How long have you had your website for? Five years? Longer than that? And when is it the last time you refreshed its design? These questions may puzzle you, but they are pertinent. Website design is no different from fashion: trends come and go. On top of that, the technological backbone of websites – programming – also evolves.
An outdated website does not just look old; it is also sluggish and slow in loading, and it does not look good on all devices. Plus, people wonder why you have made no changes to it over the years. Once they come to the realisation that your website has not been updated in a long time, they will leave without taking any action.
The fact that your traffic analysis shows many visitors leaving within moments and without taking action should worry you. The fact that your website does not rank well in search engines despite SEO efforts should also worry you. And a simple look at your website will show you the main reason for your worry. If you have no clue why it is so, here are the top signs that you should start looking for a web designer and give your website a facelift.
- It Contains Flash Elements or Animated GIFs
Animations on websites were all that jazz…around 15 years ago. Even professional companies could not resist adding animated GIFs or even a large flash intro to their website, forcing visitors to wait for about half a minute before they can actually browse the content of their website.
Those times are long gone. Flash has proven time and time again that it is not reliable, that it offers hackers backdoors to introduce viruses on your website and infect your visitors’ computers. Flash files are also very large, bloating the website storage needs. If you still have them in your website, alongside GIF animations, they must go away STAT.
- Your Website Is Not Responsive
Anyone trying to browse your website from a mobile device will soon give up. The design is not responsive, so the pages do not scale down to the size of the smartphone screen. There are unnecessary links, forms are a nightmare to fill in, and loading all the graphic elements takes lots of time and eats up the user’s data plan.
This is unacceptable at the present time – and even Google has started taking active measures against outdated websites which are not responsive. No matter how much you invest in SEO, Google will not rank your website among its first results.
- You (Still) Use Stock Photos
Stock photos are just a quick fix until your website can display your own unique images. There are many reasons why you should have them replaced as soon as possible. First of all, the same batch of images has been around for years and the average internet user has already seen them over and over again. Secondly, they are cheesy, clearly posed and have no resemblance to real interactions between people. Thirdly…do you think anyone will believe that the models in those photos are your actual employees?
People want to see the real faces behind the brand name. They want to build genuine interactions with companies – and they will not feel that they are getting anything genuine if your website is full of stock photos.
- Your Website Features Image Carousels
Image carousels, just like animated GIFs, were in vogue for years. They featured all the company had to offer at a quick glance for users sitting nicely in front of computer monitors and patiently browsing websites.
Now people’s browsing behaviour has changed: they are no longer patient, they use smartphones instead of computers, and they are on the go and not willing to spend time looking at photo slides. Your photo carousels must go, or your website visitors will go.
- The CMS Is Complex and Needs Programming Skills
You need to hire a programmer every time you want to add a new article, photo or website page. This costs you a lot, because few programmers want to work in old coding languages so they will charge you extra.
Modern content management systems allow even people with no coding skills to manage a website by adding, editing or deleting content. Doesn’t it make more sense to you than spending thousands of dollars just to add a couple of new products on your website?
Last, but not least, old websites are not deemed reliable by online payment services, so you may not even sell products from your site. This thought should seal the deal and convince you to get your website updated to modern technology and design a soon as possible.