A woman sits in front of a laptop with a client discussing website updates

Chances are you spent a lot of time, effort, and money on your website. So the question may plague you “Should I update my website or is it still at its best?” While the idea of a website redesign or update may seem daunting, here are 8 signs that you should update your website.

website updates

Your Website is Not Responsive on Mobile Devices

Mobile responsiveness is the term web designers use to describe how well a website functions on a mobile device. Over 54.4% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Are you willing to let over half of your visitors have a negative experience visiting your site? Of course not! Your website must be responsive on mobile. 

Take a minute and visit your site on your phone. Try to be objective and evaluate the experience. Are the images on your site optimized for mobile? Is the text modified for a mobile format and large enough to read? Is the navigation easy to use on a phone or tablet? Can your visitors easily perform all the needed tasks on your site from their phones? If not, this is a sure sign that you should update your website!

When mobile devices were first introduced, website designers had to create a second site to make the website mobile-friendly. This was costly, time-consuming, and with all of the quickly changing mobile technologies, difficult to achieve. Today, building a mobile responsiveness site is much easier. 

When we build or redesign a site for a client, we always account for mobile responsiveness. We first build out the desktop content and then make adjustments for each function and page so they work well on mobile. 

Dogwood provides content management services that leave the work to us. You send the content you want to be added, we add it and make sure it is responsive on mobile.

Your Website Does Not Provide a Great User Experience 

Nothing is worse than visiting a website and not finding the information you are looking for. Google rewards websites that provide a great user experience by ranking them higher in search results. Does your website provide a great user experience? What do I mean by that? Does your website make sense to a visitor? 

As business owners or managers, we are familiar with all the nuances of our business, but a potential customer is not. Is the message on your website clear and concise? Is the navigation easy to use? Is it clear where I can find the information I need on your site? Are the images engaging? Does the site function as it is supposed to?

If the answer is no to any of those questions above, take it as a sign that you should update your website. It may help to have fresh eyes evaluate your site from time to time. Consider asking someone outside your company to visit your site and give you honest feedback about its communication.  

The Website Design is Dated or Does Not Match Your Current Branding

Website designers and marketing professionals recommend updating your website design every 2-3 years. This does not mean you have to rebuild your website from scratch but could implement a “website refresh.” If your design is dated, a simple update of new images or navigation menu could make a huge difference.

Has your branding changed since your website launched? Branding is an ever-evolving part of your business. Perhaps you launched your website before deciding on your business branding so your website is not an accurate reflection of your business online.  

If your website is outdated or does not match your branding, it is a sign that you should update your website. 

Your Website Has a High Bounce Rate

A good signal that you should update your website is having a high bounce rate. A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who clicked on your website and then left without clicking on anything else. The average bounce rate is between 26%-70%. A bounce rate is considered “good” if it lands between 26-40%. 

Is your bounce rate on the higher end? This means that while you are getting traffic to your site, they are not staying very long. You can discover your bounce rate by visiting your google analytics dashboard. A high bounce rate could be due to any of the reasons listed in this blog but is a definitive sign that you should update your website. 

Your Website Has An Expired Security Certificate

There is no doubt that you have visited a website in the past and received the message “This site is not secure.” This means that the website owners have allowed the security certificate to expire. Web browsers have no way to validate that the page belongs to the rightful owner and warns you of the visit. Search engines prioritize sites with security certificates that are up to date on the search engine results page so letting your certificate expire can mean a huge loss in traffic. 

If your website’s security certificate is expired, it is a sign you should update your website. 

Your Website Has No On-page SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of identifying keywords through headings (H1, H2, etc.) and keywords. Competition in search engines is strong in today’s day and age and every site should take advantage of basic SEO best practices on the pages of their website. 

If your site lacks on-page SEO, it is a sign that it could perform much better and that you should update your website. 

Your Website Has a Slow Page Load Time

How quickly does your website load when a visitor clicks on the link? If it is any longer than 5 seconds you will lose visitors. The ideal page load time is 0-2 seconds! Nearly 70% of online consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer. If you have ever sat waiting for a page to load… you understand. 

Site speed is also a factor with SEO and influences how high search engines will rank your page. 

To check your website’s page load time you can use Google’s page speed insights tool. It is free and gives insight into desktop and mobile versions of your site. When evaluating websites with slow page load time oftentimes, the optimization of images and making sure that object caching is turned on can make a big difference!

Your Website Has 404 Errors and/or Requires a Lot of Troubleshooting

Are visitors greeted often by the dreaded “404 error: The page you are visiting is not available” message? If so it is time to update your website. 404 errors indicate that the content clicked on by the user is either deleted or the navigation has changed and not been updated. While many sites have auto redirection enabled on the back end to prevent 404 errors, some do not. It is not a good look to your website visitors when they cannot find what they are looking for. 

Does it feel like your website is always needing a problem fixed? If you find yourself constantly troubleshooting your site, it is a sign you should update your website. Yes, themes, plugins, and servers require updates that cause websites to break but this should not be the norm. If your website is not functioning properly and pulling your attention away from running your business, updating your website will solve this!

Let Dogwood Media Solutions Help

No matter what the driving force behind the decision to update your website is, our crew at Dogwood Media Solutions can help. Whether it is a full website redesign or a smaller-scale website refresh, our trusted team of web developers and web designers will make sure the job is done right. Contact us today to learn more. 

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