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Your website is like your digital storefront–you want to make sure that it’s presentable, welcoming, and provides a great experience that nudges people closer to buying from you. For some businesses, the website has replaced the brick-and-mortar store entirely, to the point where they have no physical stores at all! 


But much like maintaining a physical storefront, businesses should treat their websites the same way by keeping their online storefronts up to date.


If you’re not sure whether you have to update your web design or not, the following signs are big red flags that your website is falling behind. So if your website checks any of these boxes, it’s probably time to consider updating your web design.

The speed of your site is impacting your bounce rate. 

Every second counts!

1. Your Website Takes Forever to Load

Page load time can make or break your website. As soon as someone clicks your link, the clock starts ticking–and every second counts!


That’s because every second someone spends waiting for your webpage to load increases the chance they leave your website entirely. Generally, you want your page load time to be as fast as possible. If your website loads within 1-3 seconds, that’s really good because it means your website is faster than 50% of all websites!


Page load time is closely related to bounce rate, which is a more technical way of saying “the longer it takes your page to load, the more people will leave your website”. But you might be shocked to see how big of a difference a few seconds can make.


According to Google:

Source: Google

Are you wondering how long it takes your website to load? Measure it for free using this PageSpeed Insights tool from Google.

If your website is suffering from slow page load times, look for superfluous graphics, animations, or videos that slow it down and make sure they are optimized at the proper size and bitrate to enhance user experience. 

Page Load Time Also Affects How Your Website Ranks

Another thing to keep in mind is that page load time is a ranking factor for Google, which means the slower your website is, the more likely it is to get buried in the search results.

Without frequent updates, you are not showing your relevant
2. You Haven't Posted to Your Business Blog or Social Media in Years

Imagine someone going to your website to check out your business and when they click on your blog, your latest blog post is 5 years old. Or maybe a social media icon links to a Twitter page that hasn’t been active since 2012.


First impressions are important here. Think about how your site is greeting your visitors. Some businesses solve this problem by removing the year, or even the date altogether and instead focusing on creating timeless, pillar content that constantly gets updated with new information so it stays relevant.


While having fresh, new content is critical for social media, older content can still be valuable, especially if it’s relevant and meaningful. Back in 2017, Ahrefs even found that the pages in Google’s Top 10 have an average age of 2-3 years.

The recommended time to update your website is every 3 years
3. Your Web Design is Outdated

If your blog looks like this, you probably need to update your website:

Source: Smash Magazine

This text-heavy design is reminiscent of the blogs and message boards of the early internet, before we developed the capability to

Many blogs these days have adopted a card-based approach for a cleaner, fresher design that highlights the individual blog articles and makes good use of the featured images, like the example below:


Source: Color Lib

The visuals contribute to a better user experience and since the cards act as content containers, it makes your website more responsive as it can easily adapt to fit screens of all sizes from your phone to laptop to TV.


This layout also improves readability and makes the blog easier to scan.


For a stunning example of how far web design has truly come in the last few decades, this is what Apple’s homepage looked like in 1997:

Source: Tibus

Even the oldest websites probably don’t look like this anymore (unless they’ve been abandoned for decades), but some, like the website for the 1996 movie Space Jam, have been lovingly preserved for history and nostalgia’s sake.

A mobile friendly site should be your highest priority
4. Your Website Isn't mobile Friendly

In 2022, studies have shown that mobile devices make up over 62% of all web traffic. That means if your website isn’t mobile optimized, people can tell and it reflects badly on your business and brand.


After all, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to experience and navigate your website, and most modern content management systems (including WordPress) are mobile-friendly by default.


So don’t let a clunky website with a bad user interface (UI) or bad user experience (UX) scare people away and upgrade to a mobile-friendly website that welcomes everyone, no matter what device they’re using to access the internet.

By not having a https protocol on your website, you run the risk of being targeted by bots and penalized by search engines
5. Your Website is Insecure

We don’t mean that your website lacks confidence or is unsure of itself. What we mean is if you haven’t updated your website to the standard “https://” protocol, it’s severely outdated because it shows your website hasn’t been updated since 2018 (at least).


2018 is when Google Chrome officially started labeling any website that didn’t adhere to the HTTPS:// protocol as “not secure”. Not only does this label deter people from visiting your website, but it also negatively impacts your search engine rankings.


How do you know if your website hasn’t been updated? Easy! Simply look at your website url. If it says “http://” instead of “https://”, that means you need to update your website. Usually, that just means you need to purchase a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate from your internet service provider (ISP) and you’re good to go.

Outdated social icons are a signal that your website is being neglected
6. Your Social Media Icons Are Outdated

Having outdated social media icons are instant giveaways that your website needs an update. It’s something business owners should keep an eye out for, especially as they can be easy to gloss over and miss, since they’re usually nestled away somewhere in one of the top or bottom corners of the page.


For example, Instagram has changed their logo at least 4 times since 2010, with the last big change being in 2016 (depending on when you’re reading this), so maybe check that your Instagram icon is the colorful square and circle logo and not the old Polaroid one. 


While you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to double check that your copyright at the bottom of the page reflects the current year.

Set a regular schedule to update your website
7. You Can't Remember the Last Time Your Website Was Updated

While you’ll always be doing minor weekly and monthly updates, what we’re talking about is a full website revamp. The extent of the revamp will depend on the last time your website was updated, and the longer it’s been, the more you might have to do.


But don’t use that as an excuse to procrastinate! A general rule of thumb is to redesign your website every 3 years, but it’s also important to keep an eye on the web design trends in your industry and what your competition is doing as well.

Find the resources you need to help maintain your website
8. Managing and Updating Your Website is a Hassle

These days, you should be able to navigate the back end of your website to do minor updates and even publish new blog posts without having to code. But if your website is outdated, or you’re using an outdated platform, it can be a huge roadblock in updating your website.


There have been horror stories where a business’s website was built in the early 2000s with custom code from a lone programmer who has long since left the company, and now nobody knows how to use it. 


 There’s a plethora of Content Management Systems (CMS) out there that make managing your website easy, and you won’t have to get your development team involved every single time you want to make a small change.


WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms, and its ubiquity means that most people who work online in marketing and content creation will know their way around the basics at the very least. Not only does WordPress have tons of templates at your disposal to match any kind of website and online business, but you also have a lot of room for customization if you can’t find what you’re looking for.


Other popular content management systems include:

  • HubSpot 
  • Joomla
  • Drupal


Also, if you run an ecommerce website on WordPress, do yourself a huge favor and install the WooCommerce plugin if you haven’t already as it allows you to easily sell an assortment of different products.

Don’t Delay and Start Updating Your Website Today

As we went down this list, how many were relatable to you? If there were none, congratulations, your website is probably up-to-date and you’re doing a great job.


But if your website checked off more of those boxes than you’d like to admit, it’s not the end of the world because we can help! 

At Sayvee, we’re a creative agency that can help you with these key website factors to improve functionality and user experience. We can also help you identify areas where conversions are lacking and develop a proper brand strategy to better help you achieve your business goals. 

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