The three most important reasons to update your website are keeping the look of your website modern and contemporary, making sure the functionality is up-to-date, and to optimize the website for viewing on mobile devices.
We are often asked by clients “How often should I update my website?” Most developers, including us, recommend a redesign and upgrading of a business website every two to four years. That is not a gimmick so we can make money. Like my mother always said, “Never ask a barber if you need a haircut”. It stands to reason that if you ask someone who designs websites for a living, they will say “Sure, update it all the time”! There are several practical reasons why updating your website on a regular basis is a good idea for you and your business.
Why do I need to update my website?
To be clear, we are talking about updating the look and functionality of your website every couple of years. When we recommend someone update their website, we are not talking about entirely changing their branding, logo, color scheme and content. Quite the contrary, it is vital to your business to keep your entire brand intact, including logo, colors and font, across all of your print and electronic media. Any change in any aspect of your brand should be taken with a great deal of caution.
That being said, here are the three most important reasons why you should regularly update your website: making sure your website looks modern and up-to-date, keeping all functionality updated, and making sure that your website looks good on all devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, etc.
Keeping the look of your website modern
The arts, such as dance, music, visual arts, cinema, live theater, etc. reflect the times they are from. That is why the arts are constantly changing, because people and society are constantly changing and evolving. Just think about what you listened to on the radio as a kid (The Beatles and Styx for me), and compare it to what kids are listening to these days. Some of it is ok, but much of it is very hard on old ears. Websites are just the same. There are some very creative, artistic developers in the world who are continually pushing the boundaries of style, and what a website should look like. Have you ever come across an old website, and you just knew it was old by the layout, the look, and the functionality? When people come to your website, you want to let them know that you are keeping up with the times with your website and therefore, your business.
Websites are powered by software. Software continually gets updated. You need to keep your website up to date with the latest improvements in your software that runs your website. We had a client recently who came to us because her website hadn’t been touched in years, and she thought the pictures were fading or “getting lost on the internet”. As it turns out, we just had to update the plugins on her website, and everything came back. On a side note, she was so surprised by what could happen to her website when it was neglected for that many years that we ended up redesigning her old website, and she hosts her website with our company now, and we update software every week.
It may be difficult to remember that the Apple iPhone was just released to the public in 2007, with updates and improvements happening constantly. Just think how ubiquitous the smart phone is today, a little more than a decade later. About 3.5 billion Google searches are conducted each day, and an astounding 63% of those searches are done on mobile devices such as an iPhone or an Android. Is your website optimized for smart phone or tablet? Does it look good on the smaller screen? Is it fully functional on a phone? Is it easy to navigate? If you haven’t checked lately, it might be a learning experience for you to go on your phone right now, pull up your business website, and try to navigate around like the majority of your clients.
There are other reasons to keep your website updated, such as helping your search engine optimization and user experience, but these three: look, functionality and mobile optimization, are the three most important to consider.