Our Digital Director Pete explains how keeping your website fresh and up to date doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch.
I remember reading a report a few years ago that said on average, companies completely redesign their website every three years, regardless of insight finding that customers thought this was far too often, and were often disorientated by the new changes.
From a personal level, it’s always been a bugbear of mine that companies and organisations put huge effort into a website redesign, only to commission a new one a couple of years later. This might put you ahead of the curve for a year or two, but then you start falling behind competitors and have to fight to make your big come back.
Yes, if your business has suddenly completely changed direction, a new site might be needed, but otherwise just ask yourself this question: If our website is a key marketing tool, how did we let it get out of date in the first place?
Let’s tackle it from two sides:
- Technical side
Yes, technology moves on, and what was cutting edge and top security in 2015, isn’t going to be now. But with most modern sites using an off-the-shelf regularly-updated content management system (CMS), running regular maintenance, reviewing security, and applying fixes, your site should never get tired. For instance, nearly 30% of all websites now run on WordPress, which has security fixes and updates released at least every other month.
- Marketing side
Yes, your marketing messages might keep changing – as one objective is solved, along comes another focus, and hence a different message and strategy is needed to keep everything running smoothly.
However, it’s unlikely that this will only happen once every three years, from my experience it’s more like once every three months! A good CMS-based website gives you the flexibility to completely change your key messages as your business grows, you shift focus or expand your offering.
A website is a marketing tool that’s always running, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s where new people find you and existing customers come back for more. With a good CMS, your website is arguably the easiest tool to keep updated (or maybe the second behind social media).
Some companies or organisations even change all the content on their site when they’re heading up to a big event or tender – and why not? Changing your content keeps users engaged and keeps your SEO keywords up to date. Plus, websites that have new content added regularly get ranked higher in Google searches as new content is timely and relevant for the user.
At Magpie, we never like to throw a good website away. We purposefully create sites that will stand the test of time, some that go back to basics so they’ll never go out of fashion, some that are so unique they don’t fit fashion, and some that are frankly a bit off the wall!
And we’re in it for the long haul – we’ve got sites that have been live for almost 7 years, yes, they don’t look the same as they did back then, but we’ve never started again from scratch. Using our aftercare packages, we’ve built and adapted them as and when needed, adding new content as messages changed, adding new sections as required, and adapting for new audiences. They’ve evolved over time, always staying relevant, always being secure, learning from the changes in users’ behaviour and new technologies, and remaining cutting-edge.
Interested in learning more about how keep your website fresh? Get in touch with Pete at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free review of your current site.