Nothing feels so great as a fresh, new website design for your business. It looks fantastic, works seamlessly, and you can’t wait for your potential customers to check it out.
With the seemingly constant advances in technology, it might feel as though you need to continually update your website to keep up. New applications, new ways of accessing the Internet, new marketing techniques. All of this can feel frustrating and overwhelming. But is constant change really necessary? How frequently should you change your website design? Today Webics takes a look at the truth of the matter.
Are You On WordPress?
Time and time again, WordPress stands out as the best website building platform on the market. At Webics we build all of our client websites using WordPress. What makes WordPress so great is that its straightforward technology enables users to easily alter a website’s design or theme while keeping everything else (plugins, content, logos) intact. This allows for clean, simple updates in appearance, so your website can be kept current and attractive.
As technology has changed in the past few years, many more users moved their websites over to WordPress, due to its ability to handle SEO and its better functionality, among other reasons. Users on free platforms such as WIX found that SEO was not supported by this platform, which was certainly detrimental. Other platforms did not allow for mobile-friendly web design or for easy viewing on a mobile device, and with more web users accessing the Internet via mobile devices than ever before, it was clearly time to make the jump to a mobile-optimised platform like WordPress.
Keeping Up With SEO Changes
One of the most common reasons to update a site design is to keep your SEO tactics current. For example, over the past few years, Google used Authorship in its search engine rankings. During this period, Authorship code needed to be hardcoded into websites, but as of just recently, Google has ceased using Authorship in its rankings. Keeping abreast of constantly changing SEO practices is a good way to know when your design needs a bit of tweaking.
The Dangers of Changing Too Often
Some website managers get overly hooked on the idea of constant redesign, but this can be detrimental. A complete rebuilding of a site can wreak havoc on search engine results. This could occur if you create an entirely new site but fail to use the same URLs on the new site. Longevity of a site is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your website, as it allows for organic SEO growth. An older site with a couple of years of history has the advantage of developing a better Google Page Rank.
Your rankings are also affected by the number of repeat visitors to your website. However, your repeat visitors may find a constantly changing site design frustrating and off-putting. Most users like familiarity and enjoy pages which they can navigate with ease. Sites that have a very large following will often implement their changes very subtly and gradually, as to not disturb the user’s experience too dramatically.
So, When Should You Change Your Website Design?
A redesign every 18 months to two years is a pretty good rule of thumb when it comes to website appearance. But there are several circumstances that will help you know when it’s time for that update.
- If your website is outdated.
This may seem obvious, but there is an alarming number of websites on the Internet that are stuck in the past. If your site works slowly, is too “loud” or crowded in design, or has an otherwise “old-fashioned” look, now is probably the time to give it an exciting, modern look.
- If your site does not work on mobile devices.
Nowadays, nearly everyone has a smartphone. You want your website to look just as flawless on an iPhone screen as it does on your laptop. If your website is not optimised for mobile devices, you need to change over to a responsive website design pronto.
- When it will improve user experience.
Examining analytics over the past several months can provide great insight into how visitors are using and experiencing your page. As you make changes, you will want to keep this in mind, working to streamline processes for users and enhance and improve their overall experience. In short, you want them to engage with your website more and more.
Things to Keep in Mind
Updating your website does NOT have to mean a complete redesign or a total change in appearance. Rather, subtle, but effective changes will be better for your site. You can alter colours and fonts to provide a fresh perspective, or you can update your site images to keep current. Having a blog on your site which you update frequently is an excellent way to continually ‘change’ your website, as it offers brand new, often shareable content for site visitors as well as helps to improve search engine rankings.
Most importantly, your website design should be focused on your customers/site visitors. More than anything, you want Internet users to come to your site, learn about your business, and buy your products and services. A simple, easy-to-use site that looks both professional and beautiful (and can handle SEO) will be exactly what you need.