What does this have to do with web design you may wonder?  Well, in this day and age, we all know that websites, instead of human interaction, are often used to create business relationships that hopefully turn into lasting ones.  But that first visit that a customer makes to your website is like that first date.  And, like any first date, you want to look good.  Now, perhaps in times past your website didn’t need to worry about first dates.  Maybe you had the visitor flow and the most updated web trends.  But times change and so do expectations, especially in web design.  So how do you know when it is time to update your website?  Here are 5 signs your website needs a makeover.

 

5. Flashing

Is your site completely or even mostly Flash based?  Although Flash has its uses, it is not the powerful tool it was back in its day (yes, Flash has had its day!). It is becoming more and more a thing of the past for a couple of reasons.

First, Flash can slow down your website, making even the most patient person tired of waiting for a page to load.  Another crucial reason is that Flash can actually work against your Search Engine Optimization.  How?  Google has always had issues with Flash, however, since rankings and SEO are such an integral part of web strategy, your web platform needs to conform to the webs best practices, and this does not include Flash.  Lastly, as more users are accessing your site from mobile devices, Flash can actually work against you since it cannot be viewed on many mobile devices and is not responsive.

 

4. Time Warp

We do Spring cleaning, overhaul our wardrobe, renovate our kitchens and upgrade our cars.  What does this reveal?  We like new up-to-date things that work well.  So why shouldn’t this apply to your website?  When was the last time you updated your design, your blogs, or articles?  If your website still includes references from the 90’s and has the colour scheme to match, then it’s time to consider an update.

“We like new, up-to-date things that work well.  So why shouldn’t this apply to your website?”

Have you been updating your website a little bit at a time?  You wouldn’t renovate your kitchen over decades, otherwise you’d end up with inconsistent trends, designs and technology.  The same goes for a website.  Small updates do not count as a makeover, instead it just results in inconsistent branding, ie. fonts, colour,etc.  Not to mention you will also be behind on current technology, which will just distract your visitor instead of attract.  If managing all of this seems a tad overwhelming, we recommend getting a good Content Management System (CMS) which allows for easy updates that you can do yourself.

 

3. Hello, Goodbye

Have you noticed people losing interest and cutting the “date” short lately?  This will dramatically affect your bounce rate and in turn your quality score, which put simply – no one will be seeing your website in the top searches.  Often what contributes to the quick exit can be that there is too much going on.  Yes, we want to attract, entice, and amaze, but too much of a good thing is exactly that…too much.

A simple, flat design is the new trend, and really it makes complete sense.  Who has the time (or the attention span) to read unessential information doused in flashing images of vibrant colours.  So if your page can cause seizures or is just too cluttered, it’s time to cut back and redesign.

 

2. Out of Touch

With all of the types of communication out there, is it really possible to be out of touch?  Yes, otherwise it wouldn’t be #2 on this list!  Social Media is not just about updating everyone on what you had for lunch or informing strangers when you LOL.  And contrary to popular belief (mainly parents), it’s not just for kids either.

Yes, we hear about the benefits of Social Media as if it will revolutionize our life, but maybe they aren’t far off from the truth.  Not convinced?  Maybe this will capture your attention – A study was done that showed 71% more people were likely to make purchases based on social media referrals.  Yes, Social Media can actually make you money and make you popular…in business that is.  Does your site take full advantage of Social Media ‘widgets’, (relevant and up-to-date) blogs, etc.? Customer connectivity is crucial and Social Media is going to connect you to the visitors you need who in turn will become customers.

 

1. Responsive Design

If you are asking what is “Responsive Design” then you definitely need a makeover.  This is the art of creating a website that automatically readjusts it’s layout depending on the screen size of the device that is viewing it.  The site can literally be viewed with ease from any type of device.  More and more people are using their mobile devices and tablets to search the internet.  Responsive design allows users to view your website on multiple devices and allows you to reach a wider audience.  If you are unsure about whether this is an important feature or not, you should know that 2013 is being called the year of responsive design.

The key here is to be responsiveobody likes to deal with something that’s inflexible or difficult to adapt.  Going back to the thought of the “first date”, if your date wanted to change tables but you stubbornly refused, what are the odds of getting a second date?  In this continually changing world, you must be adaptable.

 

After reviewing these 5 signs perhaps you see a need to make some changes or maybe a lot of changes, but don’t let it overwhelm you.  Focus on the results – looking good, being up-to-date, and most importantly, developing lasting relationships and customers.  Even though it can be a little nerve-wracking getting back on to the “dating” scene, with these suggestions you can get your web mojo back!