If you want your website to be a useful tool for engaging with your customers, it's important to keep it updated. Trends in technology, web design, and SEO all require you to make changes on a regular basis. Your industry is probably evolving as well, so you want to keep your content relevant to your customers' needs. Here are some tips to make sure your website is up-to-date.
1. Make Sure Your Design is Attractive and Contemporary
Web design is a field that's always evolving. If your site has the same design as it did five years ago, chances are it's outdated. If you use WordPress, one way to give your site a new look is to install a fresh theme. Of course, you don't necessarily have to adopt every new web design trend. It depends on your business and your customers' preferences. If you're selling vintage clothing or antiques, you might even want a quaint rather than contemporary design. Even then, however, you'll want to keep up with design trends that are pleasing to both visitors and search engines. For example, selling products using carousels or sliders was once popular but is no longer recommended because such features aren't mobile or SEO-friendly.
2. Speed It Up
A slow-loading website causes you to lose visitors and increase your bounce rate. According to one study, even a one-second delay reduces conversions by as much as 7%! Slowness can also harm your SEO as Google counts page-loading speed as a ranking factor. There are several ways to speed up your site:
- For WordPress, use a plugin such as W3 Total Cache to enable caching, one of the best ways to make a site run faster.
- Keep your site’s script updated. With WordPress, make sure you’re using the latest version.
- Reduce the size of images. Resize larger images, so they take up less space.
- Delete plugins that aren’t essential.
3. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
As more and more people use mobile devices, it's now necessary to make sure your website is easy to navigate using smartphones and tablets. Today's sites are built using a responsive design that makes content accessible on all types of devices. For example, modern WordPress themes are all responsive. If you haven't updated your site in a few years, you may need to make some changes in this area. Always test your site using various devices to make sure all of the features are easily accessible on mobile devices.
4. Use Quality Images
A website that's mainly text-based with few images or videos appears dated in this visual age. If you explore the web, you'll see that photos, memes, info graphics, and videos are everywhere. Adding engaging and relevant visual content to your site is one way to keep it contemporary. The quality of your images matters, of course. Focus on original or custom photos and images rather than generic stock images. The latter was popular in the early days of the internet but don’t pass muster today. Using attractive and relevant photos and other graphics is one of the best ways to keep your website looking fresh and contemporary.
5. Add Fresh Content
Your site isn't going to have a fresh and modern look if you don't consistently add new content. Visitors will typically look at the date when they visit a blog post or news story. Frequently updating your site is also essential for SEO. An excellent way to keep adding new content is to have a blog and post to it on a regular schedule. If pressed for time, you can link to a relevant news story, video, or blog by an influence in your industry and add a few comments of your own. Regularly updating your content is crucial for keeping your site ranking well in the search engines. It also shows your visitors that you're active and continually posting new material.
6. Update Old Content
In addition to consistently adding fresh content, it's important to go back to your older content and make sure it's still relevant. That is especially crucial if you've had your website for a few years and have lots of blog posts or time-sensitive information. You don't want people to visit your site and come away thinking that it's outdated. If an article or post is entirely irrelevant, the best remedy is just to delete it. More often, however, you can update it with some new information. For example, if you find a post that gives statistics from a few years ago, see if you can find more recent numbers. If you're discussing a news story, look for the latest information.
7. Fix Broken Links
Another sure sign that a website was not recently updated is that it contains numerous broken links. If visitors click on one of your pages and get one of those dreaded 404 errors or another type of error message, you'll most likely lose them forever. If your website has lots of content, it can be an arduous task to search it manually for broken links. If you use WordPress, install a plugin such as Broken Link Checker to identify such problems.
It's always a good idea to revisit your website with a critical eye and look for ways to update and improve it. These tips will help to keep your website looking fresh and relevant. Ask the opinions of others whom you trust as well. Improving your website makes it a more powerful tool for growing your business.