With many things, one can adopt a “if it ain’t broke it, don’t fix it” mentality. But, it’s not always easy to know when your website is broken and is need of fixing. I’ve compiled a list of some of the more common issues you may be facing with your website that could indicate it’s time to starting thinking about a new one – or at least updating the old one. Most of these can be fixed without a full rebuild, if that’s not in your budget, but you should probably still start planning on a rebuild in the near future as it likely only a temporary solution.
Your site design is not responsive
A responsive site design is one that adjusts to give a comparable experience to all users no matter if they’re using a smartphone or tablet to view your site, or a 4000px wide computer monitor. It’s a design concept that has been around for a fairly long time, but even still, old responsive designs don’t necessarily account for very large devices or some new tags that can give a better experience across different devices.
While it is technically possible to work around this with a plugin or by altering your current design to include responsiveness, the plugins don’t always give the best results, and retrofitting your code can cost almost as much as building a new site.
If you’re not sure if your site is responsive, there’s a few tests you can do yourself:
- look at your website on your smartphone and tablet. Be sure to turn the device sideways, too, to make sure things don’t go haywire that way.
- use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test tool. Google use mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, so if your site isn’t mobile friendly or responsive, it could be hurting your ability to be found by potential customers.
- visit your site in a browser and manually resize the browser window to make it narrower, or use CTRL+ ‘-‘ (CTRL plus minus button) on a Windows machine to zoom out to mimic what happens on smaller or larger screens. This isn’t perfect, but it can give you a good idea what your site can look like on those devices.
Does your website look like it was built in the 1990s? Do you have one of those narrow websites centered horizontally in the middle of the screen? (Or worse narrow and stuck to the left side of the screen!) Although there are some kitschy businesses that may be able to get away with this sort of look, most business need a modern-looking site or you run the risk of losing potential business because you don’t look like you know about current issues your target audience may be facing.
This is maybe the only issue that can’t really be fixed short of building a new website. Although it might be possible to retrofit or add/change the code to make it look more modern, if you’re dealing with a really narrow website because you haven’t touched your website in 10 years, chances are the content and branding could use some review as well.
Doesn’t Match Your Brand
Does this sound like you – you built a site several years ago when you first launched your business, but your services, your design aesthetic, or your target audience has changed, and you haven’t updated your website? This could be affecting the kind of visitor that is reaching out to connect with you through your site.
Sometimes you might be able to get away with a new logo , some new colors, and a content audit. This can help to make sure your website gives the right first impression. But, depending on how extensive your changes might be, starting over might be the right idea.
Not Getting Traffic from Search
Do you know where you traffic is coming from? Are you frustrated because you’re putting all kinds of effort into content creation and you’re on every social media channel and you’re still not getting traffic to your site? This could be indicative of a problem with your search optimization, either from the technical side or the content, or it could signal a disconnect between your efforts and your target audience.
Not Converting Customers
Are you getting a lot of traffic to your site but not getting a lot of engagement or connections and inquiries? It could partly be due to a natural human inclination to not “buy” on the first visit, but it could also be because your content, design, branding, or functionality is not connecting with your target audience.
Increasing traffic to a broken system isn’t going to fix the problem. This is when you need to evaluate the whole site and your customer map to see where the disconnect is happening.
Site Has Been Hacked
Any website has the potential to get hacked. It doesn’t matter if you have a simple brochure site or a robust e-commerce site, or what platform your site is built on – your site is a target. No system is perfect. Having a website hacked can be a very frustrating experience. I practically preach about website backups because I know that having regular, reliable backups can be the key to getting your site back quickly after a hack.
If your site has been hacked and you don’t have a backup, this can be a good opportunity to reevaluate your site and consider taking it in a different direction.
Site is Running Slowly
A slow website affect your visitor’s experience while using your website as well as your search engine ranking – and may be incredibly frustrating to you while you’re trying to update your site.
There are many factors that can affect the loading speed and performance of a website. If you’re feeling frustrated by your site, you can request a complimentary speed audit and use the results to see where your site needs the most help.
Site Isn’t Working At All!
If your website isn’t working at all, you probably need a new site. Depending on the error or issue involved, it might be fixable, but it could also be a goner. (This is another area where having backups can come in handy. Even if you need to rebuild the site, having the content to start with can be a real time-saver.)
If you can say ‘yes’ to one or more of the above issues, it may be time to redesign or rebuild your website. If you would like to discuss the options available to you, please fill out the Project Information Worksheet and I’ll get in touch as soon as I can.