Websites get old fast. Thanks to the emergence of new standards and coding practices, it’s essential to give your old business website a refresh once in a while. While many of us look back at older, clunkier websites with some sense of nostalgia, a thriving business will quickly take a nosedive with such an archaic online presence. So keep an eye out for the signs below, which could be an indication that your site is getting a bit long in the tooth, too.
1. Not mobile optimized
This is the biggie. The fact is that mobile phones generate more web traffic than PCs these days, and any website that doesn’t accommodate that fact is in for a shock. If users can’t get a website to load and display properly on their smartphone or tablet, it’s unlikely they’ll ever return. The same holds true for load times and simple navigation. More to the point, web search engines like Google now prioritize sites that are optimized for mobile in their search engine rankings, which means if you don’t get with the program you’re site is unlikely to be see again.
2. Search engine rank falls
While search engine ranking placement constantly varies, if your business traditionally appeared on the front page and in the top of organic results, congratulations! Over time, if you notice your business page continuously dropping from the top three, into the top five, then top eight, and finally disappears onto the second page, the issue could be your website. Your website content, design, and settings should reflect current SEO best practices.
3. Bad design
If you haven’t updated your user experience in a while, it’s probably time for a website refresh. Web design practices have changed considerably in the last few years – people no longer like to put up with advertising banners at the top of the page. Instant music playing when the site loads up is a no no, and Flash is no longer supported by mobile devices or read by search engines. These days, Google and netizens alike prefer more modern coding systems like HTML5, easy to navigate menus are preferable to tabs, a search function is essential on any site, and content categories are likely to be something you’ll want.
Visuals are taking precedence. New design practices place important content on a single, scrollable page instead of spread across the numerous pages.
4. Slow loading times
Most younger people have never experienced the horrors of dial-up Internet. Modern Internet consumers expect websites to load in seconds, not a minute. If they can’t get on, they go somewhere else. Pages mired with extra content, heavy photos, and videos slow down website load times. Check your website load times on different devices.
5. Branding is out of date
If your business has changed its logo, color scheme or persona, it’s time to refresh that website. Maybe your company offers an expanded range of services? If so your site needs to reflect that. Any rebranding or new services needs to be made clear on your site as soon as possible, in order to avoid confusion among your customers.