Websites need frequent updates. Even when you’re keeping your content fresh, a full overhaul has to be completed on a regular basis. Here’s why:
Upgrade your code
Technology constantly changes. Your phone is obsolete in a matter of months, replaced by newer, faster, better (and hopefully more battery life!) Think about your website in the same way. While some elements of machinery and programming languages hold on to the core of their form, bits and pieces are continually being tweaked. What this means for your website is that it starts working less effectively (or not at all) as your visitors update their devices, operating systems, and browsers. (Here’s a hint: lose the Flash intro and upgrade to responsive layouts for a start.) You need a professional to go through and check for incompatibilities, upgrade functionality, and keep everything working.
Part of the pressure to keep your website up to date comes from a security perspective. Regular updates help close security loopholes. New security protocols emerge, and then become required. The switch to mandatory SSL (that ‘https’ prefix to your website) is in process; soon many browsers will proactively steer visitors away from sites without a signed security certificate. Protect your business, your customers, and your site traffic with regular security checkups and optimization.
Revisit your goals
Your targets and measures can shift over time. Set a date in the calendar to step back and review your web goals and track how well you’ve been achieving them, and how you could change your site to meet them more effectively. That may be a pivot in product, or a realization that customers are spending time on pages you expected them to ignore and ignoring content you’ve painstakingly crafted for them. A website rebuild is your opportunity to shape the visitor experience to best meet your customers’ needs and your goals.
Optimize SEO and conversions
Old structures and technologies, a lack of mobile friendly design, pages that don’t work, period, or just content or a style that isn’t performing as well as it could; a rebuild is a good time to revisit your SEO and conversion rates. Check your analytics results. What’s working? What’s not? Change it where necessary.
Keep it fresh
Styles change. Look at the structure and content of leading and newly launched sites. Now look at yours. Don’t be the website equivalent of mom jeans (unless they’re hot this season – then you rock your intentionally retro style, just do it on purpose).
If you’re not a whiz at coding and cross-browser compatibility, web security, strategy, content, and graphic design (and seriously, who is?) you’re probably going to be tracking down a consultant or a team of contractors to help with your website rebuild. Once you’ve tracked down the right team, you can reduce risk and make the experience more secure and convenient with an umbrella company. They’ll handle all the paperwork related to working with contractors, which will take at least one thing off your plate.
Rock your website rebuild by taking the opportunity to step back and strategize at regular intervals. A shiny new look is great, but don’t forget to get intentional about your goals and conversion rates, and to bring the security and functionality up to date while you’re at it.