Wouldn’t it be nice if every new thing we purchased stayed pristine and never wore out, especially larger ticket items like cars, homes, and websites? Proper maintenance helps a ton, but the fact is everything has parts that need to be replaced at some point. When it comes to a website, the parts include all kinds of things that get outdated faster now than ever before.
In years past, it was common to see businesses holding on to a website for five to seven years before considering a redesign, but technology (and consumer expectations) are moving so quickly that updates & maintenance to new website technology begin the month after a site goes live!
How the Heck Does Website Technology Age That Quickly?
Over time, commonly used plug-ins and software that are part of a standard website build get abandoned by their developers. While we build websites with the most vetted, widely used, and updated plug-ins available, they must be updated regularly to ensure security and compatibility. This is something we take care of for you. However, when developers stop updating the plug-ins, nobody using them can make any further updates. This creates incompatibilities with current versions of WordPress and/or PHP (lingo for code used on websites), which we always make sure your website has. In some cases, third-party themes that were used to serve a specific need have the same issues as plug-ins slowly becoming incompatible with the newest iterations of WordPress and PHP.
Why is Compatability So Darn Important?
The best way we can combat scammers and security threats is by regularly updating all parts of a website. When plug-ins or themes are too old and incompatible, they can no longer receive updates. This creates a variety of issues, including security threats and poor user experience. You deserve a secure website and your customers do too!
Never Underestimate a Terrible User Experience
Your website is often your first impression on customers and prospective employees. Website users don’t wait for websites to load, nor do they have much patience for unintended shenanigans-so they move on if you’re going to waste their time or not solve a problem. The consequence of a horrible experience on your website is that they’ll leave and never come back. You don’t want this.
- Slow: Most studies agree you have 3 seconds or less for a site to load
- Cumbersome: 83% of customers consider a seamless website experience on all devices to be very important
- Confusing: 50%+ of people say they won’t consider purchasing from a brand that has a poorly designed website.
- Ugly: 94% of negative user feedback is about design & it only takes 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion of your website.
Google is a User of Your Website Too!
Google has very particular expectations of your website and changes its mind constantly on what it wants to see when it stops by. Most of Google’s expectations involve the newest technology that makes websites super fast and mobile friendly, but it also takes into account dozens of other factors that only improve with a new website. You get the best of both worlds when you have an old website that goes through a redesign. You get all the domain authority, backlinks, and indexed pages that go with an established site that’s been on the web for years and all the top-ranking perks that go with a brand-new website filled with the newest content and SEO features!
What Causes a Horrible Website Experience?
Internet users are savvy. Even someone without much user experience (who constantly has to call their grandson to help them out with something online) can quickly and easily identify an old site. That’s because old sites feel old. Outdated design and website development choices were made based on a specific timeframe that is no longer in line with how new sites are built. Design features, website accessibility, and user expectations are constantly changing, as are your business goals and processes. An old website doesn’t adequately reflect your changing business processes and goals, because it wasn’t built with those needs in mind.
Updated Websites Benefit from:
- New features that make the site easier for website owners to make changes faster and easier on the back end
- Modern design elements that are esthetically pleasing
- Your marketing & web team can do more for you in less time, making efficiencies pay off big
- Flexibility allows for better marketing results
Jessica Verhasselt of Excelsior Homes, a long time client of Vivid Image shares why she does website redesigns about every five years. “From our first website over 20 years ago to our new site that just went live, we’ve trusted Vivid Image to guide us through the website redesign process multiple times. Technology moves so fast, and five years is actually a really long time in website years. Our most recent site redesign is more inline with how our customers search for modular & manufactured homes, which has changed significantly over time. We are able to provide a better user experience, exceed their expectations with search functionality and reduce frustrations by making it easy to find what they are looking for in a way they expect. Our internal processes are so much more efficient too. When our customers can formulate in depth questions from the information they’ve been able to gather on our website, our first conversations are more productive and we can get them into their new home faster.”
So How Do I Know When a Redesign is Necessary?
There’s no app to remind you like there is to remind you to drink water or take your pills, but there are some indicators you can trust. Unlike some website designers, our entire team continually reviews website technology, plug-in updates, and industry changes. In addition, your Account Director knows your organization’s goals, the plan to get there, and if your website is everything that it can be to deliver results. If your design needs a refresh, but the technology behind-the-scenes is good, that’s often a great choice. If the entire site is outdated and concerns are growing about compatibility issues, a website redesign is necessary. The good news is this is a gradual process, and with consistent communication with your Account Director, it will never be a surprise and can be budgeted well ahead of time.
Ready for a redesign or need us to take an honest look, give us a call! 320-587-8974