A company can spend a lot of time and money developing a strong website, so as a business owner, how do you know when it’s time to update it? And when you do decide it’s time, do you overhaul the entire site or just update parts of it?
A website is a big investment in your company. A lot of money and time can go into the original build of a website, but it shouldn’t stop there. I often get asked “how do I know when it’s time to rebuild my website?” The answer is, if you maintain your site it can last forever. Perhaps not literally forever, but the lifespan can be increased considerably. More often than not, once we are contacted for website updates, a complete overhaul is necessary because the site hasn’t been maintained.
Some see website maintenance as just another extra monthly/quarterly expense, an unnecessary upsell, but just like a car, a website needs to be maintained in order to keep it working and up to date. The purchase of a car comes with a hefty price tag, but if you don’t do regular scheduled maintenance it will break down causing expensive repairs (I think most of us learned this the hard way with either our first cars or the cars our poor parents loaned us). It is just as important to maintain your website.
Things to look for when updating your site are:
- Broken links
- Outdated contact information
- Incorrect staff information
- Missing or poor quality images
- Pages that load slowly
- News stories that need to be posted
- Portfolio pieces that need to be added or removed
- Objects or text that have shifted or moved, or anything else that doesn’t look like it should
It is very important after a site is launched to continue regularly checking your site for errors and making adjustments and updates.
Technology is constantly advancing and if your website isn’t consistently evolving in order to keep up it will become obsolete. After a matter of weeks, coding updates will need to be made, and if those updates aren’t made, the site will slowly deteriorate. With back-end maintenance and regular content updates – which are also great for SEO – you can easily keep your website going for years. So instead of overhauling your site every 1-2 years, I suggest monthly maintenance and at least quarterly content updates to keep it fresh and new.
Cynthia Carbajal serves as Art Director for Imagine Communications. Email Cynthia at firstname.lastname@example.org.