When Do You Need a New Website?

Five reasons why you might be ready for a new site.

Wendy Ruyle 3.19.2013

A functioning, well designed website isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s an essential component in the marketing, communications, and operation of your organization. Here are a handful of reasons why you might need a new one.

1. You don’t have one

These days you need a web presence to run just about any organization. The first place your audience is going to look for you is on the web. If you aren’t there, they’re going to move on. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. One page is a great start. Until you are able to create a full site make sure you and your business can be found on social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

2. It’s been four or more years since your last redesign

Web technology changes at light speed. There are site features that are considered table stakes today that weren’t even available a year ago. If your site is four years old or more, you need to review how it is functioning in today’s world. You may not need a complete redesign but there are probably more than a few upgrades that could be implemented to make it easier for your audience to access.

3. You have a new brand

If you’ve changed your name or brand, you should signify it on your website. In many cases it’s the first and maybe only touchpoint with your customers. Make sure to explain the change in look or functionality. Help visitors who visit you regularly through the transition and guide them to find the new features you are offering.

4. Your site is out of date

A dated site can portray your organization as old and perhaps even unreliable. Consider your own web browsing habits. If you get to a site that is dated do you trust that information? Do you make that purchase?

The way your site looks is important but what can be found there is even more so. Audiences crave current content. If your blog hasn’t been updated in six months, you shouldn’t have one. Or, you need to put a system in place so content can be generated and uploaded on a regular basis.

5. Your site isn’t functional

Can your visitors find the information they need? Can your staff update the site in a timely manner? Look at how your site functions on both the input and output side. Ask your customers if they can find what they are looking for. Ask your staff if they need a better content management system to stay on top of updates. If either side is struggling, you need to look at a redesign.

When you’re ready to take the leap, don’t rush in. Identify your big picture goals and your marketing objectives. Look at your current site analytics. Ask your audiences what content they need. Ask your staff what support they need in order to deliver that content. Carefully consider the design and technology you need today but be ready to do it all over again a few years down the line.

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