1. Your website is not mobile responsive
Before the age of mobile devices, it was relatively simple to design a website that you could assume would look alright on any computer. The situation inevitably changed quickly with the advent of smart phones and tablet computers where now visitors to your website will be more likely surfing on their phone than their laptop.
Ensuring that your website is designed in such a way that it automatically resizes dependent on the visitor’s device is essential in maintaining a great user experience. Your visitors are fickle and will leave instantly if they have to drag and zoom just to read your content or use your website’s navigation menu.
If that’s not enough to convince you to redesign your website, maybe you’ll be spurred on when you consider that Google penalises websites that are not optimised for mobile meaning you’ll have to work so much harder to rank highly and remain visible.
All good WordPress website themes are designed to be mobile responsive so you don’t have to worry about doing anything particularly special to ensure that your content looks great on all devices. Sorted.
2. Your website just doesn’t convey your brand accurately anymore
An organisation’s brand and personality evolves over time and therefore what you thought represented you well 10 years ago probably doesn’t any more.
The best way to think about your website design is that it now represents your shop front. Before the internet, companies relied on their shop front to provide a window (metaphorically and literally!) into their company. In the digital age this is exactly how you should view your website. Do you want visitors to perceive you as outdated and stuffy or modern, agile and fun?
There are literally hundreds of directions you can go in with regard to your website, but first and foremost the look and feel should represent you and your company through the colours and graphics you use. Redesigning your website using WordPress allows you to tap into the creativity of thousands of developers who have produced both free and paid themes that you can customise to your liking. If tinkering isn’t your thing, you’re lucky because it is ours! It might be worth checking out the services we can offer you.
3. Your written content and images are outdated
In our experience it’s quite common for a company to develop a website quickly when they first launch and then proceed to forget about it for the next few years. Sound familiar?
But what about all of those stock photos you used because you didn’t have time to take them yourself? Or the “My Team” section showing 7 employees that haven’t worked with you this side of the millennium? Even worse, what about the phone number that is now incorrect?
Those are just a few examples of content that you probably could do with updating sooner rather than later. Fortunately, this is simple to do when redesigning your website with WordPress! You just need to create a new design and edit your images and written content as you transfer it over.
4. You haven’t got the functionality that visitors have come to expect
Although all websites are different in scope and design there are certain trends that most observe. Your website will stick out like a sore thumb if you are not including the functionality that your visitors have come to expect. Worse, as we said above, users are fickle and if they can’t find certain elements on your website they’ll leave and find your competitor that makes it easy.
The functionality that we’re talking about primarily is things like contact forms, booking forms and social media integration. Luckily, these are all things that normally come built in with most WordPress themes. Even better, if your theme does not include the functionality that you need, there’s almost always a plugin for that. Need accessibility options for your site? No problem. What about mega menus or parallax sliders? Again, we’re pretty sure you’ll find a plugin for that.
5. You’re not making use of a blog
If you’re not maintaining a blog what have you been doing with your marketing activities? Blogging regularly about topics within your niche is the best way to improve your rankings in search engines and engage of a new level with your clients and customers. We could talk for hours about how crucial a blog is with regards to your digital marketing strategy but that would be far outside the scope of this blog post. Spend a moment researching this topic yourself – it’s a low cost means of expanding your reach and will be the best thing you do for your business today.
By its very nature, WordPress was built for bloggers so is the perfect framework to utilise for your website if you are looking to start blogging. A blog is by default integrated into your website which makes it very simple and easy to begin! There’s no more excuses!
6. Your call to action is unclear
Once you’ve cracked your design and content there is something else to consider. Why do you have or need a website? For many companies and individuals, it seems like creating a website is an essential task to undertake (and we agree that it is), but many fail to think about exactly what action they’d like a visitor to take when viewing their page.
Perhaps you require individuals to pick up the phone or purchase your products online? Maybe you’d like them to sign up to your newsletter or seek you out in person? Whatever your call to action is, you need to make sure that it is easy and intuitive for your customers to follow and that they are motivated to do this.
Make your contact information really prominent if you need your potential clients to call you and make it incredibly easy for customers to follow your call to action. You’ll see better results, we promise.
7. Your existing website is, quite simply, broken
You’ll have visited a few ancient websites in your time and it’s quite possible that you’ll have been frustrated that an element on their page is broken. We’ve seen many instances of menus appearing behind content, rendering them completely useless, as well as contact forms that have no submit button. Pretty annoying.
Does your existing website suffer from these woes? Your visitors are leaving your website as we speak because they’ve also become frustrated. This has lost you potential business and should definitely be sorted out immediately!
As WordPress themes and core are updated frequently you’ll find it much less likely that an element on your website breaks expectantly, allowing you to focus on running your business!
8. You can’t manage your content yourself
With a traditional HTML website, or one that is not designed using WordPress, updating your content yourself can be a bit of a challenge. It’d be a shame to have to pay a freelancer every time to update one line of your contact information!
The beauty of WordPress is that it makes it very simple for you to change the basic elements of your website yourself. As WordPress is a Content Management System, it takes all of the difficulty out of uploading images, updating written content and adding new posts to your blog. It’s for this reason above any other that we’d recommend everyone to redesign their website using WordPress.
We think it’s really important for clients to understand this and so will always offer free training to any that wish to manage their own content going forward. Obviously this isn’t for everybody and therefore we can do all of this for you, but is a useful consideration if you are trying to keep costs as low as possible.
9. You haven’t got an SSL certificate
This year is tipped to be the year that SSL certificates become essential for every website owner. An SSL certificate is what protects information that is inputted in your site and you’ll be familiar with the green lock symbol that appears next to the URL of websites that have one. You may also be familiar with the warnings that appear on websites that do not currently.
If you run an ecommerce website or any other page that requires customers and clients to enter sensitive information, then you should have an SSL certificate already. This is essential and should not ever be skipped. Until recently these were the only scenarios where an SSL certificate was absolutely necessary but this is set to change.
If you run a website that you need redesigning, this would be a good time to integrate an SSL certificate. This builds trust with your clients even if you are not collecting sensitive information and will vastly improve your search engine rankings. As time goes on, the warnings that browsers display when a user visits your website will be coming more dramatic and alarming as the major players on the internet gently encourage developers to embrace the SSL certificate. You don’t want your visitors scared away because of such warnings.
The good news is that a number of hosting providers offer FREE SSL certificates. Our favourite is A2 Hosting, which is a company worth checking out for it’s server speed and fantastic customer support.
Hopefully this article has made you consider whether it may be a good time to look at redesigning your existing website. Even if there’s only a few areas in which you could see improvement, this could be the difference between being on page 1 or 2 of Google (we maintain that the second page of Google is the best place to hide a body) or between finding new customers and not.
We love the fact that WordPress allows DIYers the chance to experiment with website design without having to learn to code however it can get quite confusing at times. If you require people to help you through this process or take all of the work off your hands, you might want to consider viewing our services. If you have any questions at all about WordPress or website design, please also feel free to contact us.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.