When do you know it is time for a new website?

Is your website looking a bit tired? Has it been neglected? Have you been busy and had other priorities (it happens to all of us!)? But now your website is screaming for attention? It is just not doing the job it is supposed to do (converting new clients).

Is it time for a new website?

Sometimes your website just needs a bit of a freshen up (I wrote about this in the blog post 8 ways to refresh your website for 2022) but sometimes it needs more than that. Sometimes it is worth starting again. You need a new website.

Of course there are going to be things about your existing website that you like and which work. You might have some great images. You may have some copy that resonates. A bank of blog posts that are still relevant (or most of them). These can, and should, all be incorporated into any new website.

We regularly find clients come to us asking us to “tweak” their existing website so it looks fresh, converts better and is something they’re proud to show off. We find it is rarely just a few tweaks that are needed. And often it is quicker and easier to start with a fresh design and the tools that we know and love (WordPress and Divi) than to fiddle with an existing website.

So when is it time for a new website?

1. When you’re getting website visitors but not clients

If you are getting visitors to your website but they’re not taking the action you want then you have a problem with your website.

What do you want visitors to your website to do? You need to be very clear on that (“just get to know me better” is not enough). Do you want them to buy something? Book an appointment? Join your email list?

It may be that you just need to make your Calls to Action a bit more obvious. They should stand out. We’re big fans of buttons that tell visitors what to do. Or it may be that the whole look, feel and layout of your website just isn’t working.

Because the job of a website is to get visitors to take action. And ultimately become clients. If it isn’t doing that then you need to do something about it. It’s not going to fix itself!

The best websites convert at over 10% (source: wordstream). The average website converts at 2%. If your website is not converting at this kind of level either you’re attracting the wrong person to your website in the first place or it is not set up for conversion. And if it is the latter and changing your Calls to Action doesn’t make a significant difference then it is time for a new website…

2. You’re embarrassed to share your website details

Have you taken your website details off your social media bio? Or off your email signature?

Maybe you avoid mentioning your website altogether (directing potential clients to a landing page or your social media instead)? Or, if you do direct potential clients there, you apologise for your website in advance?

You just know your website doesn’t represent the business you have, let alone the business you want to have. You’re embarrassed by it.

It happens. It particularly happens if it has been a while since your website has had any attention, if you built it yourself (or got a friend’s neighbour’s teenage son to build it) or if your business has changed. Because businesses do (and certainly should) evolve.

If you’re embarrassed by your website then it is definitely time to do something about it. And chances are it needs more than a refresh. It needs a complete overhaul. It needs a fresh pair of eyes on it. Eyes that know what it takes to get a website that converts.

Because you should be proud of your website. It should be your hardest working employee, working 24/7 to bring in clients. It can’t do that if you’re embarrassed by it and hide it away…

3. You feel you have outgrown your existing website

Businesses evolve. The business you have now is almost certainly different to the business you first set up. This one is!

A business has to adapt or it dies (remember Kodak, still hanging on to film???).

You gain experience. You talk to potential clients/clients and work out what they want, what messaging works. Your product or service changes. Your positioning changes. The kind of client you want to attract may also change (we set up Beyond the Kitchen Table with the intention of building websites for product based businesses, but now work exclusively with service based businesses).

Your website should always represent where you want your business to be. It should appeal to the kind of clients you want to attract.

Most businesses outgrow their first website (and their second and third). You may be able to get away with a refresh, changing images and text to fit with the direction your business is headed. Or you may need to start again.

If you’re looking to “up-level” your business, charging more and attracting a higher paying client (potentially with a different offer) then it is definitely time for a new website.

4. It has been more than 3 years

Websites date. Designs date. If you look at a website from more than about 3 years ago it will look more cluttered. The text will be smaller. It will lack direction. It may just look tired.

A good website has a shelf life of about 3 years. Potentially up to 5 years if you have been making changes along the way. If it has been more than 3 years since your website was built it is worth thinking about whether you need a new one.

Because what worked 3 years ago doesn’t work now. Client expectations have changed. The environment is more competitive. Different things now work.

A new, up to date website won’t just look better, it will give you a reason to call attention to it. For your existing audience to take a fresh look at what you offer (and potentially take that action). And I’d also recommend getting new branding photos taken if it has been more than 3 years since you had photos taken.

So if your website is more than 3 years old (and definitely more than 5 years old) then it is time for a new website.

5. You struggle with making changes

Websites have changed a lot over the past few years. Not just in terms of the designs, but also in terms of usability.

Many clients come to me frustrated at their ability to make changes to their website (from lots of different website platforms). When I build websites for clients I build them in a way that means they can easily edit text, images, add new products, testimonials etc. And I show them how.

A lot of websites now use “visual builders” which mean you can view the website on your screen and see the impact of changes as you go. You can “drag and drop” sections, change images, add/edit text, change spacings etc all directly on the screen. You can also “undo” any changes that don’t work. Visual builders are not restricted to the likes of Wix, Squarespace and Shopify. WordPress has some too (we use one, Divi by Elegant Themes).

One client recently said that his old website (built in wordpress many years ago) was “like driving a bus with square wheels”. He found the new website we built for him (also in wordpress) so much easier to use. And this encouraged him to add more content, like blogs, to it (as well as promote it more).

Your website is always a “work in progress”. It should evolve as your business evolves. It needs to represent the business you want to have – not where it used to be. That means you need to be able to update it. If you can’t (or trying to frustrates you, wasting your precious time), then you need a new website.

A website that you struggle to update won’t be able to help your business. Or you’ll spend a lot of money constantly asking someone else to do it for you. And there is no point having a website that doesn’t help your business…

Conclusion

Deciding to start again with effectively a new website can be a hard decision to make. Especially if you have invested a lot of time and money into your existing one. But it is important to take an objective view. If your existing website is not bringing in clients or you’ve outgrown it (even if it isn’t very long since you built it or had it built) then you need a new one.

If you don’t share your website details because you’re embarrassed to be associated with it, or your website is old or you can’t edit it then it is equally important to do something about it.

And if you decide you do need a new website then please get in touch with us. That’s what we do!

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