Is Your Website Outdated?
In the digital world, your website serves as your first impression to potential customers. You wouldn’t want to meet a new client in outdated clothes or looking disheveled, but that is effectively what you are doing when your website is out of date. This is the visual representation of your brand and business, and you want it to match the true quality of your services. How do you know your website is out of date? Consider these common issues; if you recognize them in your own website, it is probably time to make a change.
Is the text on your website small and difficult to read? As digital technology has progressed, screen resolutions have improved dramatically. Today’s best practices for web design generally recommend using 14 or 16 point font. A small font will not only make it harder for site visitors to learn about you, especially if they are viewing your site on a mobile device, but also signals that your website is out of date and not often updated.
Websites today are expected to be “responsive”; that is, they “respond” to the size of the screen the visitor is using and adjust as necessary. It is no longer enough to have a separate “mobile version” of your website optimized for viewing on mobile devices. Most responsive websites are built on a grid system that allows different sections to condense when being viewed on a smaller screen, like a mobile phone or tablet computer, and then expand when viewed on a larger screen, like a desktop computer or laptop. The number of users browsing the internet on mobile devices has only increased with every year, and has even surpassed the number of users using desktop computers to access the internet. A website that is not responsive will be harder for these customers to view or navigate, and today’s consumer will quickly move on if they are not able to easily access the information they need. Beyond that, Google now officially penalizes websites that are not mobile-friendly in its search algorithm, making it harder for those websites to appear in search.
Visual Design & Graphics
As with fashion or interior design, web design is subject to trends, fads and changing tastes. A savvy consumer can recognize when images and even site navigation are behind the times. Experts recommend updating a corporate website every 2-4 years, depending on industry norms. Though it may still be functioning well, in your visitors’ eyes your site could be doing the digital equivalent of wearing platform shoes and a leisure suit. Potential customers want to know that they can trust you to provide the best available solutions and knowledge to them. A dated website can make them worry that the rest of your work will be dated as well. Remember that your website is many customers’ first introduction to your brand. What impression do you want to make?
“Functionality” refers to all the ways a visitor may interact with your site. The most stunning modern web design is useless if the website does not function as intended. The functionality of websites has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past years, making it all too easy for your website to be out of date.
Although it can seem like adding unnecessary bells and whistles, most businesses do not need to pursue anything flashy on their website for good functionality. All you need to do is focus your energy on making sure that it is easy and intuitive for a visitor to do what they want to do on your site.
Will they be searching for information? Make sure you have a robust search system in order to eliminate frustration. Will they want to contact you directly for more information? You may want to have a contact form they can fill out that will be automatically sent to you once submitted. At the most basic level, take a step into your visitors’ shoes and consider whether or not the site navigation makes sense. As an expert in your field, the way information is arranged may all be perfectly clear to you — is the same true for a layman?
Is Your Website Out of Date?
If these signs of an out of date website sound familiar, it may be time to start working on an update. Your website is the first impression you will make on a large number of your potential customers. Outdated design, function and navigation will make you and your brand seem less relevant and less effective. Make sure you’re putting the right foot forward with a website that matches the quality of your services.