3 Reasons to Update Your Website Today!
A website, unlike a brochure, is never truly complete. The good news is, unlike those old brochures that are attracting dust on the shelf, your website should be easy to update.
We recommend that our clients update their website every 12 to 18 months. Sometimes this is a simple framework update for security purposes, sometimes it's an entire design update to better reflect your brand or be more appealing to your target clients.
Ultimately, there are three primary reasons that you update your website:
1 - Mobile Devices, Phones & Tablets
You may be familiar with responsive web design where the content on your website automatically formats to the device that is requesting it. This is a BIG deal for your online marketing as more and more websites become responsive your clients and prospects will expect that your website is responsive too.
In the "old days" (like 2011 and 2012) clients often created mobile versions of their websites so that their audience could see your website on mobile phones without needing a magnifying class. The problem with these mobile versions of your website is that they tended to look terrible and required you to maintain two separate versions of your website - what a pain!
Remember the days when you knew you needed a website for your company in order to be credible? Now you need a responsive website or you risk being perceived as out of touch. If your website doesn't work and look great on every type of device your target audience will likely move on to your competition - you know the one, the guys with the great website that looks great on wide screen desktop monitors, tablets and mobile phones. Your client's expectations are changing and if your website is not responsive you risk being overlooked.
2 - SEO - Search Engine Optimization
Website search engine optimization is a process not an event. You can't simply spend hours one day optimizing your website for keywords and then relax. Google and the other search engines (yes, there are a few others out there) are constantly changing their algorithms. This means that you need to be ever vigilant in maintaining and improving your websites SEO.
There are some simple things you can do to improve your websites SEO such as:
These can be done on virtually any website although it is MUCH easier to do so if your website framework is updated. Both Wordpress and Joomla! (our recommendations for website content management system frameworks) regularly update their core framework in order to "dance" better with Google and make it easier for your website content to be discovered. Wordpress and Joomla! also both have a number of SEO plugins (think apps for your phone) that can be added to their framework to help make it easier for you to optimize your website and rank more highly on Google.
If you are on an outdated version of your website framework (or if for some reason you're not using a proven content management system like Wordpress or Joomla!) managing your website for optimized SEO is a difficult task at best - often it's nearly impossible.
3 - Security
Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world and when it comes to your website you can be assured of two things. People will try to hack your website; it's not a matter of if, but when. There are a number of things you can do to increase your website security although one of the simplest and most effective is to keep your website framework up to date.
Both Wordpress and Joomla! regularly update their framework address new security risks (these updates are one of the many reasons we believe you should use one of the leading content management systems as your website framework). If you are not updating your website regularly you greatly increase your risk of being hacked.
Updating your website can be as simple as ensuring that your framework is updated. Both Wordpress and Joomla! (current versions) provide simple "one button" updates for their core framework. Updating your website for SEO will require more active participation on your end and updating your website to a responsive design may require some outside assistance. Remember, your website is there to help you reach your audience and grow your organization; regularly updating your website is a key part of that strategy.
Would you like some direction? Contact Valorous Circle, one of the leading West Michigan website design firms located in Grand Rapids, MI.
Mention this blog post and receive a FREE 30 minute consultation including a FREE review of your website and recommendations for improvement.
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