Three Ways to Keep Your Website Current
While we certainly love “out with the old, in with the new” when it comes to old websites, it is not always feasible to build a new company website every single year and believe me, the rapid change that we’re experiencing in online trends and technology is making that short lifespan of a website more of a reality. So, if your website is more than a year old, what can you do to keep it fresh? Here are three ways you can give your existing website a quick makeover.
1. Change out the Photos
If you’ve ever gone through old photos of yourself, you’ll understand this next statement. Photos can date a website in a hurry. While old photos are fun for a good Throwback Thursday post, they can really hurt the overall look of your site (and your company). This is especially true for technology companies and websites that have photos of people. Consider investing in good professional photography every year or so to keep things up-to-date.
Even if your photos still look great, I would recommend that you change them out every once in awhile. Photos are big part of the overall look of a website and changing them can help things look fresh and new to returning visitors. Photos can even have the power of changing the feel of a site by introducing new colors (photos with lots of blues to ones with lots of greens), styles (contemporary to more traditional), and topics (technology-focused to people-focused).
2. Change the Content
Very few companies stay stagnant over time. For most companies, there are new products or services being offered, new markets being pursued, or at the very least new ways to market existing products or services. As an extension of your sales team, your website needs to keep up.
I recommend that you do a content audit once a year. Take some time to talk to your employees that deal direct with your customers, look at support and sales questions that customers are asking, listen to conversations that your customers are having about your product/company/industry, and even talk to your customers directly. Also, determine what the company sales, marketing, and business goals. All of this can influence what your website content needs to be saying.
Once you know what the content should be saying, evaluate whether your existing content is still working. If not, considering rewriting content and adding or eliminating pages. You may also need to restructure your navigation to make it easier for customers to find the information they really want to know about or to make it easier for them to move through the site.
For all websites, you should be reviewing and updating (if possible):
- News, project portfolios, and similar content once a month.
- Awards, certifications, and similar content one to two times a year.
- Services, markets, company, and similar content once a year.
3. Change the Home Page Design
For the majority of websites, the home page is the most viewed page on the website. It is typically the first thing that people see and the first chance you have to show them who you are and why they should care. Even small changes to a home page can have big impact on a visitor’s first impression.
Changes to the home page design could be as minimal as changing out what you feature in the existing layout, such as highlighting new information and changing graphics in the existing areas of the site. It could also be as major as scrapping the entire layout. While doing a complete new home page design is a little more expensive than changing out content or photos, it is usually less expensive than redoing the entire website.
Sometimes New and Shiny is What You Need
While the above tips will help keep your website fresh for awhile, all websites have a “best by” date. Realistically, you need to plan on completely completely redesigning your website every 3-4 years. The good news is that if you’ve taken my advice and kept things fresh, building a new website will not be such a daunting task. After all, all of your content will be up-to-date and you’ll have current photos.
We Do More than New Websites
While we’d certainly love to build a new website for you, we can also help you evaluate your existing website and make recommendations on how to change content, photos, and design. If you are an existing Red Sage customer, give us a call about the new responsive designs we have available.