Daniel Titus on When to Upgrade Your Website
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
You upgrade your cellphone every two years, your workout routine every three months, and you wish you could upgrade your kids almost daily. How do you know when its time to upgrade your website? I recently spoke with a gentleman who was very proud of his website. He bragged about how flashy was the look and how amazing were the features such as, “what’s called streaming video.” I sat there nodding for a while, but eventually had to burst his bubble. His flash couldn’t be seen on a mobile device. His video too was flash-based and took way too long to load. In addition to that, most of his links were dead. It was clearly time to upgrade, and he had no clue.
When should you upgrade your website? Below are three indicators that it’s time to upgrade your site. This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, but these are the biggies.
When Your Company Changes
Often times companies have to adapt to the changing market or even diversify to remain relevant. Companies will, from time to time, go under new management or new ownership. Sometimes there is a new marketing strategy that is adopted or a new branding that is introduced. As your business changes, so should your website. Your site should reflect who you are and where you’re going rather than who you were and where you’ve been.
When It Looks Dated
The internet is a fast paced world. It reinvents itself more often than we care to admit. It can be tough … no unprofitable … no impossible to keep up with every changing trend. There is no reason you should ever try. However, there are some cultural stigmas that cannot be avoided. Like it or not, your site has about three seconds to catch the eyes of your young target audience. They are not easily impressed, and they know a dated site when they see one. If your site looks like it was built about a decade ago than you’ve got a problem. This is an information age, and the information we want is instantaneous! When your site is dated it makes your information look dated too. No one wants old news.
When It Functions Poorly
It’s not all about looks. A good designer aims for both form and function. When your website has certain functionalities (even simple hyperlinks) that do not work it provides a very bad user experience. Poor functionality will quickly deplete your user’s reservoir of goodwill. Before you get too cocky and think that everything on your website works just fine, let me say this. It doesn’t work because you say it does; it works because the user says it does. Here’s what I mean. If you have an absence of desired functionality, your site functions poorly. If your site does not provide the functionality the user expects, your site doesn’t function properly in the user’s mind. In order to function well, it has to … you know ... function.
These are three good indicators that your website is ready for an upgrade. There are plenty more, but I’ll just mention one last indicator. It might be time to upgrade your website when you just want something new.