In today’s day and age, having a website is a basic requirement for every business, company, freelancer, or any other kind of professional. Your website can serve a multitude of purposes, from being strictly informational to a full-fledged online market for your products and services.
All of this isn’t new knowledge; websites have had significant importance for years now, which also means a lot of companies, businesses, etc. had their sites built years ago. The good thing about websites is that they are usually pretty easy to expand in functionality and size, so they can be used for a number of years if the right adjustments are made to adhere to the advancement and growth of your business. But we must not forget that software and web development are ever advancing, and new technologies seem to be appearing on the market almost on a daily basis.
There will come the point when your site and the technology it was built on won’t be able to provide you with the most optimal performance regardless of how much effort you put into patching up and updating it. Unfortunately, some people don’t realize this until it takes a noticeable toll on their business, causing their online reputation and revenue to deteriorate. To help you be aware of your site’s worn-out condition before it’s too late, in this article, we will talk about the signs that signalize that it’s time to say goodbye to your current site and invest in developing a new one.
It’s not responsive
Considering that the era of PCs is long gone, most people visiting your website will be coming from mobile devices. For this reason, it is of great importance that your website works and looks good on smaller sized screens. Mobile-first design is all the rage in the dev world now, and if your site was built years ago, it probably wasn’t built following the mobile-first development practices.
Hiring a good web developer to make an older site look decent on mobile screens could work. But, to be honest, that version of your site will never look 100% right. Getting a new mobile-friendly site will probably be a better investment than trying to make an old one somewhat acceptable. If you are ready for these changes, our suggestion would be to take a look at Website Advisor articles and choose a website builder for your new site.
It’s stopping SEO and conversions
Most modern websites are created with two things in mind, SEO and conversions, but when it comes to older sites, everything from their design, down to their structure could be having a bad effect on both their SEO and conversion rates. Depending on its age, the state the site is in, and the SEO audit, even the most advanced optimization tools can fail to make it perform significantly better in the eyes of the search engines and the visitors.
Making any change takes forever
As said earlier, for a mature site to keep running, a lot of changes, adjustments, and updates have to be done to it quite often. New sites get the same things done to them as well; that is how they are able to give the best performance and fully support the growth of the business. Making changes, adjustments, and updates on new sites is usually a piece of cake. With older sites, it’s a bit of a different story.
Sometimes even a small change on an older site can take hours even days to implement, and the person making the change has to be skilled in both old and new technologies.
When you get to the point where you are struggling to make even a minor change or update on your site, that is a sure sign that it might have reached its limits when it comes to flexibility and functionality.
Your site doesn’t reflect your branding
Every business/company goes through the process of rebranding, sometimes even more than once. It can be done in order for the business/company to be able to keep up with the current trends or just to freshen things up. Regardless of the reason for the rebranding, if your site isn’t able to reflect your branding no matter how hard you work on redesigning it, then it is no longer a site that can accurately represent your company/business or your brand, and no longer a site that is truly doing its job.
It takes too long to load
Your loading time has a huge effect on your SEO, but also an even bigger effect on something even more important, and that is user experience.
An average internet user won’t wait longer than 4 seconds for a site to load before they bounce right off it, so you need to make sure your load times are below that limit.
Loading time can be decreased using a number of methods, from compressing images to optimizing the code of the website, but with older websites sometimes even that can’t do the trick. Often, they are simply not capable of loading any faster. You might have optimized it to the point that it is now performing at its maximum, but that “maximum” could be a “below average” by current standards.
It can’t provide all the necessary functionalities
Expansion in business is great, but what isn’t so great is when you need to use the services from other sites in order to support that expansion. For example, besides just showcasing your products on your site, you decided to start selling them as well. Now, what your site needs is an online shop section, but unfortunately, it isn’t able to support one, so you are forced to make the sales using the services an external site such as eBay.
If your customers came to purchase something you provide, they would also expect that they can do so directly from your site and not have to be redirected to an external one. Them being redirected might be reason enough for them do give up on the purchase completely. This is just one example of how you might be spending your revenue on functionalities that are essential to your business but can’t be provided to you by your site. Rather than continuing to do so, a wiser idea would be for you to invest that money in building a new site which will have all the necessary functionalities to fully support your business and to make your customers fully satisfied.
You’re afraid to update it
In some more serious cases, you might be scared to even attempt to change/update something since it could lead to your whole site crashing down.
If your site is that fragile that you have to at any cost avoid making changes/updates, that site is no longer serving you, but you are serving it by putting effort into keeping it alive.
Content can only be uploaded by a person with technical skills
What we often see on older sites is stale information and content. Not necessarily because the people managing the site are lazy to update the information and content, but because somebody capable of doing so has to be around to do it, which usually means a skilled web developer. Unlike most websites today, where uploading and updating content and information is very straightforward and easy, older sites are not so user-friendly when it comes to that aspect, which leaves people who manage older sites but don’t possess any web development skills at somewhat of a dead end. Certainly, a place your site should never lead you to.
Bounce rate is through the roof
At the beginning of the article, we talked about the fact that older sites can struggle with being SEO optimized and achieving high rates of conversion. One thing that goes hand in hand with poor SEO and low conversion rates is a high bounce rate.
The reason people are bouncing right off of your site without really giving it a fair chance might be because of its dated appearance, slow performance, or lack of content and functionality.
Regardless of the reason behind it, a consistently high bounce rate on a site that has quite a few years under its belt might be a good indication that the site has run its course.
If you have recognized some of these signs from your own website, we’re sorry to hear that. We know to say goodbye to a site isn’t the easiest task, and building a new one might take some work, but try and look to the bright side. That old faulty website will now be replaced by something that performs well, accurately represents your brand, fully supports your business, gives your customers the user experience they deserve, and of course, brings in revenue. Not a bad substitute if we’re honest.