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The finished website is something we are very happy with and we've seen a marked improvement in business since we launched the new website. I'd highly recommend Opus Web Design. John - MDI Medical
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9 Signs You Need To Upgrade Your Website

signs you need to redesign your website
Just because your website is online doesn't mean its working for you

A website is a bit like a car, when you get a new one it is all shiny and new with lots of nice features and it runs like a dream. But, if left alone... as time passed the new features aren't that new anymore, it starts to run a bit slower and it isn't as fancy as it was compared to the newer models around. So just like a car, you need to do regular maintenance work to keep it running smooth for as long as possible, but after a few years it will still be time to trade it in or even get a new one. A bit of a long winded metaphor maybe but hopefully you get the point! Websites need regular maintenance and every few years they need an upgrade or redesign. Here we point out 9 signs that your website is in need of a redesign.



1. Your Website Looks Outdated


This one is the most obvious. Just look at your website, maybe compare it to your competitor's websites or just other websites in general. Is it using outdated features like Flash or are there gaudy off trend graphics or colours stinging your eyes...? Trends in any area of design change every few years and if your website is more than 5 years old it is likely that it has been left behind in terms of both design trends and technological features.


2. Your Website Is Not Mobile Friendly


The Google Mobile Friendliness Test

Mobile devices are now the primary device for the majority of people having overtaken laptops, tablets and desktop computers. If your website is not mobile friendly then the majority of people are unable to use it easily or at all from their smartphone - this could be causing you to lose business!

A responsive website is the ideal solution as opposed to having duplicate versions of your website for different devices which was a "solution" that some web designers used to offer. Google even has it's very own webpage where you can test your website's mobile friendliness.


3. Your Website Loads Slowly


Because people are now viewing website mainly on mobile devices and using wireless or even 4G or 3G connections, the loading speed of your website is more important than even. Google have even started including website loading speed in their ranking algorithm. 

Often people don't realise their website is loading slowly as they have visited it so often their browser has cached the site and is essentially just loading a saved version when you visit. Try clearing your cache or just use another great google website - the page speed insights test

As a general rule of thumb though, if your website does not load within 3 seconds then visitors will leave...and you will likely be losing business.


4. Your Website Is Difficult To Use


User experience is an important aspect of any website and if the site's features are not working or are too confusing then you could be driving users, and business, away from your website. 

The main way to test user experience is whether it is easy to navigate around your site and find what you are looking for without hassle or too many clicks (once again 3 is the magic number here).


5. Your Website Is Not Secure



A website redesign or update isn't all about looks! what happens behind the scenes is important too and site security is something that is becoming more and more of a necessity for both website owners and users due to the growing number of hacking incidents where user's personal and sometime financial data has been stolen from unsecure websites. 

Browsers not show a websites security status in the url window, as seen in the image above, to tell users a website is safe. This can be achieved by installing an SSL certificate and has been shown to increase trust in your brand and as a result increase sales. 

You can check your website's security status here.


6. Your Website Does Not Match Your Branding


This one is quite simple. If your business has rebranded, changed focus, expanded its product/service range then your website definitely needs to be rebranded too. Your website is your business's online presence and it should mirror your business's offline brand identity.


7. You Don't Have a Good Content Marketing Strategy


A bad/lazy content marketing strategy, or worse, none at all will not draw traffic to your website. Google rewards websites that regularly post new content. That doesn't mean rehashed 500 word blog posts though, you need relevant and useful content to help draw visitors to your website and increase your Google ranking. If your website does not have a blog or a "news & events" or a "recent projects" section then you need to add one to allow yourself to regularly add new content.


8. Your Website Is not Converting Visitors Into Sales/Leads


Getting traffic to a website can be a difficult task, which can involve a lot of marketing, Search Engine Optimisation and often costly Google Ads. So it would be terrible to think you would go to all that effort to get people to your website only to lose them due to a poorly designed or functioning website!

Use a tracking service, such as Google analytics to track the number of visitors to your site, see what pages they are visiting and see what pages they are exiting from. This will help guide a potential redesign.


9. You Have Little or No Access/Control Over Your Website


If your website is built on a Content Management System, and chances are it is, then you need to check which one and which version. You can do that using the BuiltWith Website.

Older systems, with reduced functionality, may be hampering you or your web designers ability to easily add and update content which in turn leads to a dated looking website. You may have opted for a free solution like WordPress when starting out but can now afford more effective and efficient premium solutions now that the business has grown.

A modern CMS will allow you to easily share news and events to a blog, update static pages with new text or images, add photos or videos to a gallery, reposition site elements, add interactive plugins and much more besides. 


Conclusion


The short answer is if your website is over 5 years old it most likely needs a redesign! 

Aside from that check your website for any of the 9 signs and if you spot any then take action - remember your website is a 24/7 representative of your business, it should always be looking and functioning at its very best.

Contact Opus Web Design for a free website consultation which includes an audit which checks all of the above, and lot's more including accessibility, compliance and performance issues.