How to tell when your website needs a makeover

In News, Social & Digital Media by Andie Poole

We are thrilled to unveil Martin Waymire’s new digital ‘do. This website has been a labor of love. We built the website internally, on top of our daily work for clients, and everyone on the team contributed to the makeover, from the copy to the beautiful photos. We’re excited to share more content on a weekly basis through our blog and social media channels. But before that, we wanted to share a few tips for recognizing when your website might need a makeover.

1. It’s not responsive (a.k.a. not mobile friendly).

More than half of digital traffic online now comes from mobile devices through mobile apps. A comScore report says smartphones and tablets account for 60 percent of all online traffic. And earlier this year, Google updated its algorithm to rank sites it labels as “mobile-friendly” higher on search results (an update industry analysts referred to as “Mobilegeddon,” specifically for websites that were not prepared). If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you are missing out on potential visitors and likely providing a poor experience for people trying to access your site from their mobile device.

How can you tell if your site is responsive? If you’re on a desktop, try reducing the width of your browser window. You can also try to open the website on your smart phone. Responsive sites are coded so that as the window shrinks, elements will automatically adjust and stack so they are readable. An older practice was to create a completely separate mobile site, so when the site detected you were viewing it on a mobile device, it would serve you the mobile version. These sites are usually more basic and may leave out elements that the desktop version includes. The problem with separate mobile sites is that it means whoever updates your website has two websites to maintain and keep current. More and more sites are trending toward responsive designs to avoid this issue.

2. It’s difficult to update.

Once upon a time, websites were built and updated only by web developers who were experts in coding. Anytime anyone wanted updates to their site, they would have to go through a developer. Today, it’s fairly easy to get a website up and running with little to no technical expertise. Organizations are investing in content management systems (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal to make it easy for anyone at their company to update the website. But even these CMS’s will become dated and need a refresh every now and then, which leads me to…

3. It’s been more than four years since you last updated your site.

And I don’t mean just updating the text. Just like most organizations go through an annual or bi-annual strategic planning process, your website should reflect your organization’s goals, and those are likely to change slightly from year to year. And with how quickly the technology landscape changes, your site that’s four or more years old is likely way behind the latest web usability trends.

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You don’t have to do it alone. It’s worth the investment to work with outside professionals to bring your digital doorstep up to speed and make sure your site is usable and secure. Martin Waymire can help guide you through this process, from vendor selection to content strategy to copy writing.

Thanks for checking out our new digs. We can’t wait to share more.