9 Reasons Your Website May Need an Upgrade
We all know first impressions are the most important ones. A clumsy looking and functioning website can damage your image and your competitor’s website is just one click away.
Ask yourself two questions:
1) Does my website give prospective clients a feeling of confidence in what I do?
2)Does my website do a better job of conveying a feeling of confidence than my competitors websites do?
If your answer to either of these questions is no, then you need to update your website.
2) Responsive/Mobile Friendly
Is your website easy to read and navigate from any device? Mobile traffic now accounts for over 60% of website traffic. If 6 out of ten visitors to your website arrive on your website and see a poorly designed site that is difficult to use, you will have damaged your reputation from the start.
In addition, when making your website easier to use on small devices you will also improve your page ranking in search results. Since search engines prefer not to show results that are difficult to view websites that are not mobile friendly are down rated while those that are mobile friendly get upgraded to a higher ranking in search results.
If your website is not mobile friendly an upgrade is overdue.
3) User Friendly
If a website is difficult to navigate to what the user is looking for the user will become frustrated. Frustration can lead to loss of confidence that your company has what they are interested in. Loss of interest can lead your prospects to your competitor’s website which is only a click away. Every step in the navigation process should be easy to follow and get visitors to what they are searching for. There are many menu options available and it is important to choose the right one for your business.
4) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is what makes your website show up in search results. Some website platforms offer little assistance with optimization making it difficult for small companies to self-manage SEO. Some platforms offer SEO features making the process much easier to manage SEO. It is important to know what you are doing and to always follow SEO best practices, so your website doesn’t end up being blacklisted.
If you have a professional optimize your website most websites can be optimized without an upgrade.
Security is a big concern these days. If you own an online store security is a prime concern but, even for non-e-commerce websites security issues can cause your website damage or slow it to a crawl due to spamming attacks. If your website does not have a Secure Sockets Layer or SSL, your website will be tagged as Not Secure in browsers. This notice in the browser can look bad to visitors to your website and an insecure website will tend to show lower in search results because search engines prefer to show safe results to their users. Typically, an SSL License can be added to a website without an upgrade. However, if there are problems that break with security protocol those issues must be addressed before an SSL can be approved. In some cases, a website upgrade is the logical solution.
6) Missing Functionality
Quality websites these days come with a wide variety of functions and integrations. Many of those features are not provided in the initial website platform and are only available at additional cost. Large Powerful platforms are better able to offer more features at a lower cost. If the platform is a closed source platform you are dependent on that service to add features to the website. If you choose an open source web platform you can have custom features or third party features added to the website. This flexibility becomes more important if you have an e-commerce website because there are so many unique needs in the check-out process.
Be aware that many low-cost website platforms are low cost for a reason. They offer fewer features and may be missing functions and integrations that your business may need in the future.
If you are planning to upgrade your website and need special features not in most core products, it would be beneficial to seek out a professional for help. A professional that works with the most popular website platforms. They can help guide you in making a good website platform selection.
7) Difficult to Manage Website
If you are looking for an easier to manage website, one that someone with little technical skill can manage there are some website platforms that offer easy to manage content editing, image gallery editing and some with meta data editing. Some of these websites do a fair job of directing your optimization efforts but they still require time, effort and some SEO knowledge to manage properly.
There is no doubt that some companies benefit greatly from having tools that make optimization easier for their business to self-manage their SEO plan, but there is also truth in the words of Steve Jobs…
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do, we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Stick to what you know best and let experts do the rest.
If you need to upgrade an e-commerce website it would be best to find a professional for advice. Getting the right mix of functionality and features can benefit your company for years to come. The wrong platform can be ineffective and costly to manage and it could also mean changing platforms which can be costly.
Some e-commerce features: virtual product sales, products for lease, special discount offers, optional items, suggested accessories, different finishes, different sizes, quantity discounts, various shipping methods, require items display in a certain way, user reports, abandoned shopping carts report, integration with accounting or CRM tools, Live Chat, ticketing systems, built in CRM, open source code, etc.
9) One final note
Be aware that many website platforms draw you in with their low initial price. Generally, those companies make their money later as your company grows, and you are required to pay more for additional resources, features or maintenance. When starting a business it might seem like a small issue and worth the cost savings, but in the long term the cost to your company later could be significantly greater that you expect both in the cost to upgrade or change platforms and the lack of functionality that could cost you in lost revenue.
The best way to choose the best website platform is to hire a professional that can carefully consider your business current and future needs and then compare the many platforms to determine the best option.[TB1]