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Should You Fix an Old Website or Get a New One?

How Old is Your Website?

As we talk with clients and prospects on the phone, they often want to know if they should continue to put money into updating their current website or just start all over, from scratch, and create a new website for their business or organization. Here are a few things to consider to help you make this decision.

1. Is Your Website Responsive or Mobile?

More and more people are using mobile devices to access websites now. Mobile use is about to overtake desktop use. Check your Google Analytics account (if you have that set up) and see how many people are trying to access your website with a mobile device (smart phone, tablet, etc.) - you might just be surprised. If they're not getting a good experience, they might be bouncing off your website and going to another - or Google might not even be showing your website as a result since it's not optimized for mobile website visitors.

Responsive web design uses one design (template/theme) that adjusts to whatever screen size people are viewing your website on. This is ideal.

If your website isn't designed for mobile use, then it might be time to start over or at least do a redesign.

2. Are There Remnants of Older Websites Still on Your Server?

This might be a little clunky to explain but we've seen a few instances of this lately... what happens is, a new website is developed and the web developer is kind of lazy and just dumps the old site into or on top of the old one, leaving remnants of the old website still there... which Google can find. If Google can find it, they might still be giving those pages as results to people. The best way to avoid this is to completely backup and delete the old website before installing a new one.

Finding out if this is the case might be difficult to detect but we can take a look if you like.

3. Does Your Website Show Up Correctly on the Latest Web Browsers?

If you're still running Windows XP, you're using Internet Explorer 8 still (which is not supported - please upgrade or you might get hacked) and you might not realize that the rest of the world has moved on. Maybe your website was built to work with IE8 and it might not be working well in the latest versions of web browsers out there. You have to keep up.

You can go to browsershots.org and see how your website looks using different web browsers.

4. Is Your Website Too Slow?

Google and other search engines want to give their users the best results, so they do check how quickly your website loads. If it loads too slowly, you're not going to rank as high. Website technology changes relatively quickly and a website built on the latest technology tends to load more quickly.

5. Has Your Branding and Marketing Changed?

Quite simply, does your website match your current marketing and branding? If not, it's time to at least do a redesign. If it's a big enough change, then why not just start over and get all the benefits of a website made with the latest technology?

6. Is Your Website Software Up to Date?

Most websites made in the last 10 years use a set of executable files and a database running on a server - it's software. Sometimes this software is called a Content Management System (CMS). You have to keep that software up to date or you could have your website compromised/hacked. If that software isn't even supported anymore, then it's definitely time to upgrade and doing that might require that you do a redesign, which means you're starting over from scratch.

Conclusion

Knowing if you should start over with a new website is kind of like trying to decide if your old car is worth repairing or not. For some people, they might want to continue to pay for repairs on the old one without realizing all the benefits they get with a new car. This is your business we're talking about - not your transportation. For businesses and organizations today, their website is too vital of an asset to skimp on.

If a new website that works well on more devices (reaching a wider audience) brought up your sales 10-20%, would that make it worth switching? If so, then we suggest you consider starting over with a fresh, new website made with the latest technology that offers a plethora of benefits. Contact Webstix today and let's talk!

-Tony

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