When did you last update your website? Find out why updating your website regularly is important in this blog post.
Creating and building an effective website is just the start of an effective website marketing strategy. Gone are the days (if they ever really existed) of building a website with the expectation that it will rarely need upgrading.
Is your old website design losing you business?
In today’s modern times, everything evolves in ever-decreasing timeframes and, if a website isn’t updated regularly and appropriately, then a business could be losing out on revenue. The majority of internet users would think twice about using a product or service if the website design is not fresh, user friendly and current. Don't let your site lose you potential customers!
According to research* the average lifespan of a website is around 2 years, 6 months and 27 days but, if we rephrase the question to “What should the lifespan of MY website be?” then the answer is a more vague... “it depends”.
It depends on various factors, however the over-riding factor is the software and the servers. And as we all know, software needs to be updated to keep up with surrounding technologies - this includes keeping up with the upgrades and technology needed on the hosting servers too (as well as the website).
Could my website be hacked?
The first and most obvious would be a catastrophic hack.
All websites of any size (including small business websites to large websites, like Amazon, BBC, etc), are constantly under attack from people and organisations wanting to cause mischief like adding files, trying to get in to the admin areas, taking data, removing images and changing them to their own, hurting your Google rankings, etc (the list goes on!)
Or they might just want your website to disappear, so they bombard it with web traffic to see if it gets overwhelmed and shuts down that way. Attempts like this happen all the time - it's a constant battle.
Cyber-security is, or at least should be, an important part of any 21st Century company's day-to-day operations.
Just like Twitter's security which is likely to be pretty robust. You can't run a site used by 300 million people every month that's held together with a bit of string (in Twitters case). But that robustness requires continuing maintenance. This is the same for your website.
Think about your own phone, or laptop, and the regular security updates you have to install. That's because new vulnerabilities are regularly unearthed, new chinks in the armour that you didn't know you had, and it's the job of the provider to offer a solution – whether there’s a charge or not, it has to be done to keep you as safe as possible.
Servers constantly under threat
The second potential disaster is that the hosting servers are knocked out - either by someone with a grudge, or by mistake during a routine bit of maintenance that's not properly supervised.
Without servers, there is no Amazon (or Twitter, BBC website or indeed our digital world.)
Servers - powerful computers - are like the physical bodies of these platforms. They exist in data centres. These are effectively warehouses full of computer servers which are central to the operations of online businesses. The world runs on servers.
As you can imagine, all of those machines generate a lot of heat. Data centres have to be kept cool, and they require a constant source of electricity.
The servers themselves also require maintenance and replacement, as data gets migrated between them. All of that has the capacity for something to go wrong. It would be sudden and dramatic if it did.
When was your website built?
If your website was built over 3 years ago, you need to look at getting a new website.
It's not necessarily the content of your website that you need to update (although this is essential to keep your website 'alive' to Google), but the code and the security needs upgrading to keep up with surrounding technology (and to put off those pesky hackers!) and the design needs care and attention also. You don't want to look like you don't care about your website and your business because this directly influences how others see you too.
Luckily for our clients who have PAYG Express website packages with us, they can get a new website every 2 years as part of their package! And they can have a new template design choice too! Contact our website designers for a PAYG Express website and get a new website every 2 years!
Is my website old?
Other areas to consider is the content and how it's presented on your website. If your website was your shop window, you'd probably change the window display pretty regularly. Well, for most businesses, their website IS their shop window and it could be the only way they advertise.
Keeping a handle on your content
If your business operates in tech, including software design or telecoms then you might find that your site needs updating much quicker to reflect changes in the industry (“What do you mean I can’t talk about 3G phones anymore, when did that happen?”). If, however, your industry and what you offer is more stable and less evolving then the life of your website might be a little bit longer than the average. In this scenario, a website design style and code should still be updated after 3 years as a good rule of thumb.
There are of course, other factors to consider ranging from the impacts of COVID (with more people working from home and buying online with eCommerce websites) to what your competitors are doing. It could be time to talk to your web design company to consider making changes to your website!
Here are some key factors to consider when deciding if your website needs upgrading and updating:
Content: What you want to tell your audience
If you are regularly launching new products and services, or you provide insights and updates on trending topics, then your website needs more frequent and better planned content updates.
Adding a new page to your website to talk about a new product or service might sound appealing, but a better approach is to look at the website as a complete solution for marketing your business.
How will that new service be seen from the home page and other pages? How will the new page impact your overall search ranking with Google, and what will be the impact on your site if you endlessly add pages without fine-tuning your site overall? (including updating content on other pages).
In summary, the more relevant and up to date the information needs to be on your website, the greater the need to update your site regularly.
Trust: In your brand
Another factor to consider is trust. When potential customers visit your website, trust is a big factor in deciding whether to buy from you.
A website that looks outdated, is slow to load (because it’s based on old technology) or can’t be viewed on a mobile phone means that visitors to your site are likely to become frustrated and lose trust with a brand.
Would you buy from a company offering fast, efficient car repairs if the website takes forever to load? Or a technology company’s website that can’t be viewed on a mobile phone?
Updating your website so that it’s clean, crisp, easy to navigate and has a great user experience is key to building trust with a customer.
Search marketing and online marketing
When it comes to attracting more business, this is possibly the most important consideration.
Regularly updating your website with fresh content and the right keywords should be part of a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy, and it’s a great way to increase the number of customers that find your business in Google Search.
When launching your website, you might have worked with a web design company that provides custom website design and put in place a strategy to increase your ranking in Google, but those rankings are likely to decrease over time if your site isn’t updated often enough.
If this is the case, and your search traffic has declined over time, then it’s time to consider updating your site design and most importantly including fresh content on a regular basis.
Consider blogging for adding regular content. And consider blog writing services. Check them out here: blog writing services
When to get a new website design
We recommend getting a new website every 2-3 years.
This will mean you get the latest stunning website design as well as all the security upgrades that you need to keep your online business from disappearing from Google, be compatible with the latest devices and keep your online business as secure as possible. A new website redesign can reverse the trend of sales running low and help you to build a platform for long-term sales growth if you keep your website code and content fresh.
One important factor worth noting here is that a new layout or design isn’t enough to increase traffic to your website from search engines such as Google. Instead, a much more effective (and proven) approach is to focus on keywords and other factors such as the URLs and heading tags on your website. Yes - a better looking website that’s more usable is important, but there’s a lot more to creating or updating a website that needs to be considered if you want to get results from it.
At aprompt, we provide custom website design and onsite SEO that’s focused on making great looking websites for our clients that get found in Google. If your website is due a refresh then give us a call and let’s see how we can help. Our proven experience means you won’t find a better web design company to work with!
If you aren’t sure, but would like some expert advice, give us a call anyway and we can have a look at your website to see if we can make a difference.
Get started with your new website today - Ask our website designers
How much does a new website cost?
Worried about the cost of setting up & running a website?
A well-designed website is an essential part of any business - but it doesn't have to break the bank. With PAYG websites from aprompt, you can get a high-quality website without spending a fortune.
So why wait? Get started today! Call 01249 448 139 or see PAYG websites to find out more.