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Is it Time for a Website Update?

Launching a new website can be a large undertaking — especially if your organization has a large website or a small in-house team. If you’re working in a highly competitive industry, such as eCommerce, doing frequent website updates or rebuilds might already be a given. But in plenty more scenarios, the timeline for building a new website may be a bit unclear.

So, how old is “too old?”

Technology ages quickly, and first impressions matter. After crunching billions of sessions of user behavior data, Nielsen Norman Group reported the first 10 seconds are critical to a person’s decision to leave or stay on your site. This means there’s no margin of error for outdated design, clunky navigation menus or slow load times. These are just a few factors to consider as you evaluate the health and viability of your company’s website. 

The Top 7 Signs You Should Consider a Website Rebuild: 

  1. Technology is Outpacing the Site (or Making it Non-Compliant.)

    Keeping up with technological advances, such as optimizing your site for mobile devices, is crucial — along with implementing cookie policies, software plugins and more. Technology advances rapidly enough to consider an update or rebuild sooner than you might think. Non-compliance with certain guidelines, including data privacy and web accessibility, can also expose your organization to potential legal and financial damages, while preventing the site from being inclusive and accessible to users of all abilities. 

  2. Your Business is Growing & Changing.

    As a company evolves, its website should, too — with the addition of new products, services and business partnerships. “Big picture” changes could include shifting business goals, identifying a new target audience or re-branding. A new website may be the most effective tool to take your business in the direction you want to go (or are already headed!)

  3. User Experience is Lacking “Wow!” Factor.

    User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) best practices change over time. If a website looks or feels outdated, you have to overcome a lackluster first impression to keep visitors from clicking away. Beyond the basics of performance and functionality, a cosmetic update can help keep your site fresh and engaging.

  4. Performance Metrics are Trending Down.

    Website speed, mobile responsiveness and lead conversion are critical for online success. Other key metrics to look at? Bounce (exit) rate, click rate, average number of pages per session and average session duration — particularly on your site’s homepage and priority webpages.

  5. Traffic is Down.

    A website with poor visibility loses traffic and (ultimately) loses revenue. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help influence online success. Implementing SEO fundamentals and conducting regular SEO audits will help your teams identify areas for improvement as you add new content, refresh old content and develop a long-term website strategy.

  6. Identified Security Vulnerabilities.

    Security vulnerabilities in websites can come in many forms, such as outdated software, unpatched systems or weak encryption. With increasing threats online, security is a top priority. A website should be updated regularly to address vulnerabilities and comply with the latest security standards. This might not always require building a new website as long as the current site is secure and up-to-date.

  7. Seeking a Competitive Edge.

    Keeping an eye on your competitors and industry leaders can also dictate the need for a new website. If competitors are providing a better user experience, leveraging newer technologies or appearing higher in search results, it might be time to invest in a website refresh or rebuild. 

How Often Should I Rebuild My Website?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but a helpful guideline is to update your website’s design and functionality every 2 to 5 years. This doesn’t always mean a complete rebuild. Sometimes, incremental updates are sufficient — such as adding new content or plugins, making design tweaks or re-organizing the site navigation. Regularly monitoring your overall website health and staying informed about the latest online trends and technologies will help guide the decision of when to consider building a new website, or making substantial updates to your current site.

Got a website that’s more than 5 years old? No need to panic. This is when you should start having conversations about your next build. Your website hosting provider and IT teams will likely agree that this is a turning point when technology becomes outdated, server security is more vulnerable, design principles have changed and it is harder for your digital teams to make the modern-day changes you probably want to see. The list goes on!  

One last plug, in case your decision-makers aren’t convinced: It becomes much more expensive to maintain a website the longer it goes without a meaningful upgrade. Keeping plugins, core functionality and all of your essential tools up-to-date is much less time-consuming when things run smoothly.

Build a Better Website with 1905 New Media

If your website is 5+ years old, there’s no need to stress about a website refresh or rebuild. Investing in your company’s website can help you leverage new technologies, improve the user experience, get a leg up on your competitors and ultimately grow your business. And a St. Louis website design company with savvy web developers can help make the entire process smooth sailing and stress-free. 

At 1905 New Media, we’re passionate about helping business leaders envision the website they WANT to have. With our expert team of brand strategists, content writers and SEO specialists, we have all the tools to bring your website into the future — culminating with a custom WordPress site built by our local, in-house website developers. 

Ready to build something great together? Contact 1905 New Media to get started.