Does Your Website Need an Overhaul? Three Situations When the Answer is Always Yes
Have you ever driven off proudly after purchasing a brand new car?
If so, you know that feeling of excitement and promise. And that new-car feeling brings confidence that your sweet ride will be comfortable and trouble-free for a long, long time.
A new website is a lot like a brand new car.
Just like your new Mazda requires oil changes and car washes, your website needs regular maintenance to keep purring.
And while a neglected website ages quickly, a well-maintained site will give you unparalleled peace of mind for a lifespan of about five years.
But just like with cars, there comes a time when regular website updates won’t do the trick, and it’s time to invest – again – in a shiny new one that takes advantage of the latest technology and trends to welcome and convert your target customers.
I understand it can be hard to know when it’s OK to do maintenance and when it’s time to say goodbye to Ol’ Bessy and start fresh.
I want you to feel confident in saying “yes” to a new site. So here are three scenarios where building a new website from scratch is a must.
1. You’re Rebranding
Has your team recently pivoted?
Maybe you’re narrowing in on a particular niche, moving into a new market, or repositioning your offerings at a new price point. Perhaps you’ve decided on a new style, color palette, tagline, or overall messaging strategy.
A new stage in business calls for a new and improved website.
A new website, of course, costs more than making piecemeal changes to your existing site. But the money you may save will cost you in the end if it comes at the expense of your customers being presented with half-baked marketing, an unclear call-to-action, or plain ignorance of what your competition is doing.
To stand out from the competition, your newly focused brand needs to look seamless, while presenting a clear message and a simple call-to-action.
Rebranding means ensuring that all your brand assets fit together and flow together. Your website is no exception.
A company rebrand calls for a major overhaul of your site at the very least, if not a whole new website structure to accommodate a major new product or service, or a fresh approach to sales.
2. You’re Aging Out
Technology is continually evolving.
If it’s been more than five years since you built your website, it’s time for an upgrade – regardless of whether or not your brand is undergoing any major shifts.
Even if you’re happy with the current state of your branding, messaging, and color palette, cleaning up your backend and keeping your software up to date is vital to your overall business health.
Just as updating your mobile phone every few years is necessary to keep everything functioning, the same is true for your website.
Old software and scripts won’t have the bandwidth or capability to keep up with new design elements, browser trends, and web functionality. Plugins may stop working. Formatting may no longer work as it was meant to.
And your site will look out-of-date, which is equally bad for business.
Like any business structure – whether physical or digital – keeping your website “up to code” is crucial.
3. Your Business Is Shifting
Entering into a new market or industry? Targeting a new client base? Expanding your service offerings? Expanding your small business team to medium-sized?
If so, a new website is a good idea.
As business owners, we often assume that people know what we’re trying to sell them and how they can buy it.
But our prospects can’t read minds, so it’s essential to guide people through the journey via your website and explain your services in a fresh, new way – especially as your brand is changing.
Be aware there’s a bit of a sweet spot to timing your website update.
You don’t want to build a new site before you’re certain where your business is going – you can’t draw a reliable map of a road that doesn’t exist yet.
But once that direction is set, it’s better to be ahead of the curve and have your site built before you start marketing to clients.
Still skeptical about a whole new website?
If you don’t build a new site when the time comes, you might not lose money right away.
But in a year or two, the impact of not giving your online presence a refresher will reveal itself. And it’ll hurt.
If you don’t invest the necessary resources to make sure your website is up-to-date with your most recent brand offerings and marketing approach, your prospects will show loyalty to a competitor that clearly establishes how they brilliantly serve their customers.
Your brand presentation is also a reflection of how you show up for your customers.
Developing and maintaining a well-designed website builds trust, which is key to building long-standing professional relationships and communicating a high level of care for the individuals you serve.
Just as a good car salesman won’t try to convince you to buy a car you don’t like, though, I’m not here to push a new website project on you. Many websites only need smaller updates or can function well with maintenance within that five-year window if no other major changes are afoot.
But I hope these guidelines bring you peace with your decision to invest in a new site if you find yourself in one of the situations I’ve described.
Just imagine that new-car feeling and take the plunge!
Is it the right time for you to start fresh with a new website? Grab my Project Start guide to begin the conversation.
- Think of your website like a car. Every new website will need regular maintenance. But at some point, it will be time to start fresh if you want it to stay sharp and reliable.
- Websites have a lifespan. If your website is five years old (or older), it may be time to trade it in for a newly-built site, equipped with up-to-date software, messaging, and functionality.
- Rethink your website as you rebrand. From your messaging strategy all the way down to the nuts and bolts of how your website is developed, a business pivot is a crucial time to consider where your website stands.
- Your website reflects your brand. Investing in a high-quality, user-friendly website builds brand trust and reflects the level of service you provide to your clients.
It's hard to market a brand that's cluttered and unfocused.
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