The Web is a constantly evolving medium where trends come and go every year, technologies advance and tastes change, but it wasn't so long ago that simply having a website in the first place meant that you were ahead of the curve. If you rely on your website as a tool for establishing your business's presence online, then it is crucial that you take every step to ensure that your website stays up to scratch, particularly given the enormous competition that you are likely face. If you have decided it is time to audit your website's performance, content and usability, be sure to look out for the factors mentioned in this article. On the other hand, it may not have even occurred to you that your website is ready for a redesign, in which case you may be surprised be the following points:

1) It Isn't Mobile-Friendly

While smartphones only became mainstream a few years ago, they have now taken the world by storm and almost everybody seems to have one. More than a fifth of Google searches and half of local searches are carried out using a mobile device. In fact, 2014 is predicted to see mobile Web browsing overtake desktop browsing, so if your website isn't well adapted to the smaller screens and touch-operated input of today's mobile devices, then you are going to end up getting left behind. You absolutely must accommodate mobile users these days, whether by using adaptive Web design techniques or providing a separate version of your site for mobile users.

2) It Relies on Flash

Your website should be written in HTML, CSS & JavaScript. Other programming languages like Flash cannot really add any useful additional functionality to your website and only serve a purpose in certain Web-based applications. What's more is that the search engines cannot crawl such content, and this makes anything hidden behind Flash completely inaccessible to them. Flash has been outdated for over five years, and most platforms no longer support it at all. If your website relies on Flash for navigation and usability, it is definitely time for a complete redesign.

3) It's Slow

It shouldn't come as any surprise that people have a rather short attention span when browsing the Web, particularly when they are being constantly inundated with a seemingly endless supply of information. With Internet connection speeds getting faster and faster, most of today's Web users will turn away if it takes any more than about three seconds for a homepage to load. Slow websites don't just infuriate your visitors - they also hurt your standing with the search engines. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to improve website performance such as by changing your hosting package or provider, optimizing your images and using caching for dynamic websites.

4) It's Difficult to Update

In the early years of the Internet, all websites were static, and any changes had to be hard-coded into each individual page. Today, static websites are gradually fading from popularity to make way for dynamic, content-driven websites such as blogs and other frequently updated sites. For the sake of your visitors and your standing with the search engines, you should always keep content relevant, and this means keeping your site up-to-date. Using a content management system enables you to add, edit and delete content on your site, as well as configure its entire look and feel, with ease. With a CMS, little or no knowledge of coding is necessary.

5) It Looks Outdated

Web design trends can change at an alarming rate, and there's a good chance, that if your website is even only three years old, it simply looks outdated by now. For the sake of instilling a sense of trust and brand loyalty, having a cutting-edge website is essential. If you are still using things like background music, Flash animation or outdated copyright information, your website is hardly going to look very professional or serious in its approach. Modern Web design trends include enhanced typography, infinite scrolling, parallax scrolling, responsive design which scales to the size of the screen or window and simplified design and color schemes.

6) Your Requirements Have Changed

As your business itself grows and evolves, so will its requirements, and if you have barely made any changes to your website in the last few years, it is probably about time you revamped it. In such a case, launching a new website may be exactly what your business needs in order to re-establish its online image and effectively start its online marketing campaign from scratch. Likewise, if you have changed your brand image, you'll also need to make sure that this is reflected through your website. Don't underestimate the fact, that as the hub of your online operations, your website is one of your business's most important assets.

comments powered by Disqus