Just like any other commodity, websites have a shelf life; to provide the best possible experience to visitors, your website's functionality and look should be updated at least every three years. Technology and web design styles evolve rapidly so that while your regular visitors may be used to your website’s design, there is a thin line between “familiar” and “stale.” All too often webmasters opt for familiarity over refreshing their site’s design and wind up with a stagnant and outdated look and feel. While visitors do like the familiar, they still want change from time to time; the days when it was feasible to simply build a site and forget it are gone. People like lively, dynamic websites. Your website acts as the face of your company and much like your business card, it can help to dictate how the market will perceive your enterprise. A stagnant, old-fashioned website could lead potential customers to perceive your company and brand as being stagnant and old fashioned as well.
Updates to a website do not come solely in the area of appearance. While it is good to give regular visitors something fresh to look at, it is even more important to improve performance. Users want speed and ease of navigation, they want to be able to visit a website and find what they are looking for or complete a transaction in as short a time as possible. Continually upgrading the backend technology for maximum efficiency can help to provide this. Updates should always provide a concrete benefit to users and not merely be done for the sake of updating. Revisions to every part of your website’s design should be considered but among the important elements you may want to consider are:
- Fresh content
- Updates to your site’s navigation
- A new logo
- Search engine optimisation
- Social media plugins
- Tools that could benefit new and existing customers
The Benefits of Updating
As with any investment, the big question every website owner should ask is if their site is delivering the expected returns. Is the amount of money put into it worth the benefit that it provides? A low number of visitors and/or poor conversions could be a sign of a website that is poorly designed or antiquated and in need of an update. If implemented properly, an updated design from the right web design company could turn your web presence around.
Changing With the Times
Trends in technology are ever changing; you want your content to be easily viewed on the latest generation of browsers and devices. One important technological trend is mobile Internet usage. How big is this trend? Consider the fact that by 2014, mobile Internet surfing is expected to surpass desktop surfing; more people will be surfing the Internet with smartphones and tablets than on standard PCs. Already, more than a third of Internet users are using mobile devices to access content. Mobile web design is therefore an important factor in modern Internet success. It is important that a website owner ensure that their site’s design is responsive, meaning that it responds the same regardless of the device used to reach it. It should look the same on the small screen of a mobile phone as on the big screen of a PC and provide a similar experience for all users.