There is a question we hear a lot as web designers – How often should I redesign my website? You’ll hear a lot of people say 3-5 years is the max you should wait before a redesign, but that is pretty anecdotal. And while we can talk for days on end about strategy and design trends and agile web development, the answer to this question is pretty simple. You should redesign your website when it sucks. Plain and simple. But how do you know if it sucks? Thankfully that one is pretty simple as well.
Here's how you can tell if your website sucks.
We’ll get to the quantitative measures of whether or not your website sucks in just a second. But some of you might already know the answer without them.
For example, are you embarrassed of your website? Maybe instead of sharing a link to your site, you add the disclaimer that it is a “work-in-progress” (for the past 7 years?) and send them to your Facebook page instead.
Or does your website footer still say “Copyright 2015” at the bottom? You may as well have a banner ad that says, “Warning: Ancient Website!”
Your website is your global digital footprint. You should be proud of it, confident in sharing it, and not settle for being a dinosaur in the tech world. Especially with all sorts of ways to make nonprofit messaging and fundraising fun, engaging and modern. But if you’re still not sure if your website is due for a redesign, check out these 5 red flags.
Your Conversion Rates are Low
You have goals in mind for your website. Maybe you want to increase donations or sign up more volunteers. If potential supporters are regularly coming to your site and then dropping off before taking action, you are overdue in finding out why.
Your Messaging & Prioritization Is Outdated
As crucial as your web presence is in this day and age, it is often put on the back burner by many nonprofits. You have issues to tackle and people to help! But if your website isn’t conveying your mission and programs, and prioritizing them for potential supporters, you’re missing out on the opportunity to do even more good in the world.
You Can’t Update it Without IT
Have you ever put necessary website updates on the back burner simply because nobody in your office knows how to do it? Modern websites are built on user-friendly content management systems (CMS) so that you can make necessary updates even if you don’t have a master’s degree in computer science.
It’s awful on mobile
Do you audibly gasp when you’re searching for something on your phone and land on a desktop website? No, just me? Nothing will send mobile users (which accounts for nearly half of web traffic) running faster than a site that isn’t mobile friendly. And chances are, if your site isn’t mobile friendly, it needs quite a few other updates as well.
No One Can Find It
Maybe your website looks great. It functions beautifully. It works like a dream on every device. But the traffic is nearly nonexistent. If the web designer who built your site didn’t understand the fundamentals of SEO, it’s like a tree falling in the forest. So yes, a pretty site can still suck.
What if you don’t know?
While one member of your organization might think your website is perfect, another might think it’s trash and needs to be completely redone. This checklist eliminates the subjectivity of whether or not your website is “good enough.” (Should you ever really be aiming for “good enough?”) And these tests validate the checklist. By reviewing conversion analysis, SEO audits, and content assessments, you can determine whether or not your site is working for you.
Determining your conversion rate gives you a baseline of your site’s effectiveness and helps you track improvement.
Evaluating elements of your site and determining how they impact its performance in organic search reveals problem areas and strengths.
All content – copy, images, videos, landing pages, links, and more – all determine the status of a site.
So while that 3-5 year mark is rather arbitrary in terms of when a site needs a redesign, if it has been that long since you have done those reviews, it probably is time to think about a redesign. But if you aren’t sure, why not get some outside perspective from an expert? You will know where you stand, what you need to do, and, most importantly, how it will benefit your nonprofit.
Not sure about a redesign?
Check out these other resources
Is your site overdue for a redesign?
Contact Mittun for a free assessment today.