Is your website on life support? The seven signs…

Is your website on life support? The seven signs…

In a previous post “How frequently should you update your website design?” I discussed typical time-frames for site relevance, and when redesigns are necessary. But it seems some folks still don’t recognize when it’s necessary to pull the plug on their current website. So here are seven signs it’s time to let your current site pass away.

1. Your site isn’t mobile optimized

Smart phones and tablets aren’t going away - in fact, various sizes are proliferating. So it’s time to make sure your site is not merely compatible, but that it’s optimized for mobile. Responsive web design frameworks allow your site to automatically size and/or scale to suit the device it’s being view on. Elements and content reflow, reorder, or show or hide to present the best user experience based on the device. With responsive design, your site adapts to the user (and their device). If your site isn’t responsive it’s time to pull a "Chief" Bromden and put it out of its misery.

2. Your site isn’t running a capable CMS

If you still have to call your web designer to make changes to your site or if you have to boot up your Windows 95 computer so you can run FrontPage or Net Fusion - it’s time to let your current site die. There are a plethora of open source and paid content management systems (CMS) available - that it’s simply a waste to not utilize one.

From Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, Concrete5 to our favorite ExpressionEngine or even SaS solutions such as Weebly, SquareSpace, or Shopify, capable CMS options abound – and you’re likely hindering success if you’re not using one. Today, you can’t wait to make changes or to add content to your site. Delays put you at disadvantage against your competitors and cripples your reach, reaction, and relevance. If you’re not running a CMS, have your site step into one of Futurama’s suicide booths.

3. Your site is hard to update or modify

Maybe you’re using a CMS, but it’s out-of-date or lacks certain capabilities. Maybe it’s just too hard to use. Regardless of the reason, if you can’t easily modify or update your site it’s time to kill your current one. You need to be able to update your site quickly and consistently. This means adding content, functionality, and adapting to new web technologies. If your site doesn’t allow you to do this... it’s sucking the life out of you... time to stake it through the heart.

4. Your site no longer aligns with your marketing goals

If your company has changed, or pivoted, or encountered a market disruptor, then it’s likely your site no longer fits with your marketing goals. Sometimes this simply happens over time. The content and messaging on your site simply grows stale or out-of-date. Whatever the cause, the solution is usually to rewrite the copy and to jettison the old site in favor of a new design. It’s time to let Jack slip beneath the icy water.

5. It’s simply not converting anymore

If you sit around harkening back to the good ol’ days when your site collected several leads per day or converted x number of sales - and moan about how your best days are behind you - then it’s time to replace your site. The causes for a drop in conversions can be many - but usually it means your site has fallen in natural listings or that landing pages aren’t working. Or that users have switched to mobile browsing but your site isn’t mobile compatible or optimized. The cause is of no consequence, what’s necessary is immediate action. If your site isn’t converting anymore, it’s time to send it out into the frozen tundra alone so you can create something new.

6. You did something that got you penalized by Google

Maybe you hired a sleazy SEO guy by accident. Perhaps you ran a questionable link building application. Or maybe you violated Google’s best practices in some manner. The result could be you’re on their blacklist and your site no longer appears in search.

Obviously the first thing necessary is to determine what caused your penalty, then rectify it. This may mean contacting backlink partners to have your link removed, or to use Google’s link disavowal tool. Or it may mean cleaning up hidden text or “de-optimizing” your site if it’s been stuffed with keywords. It can be painful and time consuming. Redesign your site so it adheres to Google's best practices, and force 404s for old unscrupulous links. Sometimes it’s just easier to burn down Rome and start over.

7. Your site is ugly

Yes, it’s hard to admit to yourself that your site is ugly. Maybe it’s so old it still has blinking or scrolling text or a splash screen with a Flash intro. Or it looks like a throw back to the 1990s. Perhaps your blue text on your green background just isn’t as cool as it once was. Design matters today. Visitors are much more savvy and expect more. So if your site is a visual offense it’s time to take it out back behind the woodshed.

Apr 25, 2014

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