Things to Consider
Some of you are thinking if it’s time to redo your website, or if there are aspects that need updating? These tips will help you determine whether to tweak things a bit or to redesign your website completely.
- What is your copyright date – is it 2015? We’ll wait while you check (cue Jeopardy music). Hopefully it auto updated for you (PHP sites usually do, but not all). If it isn’t, this is a fairly simple coding fix depending on where it resides – hire a web designer or developer to help.
- Does your contact form work? These do go bad, so it’s worth checking.
- Is your WordPress version 4.1? Backup your website first, then update. Security is the main reason you want to have the latest. Malware fixes due to out-of-date software are $$$ or $$$$. Ouch. If you are uncomfortable doing this, get a web designer to help. Don’t be an ostrich now – security will nail you. It is not a matter of if, but when!
- Are your plugins up to date and working? Login to your dashboard and install Better Plugin Compatibility Control, which will show you what versions of WordPress your plugins are working with to help evaluate.
- Any broken links? Use Broken Link Checker to scan your site, but if you install this plugin, be sure to remove it once you are done – it is a bit of a resource hog for your server and slows your website.
- Check individual pages – everything look ok? Video links broken, images not showing?
- How about your content (text)? Is it up to date? Does it answer questions for potential clients? Reading through it is worth an hour or two to be sure.
- "Powered Proudly by WordPress" in the footer? Yikes! You are a business, you don’t want it to look like "cousin Joe the tech wiz" did your website. Remove it.
Web Trends and Tech Changes – Time for a Redesign?
Here are some points to consider when deciding if it’s time for a redo or refresh to stay current.
- Text size. You should be using at least 16 pixel font sizes (not points) for best readability. If you are on 12, your site is hard for folks to read for retina screens (most things Apple) and mobile devices. If they have to squint, they may leave.
- Outdated web trends. Do you have a content box that has large rounded corners (vertical rectangle with all your website text)? This technique was really overused in recent years and about as current as those bell-bottom pants in the closet. (Oh and skip sliders – they are trending out because they don’t convert site visitors.)
- Has it been more than three years and you have a desktop-only website? Responsive design (mobile-friendly) is now marked by Google in search results on mobile devices. It is the standard. If you aren’t mobile friendly, you’re frustrating website visitors. Mobile usage surpassed desktop usage in 2014 for websites.
- Okay, enough about mobile – if your site was produced more than three years ago, the bottom line is it’s old! Flash has "left the building," web browsers are constantly updating, computers and devices are always changing… yikes! Functionality may come into question with outdated code and expired web trends like an embossed button just look like you don’t care about your online presence. Remember: people go to your website to check your business out! Time for a refresh.
If you are an established business, consider hiring a pro to redesign your website. After all, you wouldn’t hire a plumber to do your taxes, would you?
Web designers can customize design solutions that best fit your audience. They know all those pesky trends, and will keep you looking professional. Make 2015 the year your website design is part of your marketing toolkit.
Will you be updating your website this year?
Susi Schuele says
Excellent advice Nancy! All great tips and “must-do’s” for 2015. Thanks for a great post!
Nancy Seeger says
Thanks so much Susi!
Charlie Walkrich says
Thank you for your great suggestions! I will start working on it immediately. Thank you, Nancy.