In case it’s not obvious, I completely redesigned my website over the holidays. This has become an annual tradition for me. Every holiday break, I give my website a refresh. Sometimes it’s just a tweak here and there, and other times, it’s a totally new look like this year. As a web designer, this is a great way for me to showcase new design techniques and features I’ve learned and to give me a way to share those with clients and potential customers.
How do you know when your own website needs a redesign? Maybe you’ve noticed your traffic falling off, or when you look at your website you just know you aren’t making the best impression you should. Here are some telltale signs it’s time to update your website design:
It’s not responsive
A mobile responsive website isn’t an option anymore. It’s a must. Mobile responsive design will adjust to each screen size. Google flags sites that aren’t mobile-friendly and they don’t get the same treatment in rankings as those that are. That means your competitor’s mobile responsive website has an edge over your older, non-responsive website.
It’s been 3-5 years since you launched your website
Yes, things change constantly with technology and a website built three years ago might need a redo. Perhaps the theme used published years before your website was launched. Maybe your business focus has changed and your old design no longer highlights the services you are focused on. Photos could be of old employees or jobs you’ve long moved on from. These are all red flags that you need to consider a new design.
You can’t update your theme, plugins or PHP version without things breaking
While this can also be a hosting issue, another common occurrence with older website designs is the inability to update things properly. Perhaps the theme breaks when you try to upgrade your PHP version. Or a plugin used in your design displays and error. How much time are you spending trying to keep your website up without errors?
It’s slow to load
Does your website take more than 3 seconds to load? You can check that on GTMetrix. This is another big issue for Google search. Google and your site visitors want your site to pop up in an instant. An old design can be the culprit. It could also be that the hosting plan you paid for years ago isn’t up to the job for new designs.
You’re getting less traffic
Is traffic just dropping off slowly over time and you don’t know why? Are you competitors in shiny new designs while you are trying to make it work? Maybe you don’t even track your site analytics but know the phone stopped ringing.
You never added an SSL to your website
Google announced back in 2018 that SSL certificates (https://) were needed for everyone. Not just websites with shopping carts and payment gateways. If you have been resisting this, it’s time to accept that it’s a must-have, just like your annual domain and hosting.
Do you want me to look it over?
If you have a feeling you need to update your website design and just aren’t sure, please reach out for a courtesy website audit!
I would be happy to give your website a look over and let you know if it’s indeed time to refresh your design.