Signs It’s Time for a New Website

By Madison Taylor
November 23, 2022
Man holding a red-capped whiteboard marker and pointing it at a whiteboard with website wireframe mockups

Did you know that there are an estimated two billion websites online today? That isn’t surprising when you consider that websites are an incredibly cost-effective way to reach thousands–or even millions–of potential customers.

No doubt, having a good website can be transformative for your business. But do business owners know how to decide when it’s time for a new website? What does ‘out of date’ look like in the world of websites? Here are nine signs it’s time for a new website:

1. The Site Is Not Mobile-Friendly

The importance of a mobile-friendly design cannot be overstated. Google even made it a ranking factor.

One way to ensure everything works properly for all users is to test with a service like BrowserStack. These tools allow users to emulate different operating systems to test responsiveness.

2. Competitors Are Dominating

One way to tell when it’s time for a new website is to assess how a company’s competitors perform. If one company’s content does not rank as well as its competitors’ content, or if competitors dominate in a similar sales channel, it could be a sign that the company needs a new website. Why? Because if a company is doing the same thing as its competitors and those competitors are winning the sale most of the time, it suggests the company has a conversion problem. This occurs when their marketing takes over (i.e., when potential customers land on their website).

3. No Clear Calls to Action

A call to action (CTA) is a piece of text, button, or link that prompts the visitor to take a specific action on a website. When people see a clear and relevant CTA, they are more likely to click through or take some other action because it makes it obvious what they should do next.

The best place for this would be towards the top of the homepage with some white space around it. This helps the content stand out from all other text on the page. At the end of key benefits sections and just before the website footer are two other effective places.

4. The Site Is Not Secure

The standard for web security is HTTPS. HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP (the protocol that makes the internet work), and it protects a website from hackers and other threats. HTTPS also makes it harder to steal a site’s content, which can be valuable to spammers or other malicious entities. Many browsers block insecure sites, so not having this security in place is a clear sign it’s time for a new website.

5. Broken or Outdated Links

If a website has broken links, it’s a sign the site has not been updated in a while. Broken links can also be an indication of other problems with the content on the website, like missing pages. The same goes for outdated links: if they are still live on the site but no longer relevant to anything on the page or elsewhere on the site (or if they just bring up 404 errors), then this is another indication that it’s time for a new website.

6. Page Load Time Is Slow

Page load time is the amount of time it takes a web page to respond to commands. A slow response time can result in users abandoning a website and going elsewhere, so it is crucial to make sure a site responds quickly when visitors click links or buttons on the pages.

7. The Design is Outdated

When a website design is outdated, customers do not feel like they’re getting the premium experience they want. This reflects poorly on the website owner’s products and services. Looking at some of the latest design trends on websites like Dribbble and comparing them to a given website is a great way to assess how contemporary the design is. If the website doesn’t look like the ones seen there, it might be time to ask: ‘Is it time for a new website?’

8. No Routine Updates

The exact time frame is actually irrelevant here: all that matters is that the website owner hasn’t really been updating the website over a period of months. If the website was built with a ‘set and forget’ attitude, it is likely to underperform in the long run. A website owner should really aim to update website content (via blog posts, for example) at least once a week. This indicates to Google that the website is still providing up-to-date information and helps it rank in search engines.

9. ADA Compliance Failures

Making a website accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities, is vitally important. Owners should use a reputable ADA compliance checker to test whether the website meets all the requirements for accessibility. If not, it might be time for a new website.

How to Decide When It’s Time for a New Website

If you have been wondering how to decide when it’s time for a new website, this list will help you get started. Prioritize user experience and assess the website’s functionality from your customers’ perspective, and, unless you are a startup, and maybe even if you are, have your site custom developed on a platform you control. That way, you are not tied to a proprietary system or agency and can make updates as needed over time.

Sometimes it is nice to get help from an expert. From website development, website design, and SEO optimizations, Madison Taylor Marketing has extensive experience creating custom websites or revamping an existing one.