Websites need regular updating. They need fresh content on a regular basis, they need to have their code kept up to date, and they need a new look every now and then. There are plenty of good reasons to make updates, including the sheer passage of time. Here’s something that is not a good reason: you’re bored with your website.
Chances are, you have more new, first-time visitors to your website than you do returning visitors. Chances are, even your returning visitors do not look at every page of your website. You spend more time at your website than your visitors do, and you may no longer be enchanted by it, even if your data tells you that your website is doing its job.
If your website is actually boring — if the text drones on without making a point, if the images are ugly and tiresome, if you have nothing interesting to offer visitors — then of course you need a new website. But if it’s just that you’ve had the same words and pictures for a while and you’re tired of it, that’s something else entirely.
If you feel like a change, be sure you change things that are worth changing.
- New blog posts every day keep visitors coming back to see what’s new, and they are great for SEO, too. If you put all the energy available for fixing up your website into creating fresh content, you’ll be doing the best thing for your website.
- Ineffective calls to action need changing. If your current offers, forms, and other calls to action aren’t performing well, make changes. Make sure you’re basing your decisions on data, and don’t change so frequently that you can’t actually tell what’s working. But a callout that used to bring three leads a week and only brought you one last month? It has outstayed its welcome.
- Outdated information is definitely worth changing. If you have new team members (or old ones who are still on your website), a new address or phone number, or a change in product or service availability, you must update it. This may not be as fun as moving things around on your homepage, but it is a lot more useful.
- Old technology is also worth changing. If you have animations that no longer work, or your website doesn’t look good on mobile devices, or the site doesn’t look good in a modern browser, it’s high time to make changes.
Not worth changing
- Are you snazzing up your posts and pages with bold, colorful, multi-font text studded with italics and underscores? Stop it. Every bit of decoration makes your words less readable and your website less polished-looking. By and large, people don’t read the daily news and think, “Amazing what the politicians are doing this week… It would have been more interesting if it had been center aligned, though, with lavender Papyrus headings.” Play with fonts and colors on your Pinterest images if you want, but not on your website content.
- Are you moving things around? Stop that, too. If your site architecture has flaws, by all means fix them. But if you just feel that your navigation is sort of bland, relax. Navigation is supposed to be effective and smooth, not challenging.
- Are you deleting old blog posts? Consider updating them, instead. If they’re poor quality, duplicate content, or for any other reason shouldn’t have been on your site in the first place, get rid of them. Otherwise, bring in new references, correct things that used to be true but have changed, and add new images if they need them. You’ll give them a new lease on life.
- Are you changing your colors and theme? Unless you’re rebranding, you may lose faithful visitors this way — not because they dislike your new colors, but because they think they’re in the wrong place. Redesign when it’s time, not because you’re tired of looking at blue.
The truth is, your visitors are not coming to your website often enough to become bored. If you never have new content, they probably won’t keep coming. But changing your fonts or banners won’t intrigue them. Keep what works, change what needs work, and add content regularly.