There comes a point where something that you invested good money and time in may need replacing. At the time it was current, exciting and I bet you were pretty proud of it. Maybe it’s no longer fit for purpose or maybe it’s just tired – and this happens with websites too. So how do you know when it’s time to let go and reinvest in an updated website?

I once invested in a certain pair of shoes, famous for their red sole. I would go out with my head held high, knowing that my shoes were awesome. Over the years, they started to look a bit scruffy; the shape wasn’t considered fashionable any more; other people’s shoes started to outshine my once dazzling status shoes. With a heavy heart, I finally threw them out, and once I sat back, I realised I actually needed a really great pair of boots that went with everything, not a sky high stiletto.

It’s our job at Createful to ensure we keep up to date with the digital industry and its changes in user behaviours, design trends, new platforms and emerging technology. These insights are what have prompted us to create this post, so if you find yourself asking “is it time for a change?” have a read through and see if any of these apply to you.

Why would I need to refresh my site?

  1. It’s not responsive. According to Smart Insights, over 80% of users search the internet using a smartphone. 97% of 18-34 year olds use mobile devices and 20% don’t use desktop at all. The figures on tablet, smartwatch, smartTVs and other technologies also show a multi-platform approach to how we all consume media and access websites. If your website doesn’t work well regardless of the device used to view it, you risk isolating a huge percentage of your online audience.
  2. It’s built in Flash or is incompatible with newer or popular browsers. In 2010, Steve Jobs and Apple wrote a letter outlining why they do not and will not allow Flash to work on iPhones and iPads. It’s a good read, but to give you an outline: it’s not open source from a coding side; it drains battery; it doesn’t allow access on touch screens as it was designed for PC and mouse access only; all of the video that is displayed in Flash is also available on YouTube or other video platforms; it’s been highlighted by Symantec as having had one of the worst security records in 2009 and most importantly it’s a third party deciding if and when they will make enhancements available to all developers across all operating systems. Looking at the above combined with the figures on smartphone and tablet use, it’s no wonder industry experts refer to Flash as a “dead technology”.
  1. The colour schemes/font choices/general aesthetics haven’t been updated in a few years. It has been proven that well thought out visual design has a direct impact on the perceived legitimacy of a business. Nothing puts doubt into the user’s mind more than looking at a site and thinking that it’s 1997. If you want to project that your business is up to date, forward-thinking and relevant in the marketplace, your website needs to reflect this. You will probably want to ensure that your site is generally spruced up every 2-3 years, to maintain a professional and current feel.

Source: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/time-10-big-websites-looked-15-years/

Source: http://www.apple.com/

  1. You haven’t added new content since the site was launched. If you don’t have the ability to quickly and effectively add new content or have a blog function, your Google rankings could be severely affected. Google Search Strategists always refer to “fresh and relevant content” being one of the most important factors in SEO. Additionally, similar to the aesthetics and design point, if you aren’t updating your website with fresh content, your users could assume you aren’t active.
  1. Your business has grown (good for you!) but your website/online offering hasn’t – If your business has now grown to offer more to your users, but your website isn’t able to accommodate this, it could be holding you back. For example, your business used to be a market stall and now you’ve got the stock, capacity and infrastructure to sell globally, but your website won’t allow online purchases .
  1. There’s nobody in your business that has responsibility for overseeing the website – perhaps it was implemented by an old Head of Department who has left? Or perhaps you had it built by an agency that has fallen off the radar. If you don’t have someone to monitor the success of your site, or someone who lives and breathes the website, you could be running the risk of allowing it to stagnate.

If any of these points strike a chord with you, email or call us to book in an initial discussion around your digital challenges and your future vision. It’s what we’re here for!