How do I know when to update my website?

Your website is an essential marketing tool. It should be updated when the website becomes difficult to update, is unresponsive, has a poor user experience (UX), is outdated, and has poor site speed.

Your website is one of the essential marketing tools you have and, often, the first impression customers have of your business. It is important to make sure your website is refreshed and up to date.

Here’s how to know when it’s time to update your website.

Your website is difficult to update

Websites are no longer “one and done” updates. Your marketing goals change over time, so your website should as well. If you do not have a web developer who is a part of your team to help you with website updates, make sure you either have a contracted web developer or that your web development platform is easy to use so you can do the updates yourself.

Your website has a poor user experience (UX)

Your website needs to reflect your brand. A good user experience (UX)—the overall experience of a person using a website— is part of that brand. It is important that your website is easy to navigate, that your information is easy to find, and that your website is visually appealing. If your website is challenging to navigate, unappealing to look at, and challenging to use, it’s time for a website update.

Your website is unresponsive

58% of website visits are from mobile devices, which means that most visitors to your websites will be visiting it on their phones. Phones come in many different shapes and sizes, and even on different size computer monitors, your website can look different. It needs to look good and work well across all types of browsers and software; if it doesn’t, your website may fail to load correctly—or take too long to load, which can cause your customers to give up and go elsewhere.

Here are a few questions to test your website’s responsiveness:

  • What does your site look like on mobile?
  • Are your font sizes readable on mobile devices?
  • Does your site look different on different browsers?

Your website is outdated

It’s common to perform small updates to your site from time to time, such as updating site links or content. However, if you cannot remember the last major software update, it’s time to update it (major website overhauls should take place every two to five years). Web design languages and code can become old-fashioned and unworkable, and not updating your site could mean certain website features stop working (such as Adobe Flash, which was phased out in 2020).

Website security should also be considered. Make sure your website has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. 

Updating an outdated website’s features and security improves site speed and security, so if your website is outdated, it is time for an update.

You have poor site speed

On average, a user will leave a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Site speed is vital to search engines. Search engines use algorithms to decide which websites people see when browsing. Search engines will prioritize other sites over yours if your site loads slowly.

Many factors contribute to a site’s speed. The easiest thing you can do to improve site speed is to compress your images. The smaller your images are, the less time your page will take to load. You can use free image compression tools to help your images stay clear and sharp while reducing the file size.

While this list is not all-encompassing, these five things are a good starting point for knowing when to update your website.