Whether you’re building a portfolio site designed to show off your company’s talent, or a sophisticated e-commerce site with complex database capabilities, we all know the importance of maintaining a great looking, well-performing website.
The common denominator is that every type of website has to visually represent the owner accurately, as well as provide functionality for specific objectives. When a website no longer does this, for any number of reasons, it may be time for a website refresh, or even a brand new website design and build.
With over 10 years of experience under our belt, we’ve noticed quite a few markers for change. So it only feels appropriate that, at the start of a new decade, we share a list of some common issues we’ve observed that may be telling you it’s time to retire the old and ring in the new.
1. Your site is not responsive or mobile friendly
In 2020, responsive and mobile-friendly website design is a must. If your site takes more than a second or two to navigate between pages, or appears awkward on smartphones and tablets, then it’s probably time for an upgrade.
Many clients hear mobile-friendly design and think that this means recreating their entire site for phones but, with proper optimization and back-end support, the process of refreshing a website for mobile devices can be a real breeze!
2. Your site has a complicated interface that’s difficult to update
An effective website is an engaging website. This means your website should be frequently updated with catchy content, like blog posts, and up-to-date services, products and promotions designed to capture an audience’s attention with timely information.
If the idea of updating your website with new content sounds stressful and cumbersome, that’s probably a sign that your website is using a complicated interface that is working against you. It’s also probably a sign that you are overdue for a website update.
With the integration of newer CMS (content management system) platforms, such as WordPress, managing website content can be a simple, user-friendly experience.
3. Using platforms that are no longer supported
The online universe is constantly evolving. With that evolution comes periodic obsolescence, i.e. things break and stop working as well as they used to.
Until around 2010 or so, Adobe Flash programs were a popular solution for incorporating multimedia content online. Because HTML5 is now heavily favored over Flash, it’s player will reach it’s official ‘end-of-life’ at the end of 2020. Unfortunately for many, there are still many Flash-based websites that will be affected.
Along with this, Adobe Business Catalyst has been a popular platform for building and managing websites since its launch in 2010. However, Adobe is dropping support for Business Catalyst in March 2021, meaning many websites are going to be vulnerable to security risks, lose-out on new features and generally become harder to manage.
If your website uses any Adobe Flash assets, or is hosted on Adobe Business Catalyst, a website upgrade is an absolute must—time is not on your side!
4. Your website’s pages load slowly
Internet surfers have less and less patience for websites that load slowly. Even if they are coming directly to your site, visitors will turn their attention elsewhere after mere seconds if navigation is frustrating or images are slow to appear. If a site is older, it may be time for a web refresh that addresses load time.
Things that can cause a website to load slowly include:
- Large images that haven’t been optimized for web
- Too many redirects
- Too many unnecessary plug-ins or add-ons
However, a brand new website isn’t necessarily the only solution. If the old one still works as a good representation of the business, a simple tidy up of the backend may be all that is necessary.
On the other hand, budgets willing, this may present a good opportunity for a whole new approach—with responsiveness as a key design goal!
5. The design no longer representative of your brand
We all change over time. A new haircut, an upgraded wardrobe—our look reflects all kinds of things about our values, priorities and how we perceive our role in the world.
Websites are exactly the same. Their design should reflect where a business is at in the current moment in time. If your website doesn’t clearly reflect your business’ values, you risk confusing your audience and losing customers.
Clarity is king in 2020 and that includes the first impressions that a website can provide about you, your service or product. Take a hard look at your site’s design values, and don’t be afraid to ask around—honest criticism will usually be offered if asked for.
The telltale signs that a website is underperforming and may need a refresh or re-design are pretty obvious. If it’s not easily discoverable on search engines, if it’s sluggish to load pages or navigate, or, especially, if people complain about it, it’s probably time for a website redesign.
Comit Developers to the rescue
If, after reading through this guide, you’re realizing that your site is guilty of a few of these issues then it’s time to seriously consider updating your online experience. Don’t panic! This doesn’t have to be a complicated, or needlessly expensive, process.
Contact Comit Developers to learn how our team can help you navigate the website design and development process to create a website that works for you, not against you!