You know that girlfriend who’s been playing discus with your glassware, or the boyfriend who encourages friends to wipe Cheetos-fingers across your white couch? Sometimes it’s so easy to know when they’ve simply gotta go.
But websites that misbehave, misrepresent or just completely miss the mark are surprisingly agile at ‘dump’-evasion. The reason? Time.
Business owners and entrepreneurs are, by definition, time-deprived. Clients, dilemmas and opportunities are constantly (and rightfully) laying claim to the limited landscape of our schedules. So, an ineffective website can, and frequently does linger online for years past its expiration date, while our attention is elsewhere.
When’s the last time you combed through your website? Heck, when’s the last time you even visited? It’s easy to get hyped at its initial launch, then forget it’s there as the years go by. Too many sites are filled with irrelevant, expired or inaccurate information. And, unfortunately, those inconsistencies are making your company look bad.
Facing the reality of how critical an online presence is these days, we have a mission: Determine if our existing site is destined to go the way of the dinosaur. Here’s how you can tell if it’s time to ‘dump’ the old site:
1) When it no longer accurately represents your business. It’s important that your website reflects the look, the feel, the culture, the clients, the mission and the message of your company.
2) When it’s difficult to use. If your navigation is clunky, your website resembles an advanced level maze, there’s acres of page scrolling or your customers can’t figure out how to get past the home page, it’s time to let your old site go.
3) When user response is negative or non-existent. If your customers don’t like interacting with your site or, worse yet, AREN’T interacting with your site, then it’s definitely on its way out.
4) When its out of date. This warrants refreshed content at the very least and, optimally, a fresh, new design. Retro can be cool, but not when it means that your website looks like it was built in a prehistoric, glitchy edition of Publisher.
5) When you can’t update it yourself. This is something I feel strongly about. With today’s technology, you should always have the ability to tweak your own site content. Hours change, prices fluctuate, images need refreshing. If you prefer to leave that in the hands of experts, as a web designer, I applaud your decision. We designers can apply our creative skills toward making those updates look exceptional! However, you should never be locked out of your own site’s maintenance, particularly when frequent updates may benefit your website’s traffic flow.
6) When it’s not multi-device friendly. With the rise of hand-held devices – iPhones, iPads, iPods (yep, I’m an Apple fan), Droids, Blackberries, etc – your website has to at least be viewable on a variety of different systems and screens.
7) When it can’t grow with your business. This goes along with the updatability of #5. Your business is constantly evolving, so the needs of your website, the needs of your customer and the needs of your company are going to change. Your website should have the flexibility to grow, morph and support those changes along the way.
8 ) When it’s no longer benefiting your business. If it’s not serving the purpose it was intended for – whether that be an online brochure, e-commerce store, resource center or place for customers to connect – then it’s time to ditch the site.
DMT Challenge of the Week
Give your website a once-over for potential problems. Then run through it again with a customer’s perspective in mind. Was it easy to navigate? Does the ‘look’ suit your business? Is it welcoming? Are the text and photos all current and correct? Do you have administrative access, so that you can easily make updates, as needed?
Jot down the issues, and decide whether it’s time to ‘dump’ your old site and launch your company back into online orbit with a fresh, new website.
You know what I do. You know I can help. Please feel free to browse samples of DMT web designs, and contact me for a quote. It would be a privilege to light the spark of life under your online presence!
Dawn M. Tomczyk | DMT Artistry LLC | 810.923.4582 | email@example.com