How to Improve an Outdated Website

You’ve had a corporate website for a few years now, and you’ve noticed while surfing the Net that for some reason, your website just isn’t measuring up to other sites.  Your competitors’ websites are leaving yours in their dust!

Why is that? Could it be that your website is outdated?

But there’s a problem: what if the budget isn’t there for a brand new website? Do you leave your lackluster site for the world to see and let it do real damage to your business brand? Or do you hire a professional website developer to improve your outdated website?

You decide. And while you’re at it, here are some telltale signs that your website is in need of some professional help:

  • Your website has more blinking graphics than meaningful content – if you get dizzy looking at your site because of all the animated flags, scrolling banners and other moving things it’s time to get rid of some or all of them.  That’s not where it’s at nowadays – visitors are looking for meaningful content and useful information.
  • Your website actually doesn’t have any text; it consists entirely of graphics – let’s face it, if you want to get found in Google you need to use actual content in your web pages.  Saving 200 words within a graphic means that’s 200 possibly meaningful, keyword rich words that the search engines can’t see.  It will also be a nightmare to update – in order to change the smallest amount of text the graphic that includes that text must be reworked.  To many this may sound ridiculous – but you’d be surprised how many websites are out there that consist of images and no text.
  • Your website is still using frames – If your site’s content is using a vertical scroll bar but the rest of the site is stationary than you are using frames, and to be honest, I’m not sure if frames will render in today’s browsers – this form of webpage rendering is that outdated.
  • Your website actually has a horizontal scroll – it’s one thing to scroll vertically on a website; it’s entirely something else when you actually have to scroll from left to right to read a sentence. If visitors need to scroll back and forth to see everything using a typical monitor, how bad it is for anyone with a mobile device trying to view your website? Face it, the average web surfer has very little patience for a website that isn’t at least partially responsive.
  • Your website has spelling errors – if there’s one thing that will turn visitors off it’s a web page with a lot of spelling errors. No mind you, spelling errors are bound to sneak in from time to time, but try to keep your content as error free as possible.  If your business can afford it, consider hiring a virtual assistant to proofread your website copy on a regular basis.  This will be especially useful for a blog or magazine website where the content keeps changing.
  • Your website is using bad navigation – a well developed navigation is one of the best ways to keep your visitors engaged and hopefully have them contact you.  Your website should have clear, consistent navigation that’s located in the same place on every page of your site. Make sure your website uses hotlink navigation so that visitors can get to the most important areas of your site including the contact page, home page and site map page.
  • Your website is missing important information – make sure your website includes how to contact you, privacy information and an about section.  Even the smallest, one page site can include this information if it is organized well.
  • Your website just has too much text – there’s a right way and a wrong way to say things on the Internet.  You can’t use 10,000 words to say something that can be effectively said in 1,000 words.  It will bore the heck out of your visitors.  You can even get into trouble with Google if your long pages are poorly written. Text on a website is meant to balance subheadings, graphics and other elements that make the experience of reading a page enjoyable and interesting.
  • Your website design is uninspiring – it’s one thing to have a clean design but it’s another thing entirely to have an uninspiring design.  If your site is boring your visitors will probably assume your company and your products or services are boring too.  They’ll look for another site to inspire them.  A site that uses just the right amount of animation to spark ideas, or a site that doesn’t go overboard with text, or a site that uses a great balance of color, texture, words and graphics to convey just the right message.  Now that’s the kind of website you want for your business!  I can help you with that 🙂

Many of the issues addressed in this article can be effectively taken care of by a professional website developer who knows how to develop a good looking, useful website work for you. Having your current site analyzed and updated may save you hundreds of dollars in development costs.  Who knows?  It may even increase sales or improve your bottom line.

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