We get the same question from a lot of clients and prospective clients: “How long will my website be relevant, and how do I know when it’s time for a new one?” The truth, even though we use this answer all the time, is that it depends.
How long your website “lasts” depends on many factors, including:
- Industry trends
- Backend technology
- User demographics and psychographics
- Your business goals
- And more
So how can you, as a decision-maker in your organization, determine when you need a new website? There are a few things to keep your eye on. So we put together a handy dandy worksheet that’ll give you an answer in less than 30 seconds.
Is Your Website Meeting Your Goals?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself. If your site isn’t meeting your goals, then it is, without a doubt, time for a new one.
Let’s back up: Have you established site goals? Do you (and your web development partner, if you have one) understand the purpose of your site and know how to measure its performance?
When developing a website, you need to think about more than just how great it looks, how fast it loads, and the other individual elements of the site. We’ve found collaborating closely with clients to build websites that have an end goal—lead generation, e-commerce sales, or brand awareness—and methods to track success is where the true value lies.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
In general, we recommend new websites be built with mobile compatibility (specifically, responsive design). There are exceptions—like when 95% of your site’s traffic is from desktops—but the general rule is that mobile is worth the investment.
If your site isn’t mobile friendly but your analytics show high mobile traffic, there’s a disconnect. If you dig deeper into your analytics, you’ll likely find that visitors are bouncing (i.e., leaving right away) and/or conversion rates are lower than they could be.
Depending on your user behavior and your site goals, there’s a spectrum of how important mobile compatibility is from mobile first to mobile last.
Can You Manage Your Own Content?
However, if you want the power to update your own site—which in our experience is the norm—you need a user-friendly content management system (CMS). There are an obnoxious number of CMS platforms out there. After thorough research, we chose Sitefinity because it’s easiest for our clients to use with its intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
Is Your Content Relevant?
Have you touched your content since your site was originally built? If so, awesome! Hamburger for you. If not, take a quick look at it. I’ll wait.
Is it outdated? Is it in your brand voice? Does it drive visitors to your goals? Is it generic, or very obviously custom to you?
If your content is outdated, that doesn’t mean you need a whole new website (though if your content is ineffective, your site as a whole likely is too). However, it’s worth investing the time to create readable, quality content that drives your site (and business) goals. Good content benefits the user and is good for SEO—win win for you!
Has it Been More Than 4 Years?
Four years is not how long we’re saying a website lasts. What we’re saying is that if your site is four years old (or more), get it updated. Now. With the pace we see technologies and user behaviors changing, 4 years is an eternity in the website world.
Now you’ve got the tools to determine if it’s time for a website redesign. Download our decision tree, take 30 seconds (or less) to complete it, review the questions above, and get in touch if the signs point to It’s Time for a Redesign.