Having a small business website is a lot like owning a car. You can do everything in your power to keep that car running smoothly and looking pristine, but over time it’s going to start showing signs of age and wear. Sure, you can put some money into it and maybe get a few more years and a few more miles, but eventually you’ll find yourself headed back to the dealership for a newer model.
The same is true when it comes to running a small business website. It might look and run great for a while, but even the most perfectly designed website in the world isn’t going to last forever. You’re going to need a new website eventually. And this can be a big decision and not something you’re just going to want to jump into on a whim. So just as you’d weigh the pros and cons of trading in your car, you’ll want to put a lot of thought into the decision to upgrade your website. It’s our hope that thinking carefully about each one of these questions as they relate to your site can, at the very least, get the conversation started.
Is it mobile friendly?
This is a big one. In 2020, approximately half of all web traffic is coming from mobile devices. So if your customers are forced to pinch, zoom, scroll, and feverishly tap their way around a 5” screen just to make a purchase or learn more about your products, you’re going to lose them.
Does it load quickly?
There was a time when giant slideshows, quirky animations, and attention-seizing sound effects were all the rage in website design (the early 2000s was a strange period). Fortunately, these trends have passed for two main reasons: 1) they were really annoying, and 2) they caused pages to take FOREVER to load. Fortunately, humanity has come to its collective senses to prioritize speed ahead of flashiness.
Is it secure?
This one can be pretty tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing and it’s best to talk to your web host about making sure that your site is secure. Not only will this help to protect your site (and your site’s visitors) from cyberattacks, but it will also help you in terms of SEO and Google rankings. Which leads me to my next point…
Are you ranking?
We have a feeling that if your answers to the first three questions were “no”, then this one’s not looking too promising either. Ranking a page on Google is a complicated process and goes far beyond the words on the page. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, loads slowly, and isn’t secure, Google is going to give preference to those that do. Simple as that.
Have you outgrown your site?
Perhaps you crafted a small DIY site when you launched your company. And perhaps things have taken off since then; more employees, more leads, more sales. And if this is the case, congratulations! But as you reinvest in the growth of your company, you’re going to want to do the same for your website. As your brand becomes stronger, you’ll have more people finding you organically. Make sure your site is ready!
Do you like how it looks?
Pretty basic question, really. Are you still happy with the branding? The logos? The colors? The layouts? And if not, then what’s stopping you from changing it up? Your website should accent and enhance your brand, and you shouldn’t feel like you’re stuck with a look you’re not 100 percent pleased with. If you’ve grown tired of the sight of your site, then it might be time to spruce it up.
Is it bringing in customers?
If it’s not, then what’s this really all about? In many cases, your website is the first experience a potential customer will have with your company. And you want that experience to be a positive one. If your website isn’t continuously bringing in traffic and turning that traffic into leads and/or sales, then it’s time for something different.
Is the content still focused and consistent?
Think back to when you first launched your current site. Every visual aspect and word of content were meticulously picked to engage and inspire your end user. It was perfect. But chances are that its shimmer has faded over the years. Menus get longer. Pages get neglected. Links get broken. Photos get stale. It happens. Sometimes wiping the slate clean and starting over with a fresh content strategy is the best solution.
Can you make edits to the site easily?
In some of the older homemade content management systems we’ve come across, revising a simple line of text on the homepage or swapping out a photo can be like defusing a bomb. One wrong move and…well you know. You should have the ability to update content without the constant fear that you’re going to disrupt your entire site. A new CMS might be just what you need.
Are you proud of your website?
You know, analytics, data, and market research are all wonderful things. But sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct. Take a long look at your website and ask yourself if it’s truly the best representation of your company. Is it still a valuable component of your marketing strategy? Or has it become more of an afterthought? Even if your website looks great and performs great, if you just aren’t happy with it for whatever reason, it’s time for a change.