When is it time to Upgrade?

  • Phillip Peet
  • Phillip Peet

Just when is the right time to upgrade your company website?

I find many business owners ask themselves this same question. The sad truth is that many prolong the decision unnecessarily, leaving themselves in danger of loosing out when it comes to online marketing opportunities. It is time for all business owners to accept that the Internet has changed the way people conduct business. In the past a phone call was the first point of contact, now it is your website. Bearing this in mind I have created a list of questions that business owners can ask themselves to help determine whether the time is right for a redesign.

Has my website changed in the past three years?

Three years might not sound like much time between website upgrades (or redesigns), but for a pivotal online marketing tool, it is actually too long. Just like advances in technology drive the web development industry, new trends and techniques mean the graphic design industry is constantly evolving. I am not saying that all sites need to be comprehensively redesigned but a subtle adjustment to your layout; a new graphic; or even the adding/formatting of content may be sufficient to give your site a new and fresh image.

Is my business going through a quiet period?

The best time to think about a website upgrade or redesign is during a quite business period. I understand in most instances this doesn’t come around all that often but it only takes around an hour of preparation to create a detailed brief. In my mind this is by far the most critical part of the design process. A good brief should clearly outline project requirements and confirm client expectations.

I am feeling limited by my sites accessibility and functionality?

With the growing number of Content Management Systems(CMS) now available accessibility and functionality should no longer be a problem. Gone are the days when a business owner would have to contact their web developer every time they wanted to update their website. A CMS such as WordPress and Joomla(to name a few) allow clients to perform functions such as add/remove/format page content, create news/events/announcement items, insert images, create page links, upload and link to files, manage image galleries and much more.

Is my website supported by mobile devices?

This is the most important question you should be asking yourself right now, particularly with the emergence and popularity of mobile devices such as the Apple’s iPhone and iPad. These devices are changing the way people access the Internet. In fact many are now predicting that mobile Internet will soon overtake fixed Internet. So what implications will this have? First and foremost, if you have Flash technology on your website, you will need to replace it with Javascript or redirect the browser (as it is no longer supported). If you don’t take either of these steps, your animation will be replaced with a large empty blank space. You should note that – if your site is more than three years old it is possible that it includes Flash animation.

Another possibility or option is to have two websites, one, that will act as your main site for desktop computers with resolutions above 1024 x 768 pixels (according to W3 Schools represents in excess of 96% of the population) and the other for small hand held devices with resolutions approx. 480 x 320 pixels. Websites that are designed for mobile devices are typically more content focused than image based.

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