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Prepare for Ongoing Investment in Your Website

Guest Post by Natalie Rose, NOVA Web Group

A website is not meant to be built to last. That may surprise you coming from me. I create terrific, well-built sites, but even the best websites don’t last forever. They just don’t.

Your website is an investment, not a one-off purchase. It is not “one and done”, and needs to continuously evolve. To stay relevant, a website requires routine maintenance and more. There has to be a plan to keep things fresh and vital.

Software and Code Must Be Maintained

Just about every website uses third-party software. This includes a CMS, like WordPress, and plugins that add functionality. Sometimes, there is custom code as well.

Software and coding all need to be regularly updated. Coding standards evolve. The requirements for best practices and user expectations do too.

Your Business Changes

Websites are created to address current and anticipated business needs. But, our ability to predict the future is usually limited at best. Who could have predicted the changes COVID would bring!

Your website needs regular evaluation to make sure it is keeping up with your business. You don’t want your website to ever be out of sync with what is making your business grow today.

The Web Is Evolving Still

You already know that technology evolves at break-neck speed. How often do you need to replace your cell phone, update your laptop software and hardware? The changes just don’t stop.

Websites aren’t different. WordPress changes, plugins change, and new options come online all the time.

User needs and expectations change right along with technology. Your website needs to adapt!

Get Expert Help

The work is far from done when you launch your site. You need to keep on top of how web opportunities are changing so that you can keep you on top of what matters most to your success. That means standard maintenance as well as larger improvements.

The best way to make your site last is to hire a professional web developer to pay attention to these needs for you. Your site won’t last forever, but a developer partner can help you never be left behind!

Does Your Website Need a Redesign? Take the Test

Does your website need a redo? Take the test. The more YES answers, the more likely you need a redesign.

Do you get a failing grade in Google’s speed checker?

Google’s page speed analyzer will give you a rating. If you are in the yellow or red zone, your site is too slow. Slow websites reduce user satisfaction. Worse, slow speed can negatively impact search rank.

Is it hard to make updates and add new features?

Are you struggling to add new pages, content or features? Modern tools make all of these easy to do, without the intervention of a web developer.

Is the site branding outdated?

Brands evolve over time and your website needs to reflect your latest. Color, typography, logos, and images communicate a brand’s values and leave a lasting impression on visitors.

Do text and images get cut off on mobile devices?

Most web browsing happens on mobile devices these days. If your site does not work well on small screens, you are turning away site visitors.

Is your content missing from the first page of results for key search terms?

Major search engines use hundreds of factors to rank websites, including usability, content, and design. If you aren’t ranking for important search phrases, it may be time for changes.

Do visitors tell you they can’t find what they need?

This can be a sign of missing content or confusing navigation. Simple navigation leads to the best user experience.

Time to refresh?

There are many reasons a website may be struggling. You may need a refresh or a complete redo. I can help you explore your options and get your website working hard for you. Contact me today and let’s get started.

New Year, New Website?

Your website is your online home base. How’s it holding up? Is it time for a redo or a refresh?

Your website is your most valuable marketing asset. It has a significant impact on your online visibility and user experience. If your website design isn’t generating marketing results, it may be time to change things up.

7 Hints Your Site May Need an Update

1. You can’t perform site updates

If you can’t update your site regularly and easily it is time for a new site! You can’t market effectively with stale content. You just can’t.

2. Your web pages load slowly

Every one-second delay in page load time reduces usability. People are impatient! They will leave before they ever see a word of your content. Search engines know this and actually down-rank slow sites. Speed matters.

3. Your design is outdated

Does your website design reflect your current brand? Color, typography, logos, and images communicate a brand’s values and leave a lasting impression on visitors. Does the design reflect modern aesthetics? Your site design visually communicates the “freshness” of your brand.

4. Your site looks bad on mobile

Everyone uses their phones to do everything. If your site doesn’t work well on small screens, your business will suffer. Again, search engines down-rank sites that don’t render properly on mobile devices.

5. You don’t rank well on search engines

If you aren’t ranking for important search phrases, it is time to update your site. The cause can be stale content or stale development. Whatever the cause, you need to fix it. If you aren’t visible on search, you aren’t marketing to anyone online.

6. You are missing important functionality

“Important” varies by industry, but if your site does not have the tools your clients expect, it needs an update. This could be an appointment tool or a chat feature. It could be the ability to make purchases or reservations online. If you don’t have what your customer expects, you are losing business.

7. Cluttered navigation

We are all done with too much navigation. We expect few choices and streamlined surfing. Users today expect to scroll, not click. If you still have multiple menus and lots of drop down choices, you need to streamline.

Time to refresh?

These items may indicate a need to refresh your existing site or develop a completely new site. Your budget may also impact how much you can do at once or whether incremental changes are best.

What you can’t do is ignore your site. Make a plan to make the changes you need. Likely, the effort will pay for itself.

Let me know if I can help you determine the best way to get your website working at top performance for you.