Do you need a new website?
If you run a business in 2017, and you haven’t touched your website in 2 years, you probably need a new website.
But do you need a new website, or can you service the old one? Here are 4 valid reasons to upgrade.
If your existing site has a poor health rating, is non-compliant with mobile devices, is too big and bloated for good SEO, you may need a new website. The following links and tools might help you decide.
- Check your website health here
- Website questionnaire here (on this site)
- Website questionnaire (PDF version)
- And get a free SEO checkup here
Here are some easy questions and answers for you:
1. Is your existing website mobile-friendly?
If it’s not, you need a new website – unless web traffic is unimportant to your business. Or you can implement software which presents a mobile version of your existing site.
Google openly demoted non-mobile websites in April 2015. They’ve all but said they won’t consider listing non-mobile in some search results. With more than 50% of web users now surfing via mobile, you will be missing out on organic traffic if your site doesn’t work on smartphones and iPads. Having said that, my very first website built in 1997 looks fine on mobile. But technically speaking, it will not pass the Google mobile compliancy test and so is probably not being optimally indexed by Google.
2. Is my site still relevant?
Changing text and adding a few graphics is easy to do but adding new (say jQuery animations and) functionality to an old website is hard – and expensive.
Other considerations . . .
- Does your website sit well with like-minded sites in your industry?
- Is it competing for attention (in a good way)?
- Has your business moved on since the website was built with different goals and priorities?
- Is yours the site that was last updated in 2012?
A Brand New Website, Sir?
A brand new website is often a cheaper option (Here at Geoffrey, we offer loyal clients a 40% discount on a new website after 2 years – that could mean a brilliant, modern, compliant and whizz-bang website for under $3,000).
3. Has your website been maintained?
Maintaining the software at the back-end of your website is very important. If that hasn’t been done, you could be in trouble. Nearly 50% of the people who call have websites which are beyond fixing due to hacking. Hacked sites are a symptom of negligence. Like cars, your website is really a car. Not servicing your car means it will eventually stop – and often without warning. It’s the same with your website. A royally hacked website may mean your domain reputation has been damaged.
We offer a great maintenance packages for small, medium, large and even huge eCommerce websites.
4. Has your website been hacked?
Yes? New site. Stat. Sorry.
If you visit your website and your PC’s virus software starts pinging dramatically, we’re 99.99% certain you need a new (and secure and regularly maintained) website.
New sites are much cheaper to implement than resurrecting old, hacked websites – so why do that? We make a point of not touching hacked sites in case our fiddling breaks it all together. Once you sort out the issues with your website, you need to get a professional webmaster behind it (that’s what we do daily).
5. Your domain has been blacklisted
This will happen to a non-maintained website after a year or so. If Google has badged your existing site as a spam-producing or phishy (trying to steal info from unwitting users and deliver said info back to hacker – including bank passwords or identity info) you may even need a new domain.
6. You need to incorporate new technology
Do you want new functionality? More whiz-bangery? A database? Jump-through-hoops trickery?
It might be time for an overhaul, but generally speaking, new whiz-bangery can be added to even old websites. If your website is non-responsive (i.e. not mobile-freindly), you might have a problem adding the new whistles and bells. Most plug-ins and widgets are designed to work with modern responsive frameworks, so you need to have that sorted at least.
7. Your site is more than 2 years old
Two years is a long time on the web. New website design trends change every few months. This is also true for site functionality (e.g. adding a mortgage calculator, an outside temperature gauge) and truer still for security (e.g. adding a virus checker, hiding the admin back door, enforcing long passwords).
Remember flat design? Well, that was popular for about 3 months in 2015 but by my reckoning, there’ll still be a bunch of websites flapping about out there with flat designs in 2-3 years time.
In terms of music, web design is like 80s Acid music versus Rock-n-Roll – some genres simply age better and technology moves in dog years.
[article updated 27/09/17]
[additional material added 14/10/15]
Author: Edwin James Lynch
Edwin wrote his first (Harrier Jumpjet) computer program in 1982. Today he builds websites utilising best practice, future-proof web development, online marketing and SEO. He lectured for 15yrs+ at Curtin University where (in 2007) he was voted 5th best out of 2,500+ university lecturers in Australia.