4 Signs It’s Time to Update Your Website

Bodie, California - Ghost Town
Bodie, California. Photo: Michael Warren

The town of Bodie, California once bustled with activity. In the late 1800s its streets were packed with miners, ministers, prostitutes and undertakers. Some even claimed it was the second largest city in California (it wasn’t). But the economy and technology shifted at the turn of the century and today Bodie is a ghost town maintained by the park service in what they call a state of “arrested decay.”

Sounds like some websites I know.

Is your website in a state of “arrested decay?” If you can’t answer “yes” to the questions below, you may be like an old prospector hacking away in a mine shaft that’s long since paid out. It may be time to pack it in and stake out a fresh claim.

  1. Is your website mobile responsive? That is to say, does it adapt to any screen size? At least half of the website traffic we see comes from mobile devices or tablets. Have you checked your website on your iPhone or iPad? If your site layout doesn’t look great on the most common screens, you may be driving away potential customers. These days, when people search for local businesses they use the tool right in their pocket or purse. In fact, Google now gives responsive websites a slight SEO advantage over competitors that aren’t responsive.
  2. Can you easily update your website content? What happens when you need to change an address or phone number on your website? What if you want to change existing content or add a new page of information? If you have to call your web designer to get it done, you’re spending unnecessary time and money. Today’s modern content management systems, like WordPress, enable the end user to easily manage website content without specialized knowledge of web design and programming. Changing a paragraph of text on your website should be as easy as filling in the blank.
  3. Is it easy to add on new functionality? Looking for SEO management, advanced contact forms, user tracking, photo galleries or social media integration? What once required expensive and time-consuming custom programming is now a snap with WordPress plugins. If your website isn’t built on the WordPress platform, you’re missing out on incredible opportunities to showcase and grow your business. An old-school, static HTML website simply wasn’t built for this new world.
  4. Is your design fresh and professional? Hem lines change with the seasons.  Trendy clothing styles come and go every year. Conservative business attire doesn’t move as quickly, but it still moves on. That business suit from the 1980s may have been an example of superior design. It may have been made with quality and care. But if it screams last century — or if it’s gotten a little too snug around the middle — it’s time for an updated look. Your business deserves to look fresh, contemporary and professional.

Here’s some good news. That old website served you well for its time. The time, effort and expense weren’t wasted. Go ahead and look back with nostalgia. But you’re going to love how your new website fits your business needs, how it makes you look, and how it benefits your customers.