Are you, like many business owners, off to a busy start of 2019? The beginning of the new year brings new goals, new challenges, and, ideally, a new website for your business. With so much going on throughout the course of a year, many will think about, and maybe even start to plan on upgrading their business’ old website, only to let their plans get back burner-ed when other issues with their business pop up. If this sound like you and your business, it’s time to make a change and make 2019 the year you finally get that new website up and running! To get you moving in the right direction, here are some of the many reasons why you need to get your new website launched in 2019:
- Your website is STILL not mobile ready / responsive
This. This is one of, if not the biggest, reasons you need to update your website in 2019: If your website is still stuck in the stone age of desktop browsers, and does not automatically reconfigure its layout based on the device it is being viewed on, then you really need to upgrade your website NOW. According to recent studies, people visiting a website from a mobile browser now account for more than 50% of overall visits. Obviously, that equals quite a few potential customers you would be turning away if they are unable to visit your website easily because it’s still stuck in the 1990’s!
- Speaking of the 1990’s . . .
Did you hire someone to design your website so long ago that you don’t recall how long ago that may have been? That’s a sure sign that your website should be updated. Website design trends are very much like fashion; while you may not need to keep up with the latest look to hit the market, you do want to at least put your best foot forward and keep the look of your website classy and modern. This means freshening up your website with a new look, new design, and new features (see above about Responsive / mobile optimized designs) every so often.
- Slow load times and missed opportunities
Remember the days when you would have to wait, and wait, and wait, for a webpage to display in your browser, particularly if you were on a page with lots of images? Thanks to a wide proliferation of high speed internet access throughout the world, this problem has largely been eradicated for many of our daily browsing activities. However, to search engines like Google, an extra bit of loading time could be construed as “slow” to their algorithms – netting your website a penalty signal when it comes to ranking and displaying your site in their search engine. Too many “bad” signals and you could find it difficult to draw an audience to your business site. To fix this, there are a variety of speed optimizations which can be applied to a new website throughout the build process that you will want to take advantage of.
- Easy to update, easy to use
Are there times you would like to add a video, a photo, or maybe some new text for your website, but are unable to because it was built at a time when all updates had to be performed in code? That’s another sign it’s time to upgrade. For the average business, user updatable content via an easy to use Content Management System (CMS) is a standard feature among modern websites; oftentimes via the ubiquitous WordPress Content Management System. Even if your website has an old CMS of its own, newer advances and upgrades to the core WordPress experience (along with secure, managed WordPress hosting from Meyer Computer, Inc.) make it worth the time and minor expense to update your website.
- SSL? HTTPS? What’s that?
You may have noticed for some time now, a small lock icon at the top of your browser when you go to many websites. That’s a sign that the website you’re visiting has a valid SSL certificate which, in layman’s terms, means your session with the website in question is validated to be secure and trustworthy. This is especially important in parts of the website that need that extra layer of security (and the peace of mind it brings) where a user might submit their personal, banking, credit card, contact, etc. information through your website. An additional bonus: This need for security when browsing is yet another important signal that Google looks for when determining how and where to rank your website in their search engine. No SSL is a no go with Google.
- Making it marketable
Does your website still have old, depreciated meta tags, text content that doesn’t reflect your current business as best it could, or maybe numerous pages with small amounts of ignorable text thrown on there as an afterthought? As the saying goes, “Content is King” and a website without content simply will not measure up to the expectations of your visitors or your best friend, Google. When you’re redesigning your website, keep the importance of content in mind, and make sure to work with your webmaster on an online marketing and search engine optimization plan that will get potential customers to your site and keep them coming back for more!