgrading your website.
Firstly we want to point out that updating and upgrading are two different actions, although they can be completed together. As a general rule, we would class any content changes and image swapping as updates. Anything that improves the website’s usability and overall performance will be classed as an upgrade.
There will always be a growing demand for the internet to increase its availability, accessibility, performance, and security. This rapid innovation causes websites to quickly fall short of the current web standards.
- Is your website accessible to people with health conditions?
- Is your website kind to data plans using minimal data when not on WIFI?
- Is your website fast enough to cope with slower connections?
- Does your website look good on other devices and screen dimensions?
When mobile phones with connection to the web became widely adopted, we saw the need to make our websites responsive and small in file size due to the limitations on the infrastructure not being able to download the same size files as we could on a computer or laptop. 5G, although often criticised, helps fix the issue of slow connections and increases the rate our phone can retrieve and send data.
This, however, doesn’t allow us to build bigger websites due to a large number of people still on 3G or 4G and the infrastructure is still being built to allow coverage of 5G at the time of writing.
So is it time to upgrade your website? If you can’t answer all the questions above with a yes then you are due an upgrade. If you can answer yes to those questions above, congratulations you are already a step closer to being up to date.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation is really important in gaining organic traffic to your website, which means making sure you are compliant with major search engines is important too.
A search engine has one main goal, that’s to provide you with the most relevant information for your search. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t use them anymore and their business would ultimately fail. To keep you coming back, search engines not only provide you with the most relevant data but also ensure your customer journey is reflected in the result.
Let’s say that a user searches the term “is it time to upgrade your website?” and there are 100 websites offering information. The job of the search engine is to determine which is the best fit for the user. Outdated information or something updated long ago doesn’t seem so relevant in the eyes of a search engine as they know things change over time.
SEO practices have changed over the years and some developers in the past may have used now frowned upon techniques that leave your current website with marks against its name. If you aren’t up to date with the do’s and don’ts you might be doing more harm to your business than you think.
Letting your website drop in the rankings allows your competition to take the business you were once receiving easily.
Speed and Performance
One of the most important factors in a successful website is speed and performance. Now, of course this is a deep topic with multiple variables to change but here are the most common ways your old website may be slowing you down:
- Deprecated Integrations
- Old Practices In Writing Code
- Non Maintained Plugins
Depending on the platform/method you used, some of these will be patched out automatically but for some who use platforms like WordPress or custom builds this can cause serious issues. Note that WordPress is still easier to update but requires manual input.
Design, Style, and Layout
Looking back to the first websites built, they’re completely different from how we expect a website to look nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, this change has come over many years and it isn’t always as drastic of a change to make. Your website should suit the industry you are in and be tailored to the services you are offering.
What to think about with the Design and Layout of your website:
- Customer Journey
- Responsive Design (Good On Other Devices)
- Customer Behaviour
From our experience, a simple and easy-to-navigate website will win over everything else. We like to consume information quickly and move on with our lives, so having a website that offers fast consumption not only helps the user but will improve SEO as they’re generally faster the simpler they are.
We have used the word innovation a few times in this article, which is ultimately the main reason we need to improve our websites, making them better.
Websites and technology will constantly grow fuelled by masses of developers seeking to improve people’s lives. As they succeed, we’ll see new ways to interact with the online world and stay connected with others.
Making sure you stay updated with the latest trends and new technologies is important in giving you an edge over your competitors.
What Impacts Does An Outdated Website Have On Your Business?
An outdated website causes a lot of problems for your business. Here are some of the impacts your business may face:
- Poor Visibility Online
- Poor Conversion Rates
- Lack Of Customer Trust
- Loss Of Revenue
- Low Risk To Competitors
- Low SEO Score
You may also find that it’s harder to generate new business without something to showcase or allow people to do their research. Speaking personally, I’m less likely to buy from someone who doesn’t have an online presence than someone who does. The worst thing is that, I never decided I would do this, it just slowly became a habit.
How Do You Upgrade Your Website?
Upgrading your website can depend on where your website currently stands. Let’s explore the best way to upgrade your website and find out what work you need to undertake.
You want to assess your website before you decide on making any decision. Below is a list of actions to take to ensure you cover the important parts.
- How does your website look against competitors?
- Take a look at what your competitors have done to their websites and run a simple “I like this, I don’t like that” list.
- Does your website have the same or similar experience on mobile?
- Important to keep things uniform over all devices.
- Does the website have all the functionality it needs?
- Note that too much functionality isn’t always a good thing! The true Customer Journey and expectations are better than presumptions.
- When was the last time your website was upgraded?
- A lot can change in a couple of years so it’s important to record when these dates were.
- Do the content and imagery reflect your business values?
- Is the imagery dated?
- Is the imagery stock and generic?
- How fast is your website?
- You can run a lighthouse report to check the performance of your website.
- Who manages your website and how regularly are you in contact with them?
- You want to know who to contact to make the changes to your website.
Actions To Take
Depending on your assessments you may have found multiple areas of improvement for your website. Now you have to decide whether or not you can fix these alone or if you need help.
If you have an in-house team, I doubt they would be much we can suggest here. However, if you don’t have the infrastructure in place there are a few options available.
- Hire an Agency
- Hire a Freelancer
Building a website yourself is a great way to save money and educate yourself in a new area of the business. The downside to this is that it adds a new level of complexity to the work you do and if issues arise you may find yourself bogged down with hours of research and neglecting your business in other ways.
If you’re still adamant about doing it yourself, then it’s easy to get started and there’s tons of information out there.
Hire An Agency
We might sound a little biased here; however, hiring an agency is probably one of the best moves to make. Now we are making this point due to the availability and flexibility to take on large amounts of work, pretty much around the clock. In comparison to the other options, you will save time and have comfort in everything being delivered to high standards.
Always do your research when choosing to sign on with any agency. Have a good understanding of what you need and ask to see some of the work they have done.
Hire a Freelancer
The only downside to a freelancing option is sourcing the right freelancer. There are thousands of freelancers and not one is the same; each freelancer will bring their unique spin to the table.
Make sure you scout around and get several quotes from freelancers with detailed proposals. It can be easy for someone with a lack of knowledge to take on a project too hard for them to complete.
On the plus side, freelancers usually have portfolios full of the work they have done so be sure to ask for these when applying to help you understand their true qualities.
A website is a powerful tool and is essential in the current market, it provides countless benefits to your business and frees up a lot of time so you can focus on other areas of the business.
Maintaining and updating your business’s website is crucial to the success of a modern-day company here’s why:
- Increases Customer Trust
- Increase Conversion Rates
- Increases Customer Service
- Makes Your Business More Accessible
Is it time to upgrade your website? Well, that’s a decision you ultimately have to make but it’s also a decision we can help you with.
Everything Digital has helped businesses just like yours achieve outstanding results and deliver high returns. Check out our “case study” page for more information.
If you would like us to conduct a free audit and recommend what work should be done for your business or are simply starting a fresh then contact us today either by phone, email, or our audit request form online “here.”