We know a new website is a big investment, and it can be hard to figure out when it’s time to build a new one. While it’s important to have one, simply having one doesn’t mean it will serve as an effective tool for your business. As a web design company based in Chicago, we’ve seen many websites in all different stages with varying needs. When do those needs warrant a new site? Here are some tell-tale signs.
1. The Appearance Is Inconsistent or Outdated
Rebranding can be a massive undertaking as you update important aspects of the look and feel of your company while keeping the same customers and market share as before. With a big project like this, it’s necessary to make updates to your website or (more likely) create a new website altogether. You have to make sure your brand voice, brand identity, color palette, typography, and more are updated to match your new look and feel. Accurately reflecting your new branding on your website is important because you want visitors who click on your website to instantly know who you are. Having inconsistency between your website and other branded materials can lead to confusion and them leaving the page.
Consistency across your website plays into your branding. If each of your pages looks like a different website, not only does it make the user confused, but it can also make your business look unprofessional and untrustworthy. These are all things that you can avoid by making a cohesive look throughout your website. Despite there being content changes, there should be the same color palette, button design, iconography, and generally similar layouts. Building a web style guide will help your business keep its consistency through new employees and new content.
Sometimes websites just look old. Oftentimes online, trust is strongly tied to appearances. It doesn’t matter how good the content and services are on your site, if it looks untrustworthy, outdated, or like a scam, people are a lot less likely to use it. Making a website look more modern is the hook that draws people in to look through your amazing products and services. Keeping up-to-date with your website’s look will allow you to be a stronger leader in your industry.
2. It Doesn’t Accurately Reflect Your Products or Services
As your business grows and the products or services you provide shift, you’ll need your website to reflect this. The new information is typically either not added or tacked onto the most convenient page in a spot that doesn’t necessarily give users the best experience. As time goes on and this happens over and over again, it can lead to areas on your website not making sense and causing users to struggle to find the services they want. If this is a problem with your website, you’ll want to redo your website navigation to give customers a better user experience.
3. It’s Not Mobile Friendly
Having a mobile-friendly and responsive website isn’t just nice to have—it’s a must. Being responsive means that your website fits on every screen size, looks good, and still has a great user experience. This is important with so many people viewing websites on their phones and the fact that Google is now using mobile-first indexing. This means that when they index and rank your website for Google searches, they mainly use the mobile version to do this.
Now that Google is using this method, having mobile options is a necessity. Many experts are even recommending that when you build your website, you build it for mobile first.
4. The Site is Slow
Site speed is not only important to the users but also for Google. The older a website is, the more likely that it either wasn’t built with speed in mind or it has changed through the years with additional plugins, images, and add-ons that can affect performance.
In today’s fast-paced world, many people don’t like having to wait on things like a page loading. If they have to wait five seconds for even one page to load, they are more likely to decide that it’s not worth the trouble and will go somewhere else to get what they need. This is a big cause of a high bounce rate, which is when someone only visits one page on your site and then leaves.
Page speed is also used by Google to help it rank websites in organic search. Slow loading websites lead to a bad user experience and Google knows this, so it takes that into account when ranking websites for searches. Google wants to provide the best experience for those who search with them, and having to wait a long time for a website is not a good experience.
5. It’s Not Easy to Update
It is critical for your website to be up-to-date, but it can be frustrating and time-consuming having to go through a developer to make simple content changes to your site. If you’re not easily able to update content, swap out images, add a new staff member, or post a blog yourself, it’s time to get a new website with a user-friendly CMS. Our Chicago WordPress developers create websites that empower business owners to be able to make those changes without any programming knowledge.
6. It’s Not Geared Toward Your Goals
While many of the points above are necessary for getting the user to visit and browse your site, at the end of the day, it’s not serving you as well as it could be if it doesn’t get users to take the next step.
Taking the next step and meeting your business goals can mean a lot of different things for different brands. Some businesses want to sell their products, while others want their website to generate new leads. Whatever your business goals are, your website must have a strategic marketing approach to help you meet them. If this is not the case for your website, it’s time to reevaluate.
Work With an Award-Winning Team of Chicago Web Designers
If any part of this list sounds familiar, it might be time to invest in a new website. Taking the leap for a new site doesn’t have to be stressful or scary though. Get in touch with our local Chicago web designers and WordPress developers. We’d love to hear all about your website needs!