When Should I Update My Website?

Best Practices for When You Should Update Your Website

Should I Update My Website?
June 30, 2016 Eddie Renz

When it comes to updating your website you should always ask yourself the question, “What is my purpose for doing this?” As a business owner I update my site as often as I can to show that I want to keep things current and fresh, but also because I know the value of content when it comes to SEO ranking. If I want to get more customers for a specific keyword then I might write a few blog posts that have to do with that set of keywords. However, since I am in the business of design then I would also like my site to be on-trend. If you use a Mac or Apple device then you will probably notice that over time the icons in the dock have gotten subtle facelifts with each new iteration of their operating system.

I think that at the core if your website has good bones, then your cosmetic updates will be affordable and give you a good return on your investment. However, if your website is poorly constructed then no amount of cosmetic updates can fix your problem. It’s like that junker cars that have really nice wheels, you have to wonder why they even bothered.

At ChemistCreative we are a huge fan of Entrepreneur Magazine and we found this recent article on their website that will further this discussion:

How Often Should You Update or Rebuild Your Website?

This story appears in the 2015 issue of EntrepreneurSubscribe »

When it comes to updating your business website in a timely manner, the one rule is this: There are no rules. That’s according to Christian Riggs, president of Riggs Creative Group, a user-experience design and website development firm in San Diego. Riggs says that deciding whether to update, redesign or reengineer your site should depend entirely on your business goals, objectives and economic considerations, rather than on some superficial time frame pulled out of thin air. We asked him to explain.

Q: Why would I redesign the look and feel of my website but not rebuild it?

A: A variety of factors can make a redesign worth considering, but here are several that almost always require an update. You’ve got new branding and color standards, and you need to make sure your new look extends to your website. Your bounce rates are extremely high, meaning people visit but few convert; a well-thought-out redesign can turn this around. Or your business has grown, and plans call for new products and services; your site’s design may need to reflect that change. Last, your customers complain about your site, claiming that it looks outdated or doesn’t work well.

Q: What developments might require me to reengineer my website from scratch?

A: The most important one is if your current site doesn’t adapt to mobile device screens. Fixing this is an absolute must in today’s mobile-driven world. Another would be if your site was originally built using Flash: Apple’s iPads and iPhones don’t support Flash. That’s reason enough to rebuild, but there’s another reason: Flash can slow your site down.

Anyone in your company should be able to learn and use your content management system (CMS) to update your site. You shouldn’t have to hire a programmer to make simple changes and fixes. Along those same lines of keeping things simple: If your site takes forever to load, you need to reengineer the backend. Nobody puts up with long waits anymore.

Q: Should I invite my customers to be part of the redesign process?

A: Yes! Customer opinion and feedback give you the kind of insights that convert visitors into customers. Start by asking what they think of your proposed design and if it appeals to them. Then ask about the problem they’re looking to solve and if the information they need access to is easy to find in the new design. After you relaunch the site, ask them again if they like it. If they say no, address their concerns through incremental design enhancements, which your new site should allow you to do without starting over.

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