We’re talking about how to know when it’s time for a new website in your business. This is a big question that I get asked often, and it can be hard to tell whether you just have “shiny object syndrome” or if you’ve been neglecting your website without realizing it. Often times it’s time for a total website overhaul, and we are so distracted that we miss it. And, when we miss it (as you’ll soon find in this blog post), you’re leaving money on the table. Today, I’m walking you through how to know if it’s time for a website update and some specific questions to ask yourself to help you decide exactly what you need!
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There are so many ways you can know when it’s time for a new website! Often times you just FEEL it and you know. While other times you can be on the fence asking “do I really need this?!” If that’s you, then you need this blog post. Today we’re discussing complete redesigns, whether it’s a website template or a custom design.
How to Know if it’s Time for a New Website
1. You can’t update your website yourself.
This one is so simple, yet so many people miss this as a reason to take action. If you have a website right now where you can’t confidently go in and update photos, where you can’t change out your website copy, or you can’t easily add new services to your page yourself - then you NEED to do something new! Your website should be able to be maintained by either you personally as the business owner or by someone on your team. It should NEVER be something where you hired someone to make it and now you can’t do anything with it. You should be empowered to change your website with little tweaks or big tweaks with ease. So, if you can’t update it yourself, this could mean that you need to start over and get a new website completely or it could mean that you need to do some training on learning whatever platform your site is on.
For example, I had a template buyer recently whose previous website was a 100% custom coded website, which meant that when she went in to edit it she just saw CODE. Line after line of HTML and CSS code. She didn’t know how to change anything. She couldn’t update her pricing, change out her portfolio, she was just totally stuck. This is never ideal. She got a template (which meant she went from a custom-designed website to a template! Templates aren’t just for newbies!) and now she has the power to manage her own website, as it should be.
So if this is you and you’re thinking “I haven’t updated my website in forever because I don’t know how” well it is time for some change! You likely need a new website. Start fresh and do it right this time.
2. Your business has simply outgrown the design.
This is the biggest reason and the most common reason I see for a new website. Your business will hopefully grow, evolve and improve. I’ve worked with so many people for both the templates and custom work where this was the case. They had a website, then their services changed drastically or they increased their prices a lot or changed their target audience, and then their website is still lagging behind.
When your business has outgrown your website’s design, you are 100% leaving money on the table. Because then your brand lacks consistency, which creates a disconnect with customers.
For example, I had a client recently who had the same website for about 3 years. She was not like the other example I gave of the client who couldn’t edit their site. She was able to update things easily, she was blogging regularly, and her business was booming! But, her website didn’t reflect her current level of work or who she was trying to attract as clients. Her website looked like she should be a budget photographer, but she was charging premium prices. And her services were premium, but her website looked like she had just started yesterday. It was a disconnect and she literally told me she KNEW she was losing bookings because of this disconnect. Her website made people doubt her skills. So, she got a completely new website with me. She started over completely! Her business had outgrown the old design. That didn’t mean the old design was hideous, just that it wasn’t her anymore.
In my time in business, I’ve had 4 completely different websites, as in, I started from scratch. And before my business, I had a website for my freelancing services. So, that’s 5 websites in total! Every time I shifted it was because something changed in who I was targeting, what I was offering or my skill level. And, I had changed my website an abnormal amount in such a small period of time, but I don’t regret a single change because, with every change, my business grew more and more.
3. It’s been more than 2 years since you’ve changed anything on your website.
I want to be cautious here by throwing out a blanket number of years that you’ll need a new website. So, hear me say that up front! I DO NOT think everyone needs a brand new website every 2 years. DEFINITELY NOT. That is completely unnecessary! However, if you haven’t touched your website in 2 years, you definitely need to either go in and make tweaks on what is on there now without an overhaul OR do a complete overhaul. Your website is a living and breathing marketing piece for your business. You cannot just leave it sitting stagnant. So, that’s why I say if it’s been 2 years or more, you need to go show your website some love! Give it some updates, change out photos, update your website copy, and consider changing some of the design pieces.
I find that, at times, people have a misconception about websites. Some think of them being one and done things, like “Oh, I bought a template and I set it up, now that piece of my business is FINISHED.” But, your website needs updating and updating somewhat often. I would say quarterly it’s smart to just go through every page and see if there’s anything that needs fixing. And probably every year to 2 years, you could consider a complete overhaul.
4. Your website’s design isn’t up to current design and web standards.
This one is so hugely important. Design and website standards DO change over time, and if your website is super outdated, then you need to change it up. An example would be if your website was custom coded in a computer language no one uses anymore. Or if you have one of those websites where every single page is just on one page and now everyone is in agreeance that those are super bad for your SEO. I talked to someone the other day who had a client get a custom site on Showit where it was set up so poorly on the backend that they couldn’t maintain it. Another example would be if your website isn’t mobile responsive. If any of those sound like you, then you likely need a new website because having a website that doesn’t function properly is going to hurt your business.
5. You intuitively know it’s time for a new website.
Not everything is so cut and dry! Sometimes you just KNOW. I consider myself someone who makes a lot of decisions based on intuition. You still want to think decisions through well and analyze your options. But, I really do believe in the phrase “when you know, you know”. Like sometimes you don’t have some crazy reason, you just KNOW… I need a new website. Or you find a new website template and you’re like “this is the template I need for my business” and you don’t have any crazy analytical explanation. You just KNOW.
And if that’s how you operate sometimes or all the time, just know I GET YOU. And, I have so many template buyers who report this kind of intuitive “knowing”. Here’s a part of what one template buyer said. Her name is Celestina Knight and her business is Cellardoor Weddings.
Here’s what she said “As a photographer who values visual aesthetic and creativity, finding the perfect website template was a seriously daunting task. I think I sifted through a few hundred templates, unimpressed and discouraged before I stumbled across a recommendation for Elizabeth McCravy. I quickly fell in love with her Alice template that is DREAMY, ROMANTIC, WHIMSICAL, but most importantly- it caused an emotional reaction from me which had never happened before. I had goosebumps as I looked through the pages and fell more in love with every click!”
See what I mean?! It’s like she just KNEW. And when you just know, I think it’s best to follow your instincts.
Now, here are some questions I want you to ask yourself if you’re still not sure where you fall after all of those reasons.
1. Will this likely increase my profits?
Do you have reason to believe that your current website is hurting your business profits? If so, a website would be a good investment. Your website is often a customer’s FIRST impression of you. Your brand can make it or break it in a matter of seconds. In most cases, a good website design will increase your profits.
I often see business owners leaving money on the table because their website is unappealing. And I think sometimes people think “My website sucks, but I make a lot of money and my business is actually doing really well so it’s fine.” And I feel like when that’s you when your website is bad but you’re very lucrative, that’s often when you most need a new website. Because you’re already earning so much, there’s even more potential there if you fix the things that aren’t great in your business. Making a lot of money is a reason to make everything even better, not to just settle.
And on a side note, if you think your website sucks... Your ideal client does too.
2. Am I reaching my ideal clients?
This kind of goes back to what I was saying when there’s a disconnect between what you offer and what it looks like. When your business grows and shifts, your ideal client does too. So, you’ve got to make sure you’re attracting the right people for your business!
3. Does my entire brand lack consistency?
This one is so huge! Do your website and Instagram look like 2 completely different businesses? Maybe your Pinterest images look one way and then your website is another thing entirely. Consistency is KEY when developing a strong brand. If your fonts, colors, and imagery are sporadically chosen, getting it all streamlined will be huge for your business’ growth.
4. Do I have the funds necessary to properly invest in this?
This is an important one. Notice I don’t say “Can I afford this?” I hate the word “afford” and “expensive.” My biggest encouragement to you is to not come to the conversation about money and your website from a lack mindset. Saying “I can’t afford a new website.” Or “that template is too expensive” does NOT serve you and will just keep you stuck. Instead, I recommend to steward your money well. Which means making smart financial decisions for your business. God calls us to be stewards of what he’s given us and this 100% applies in your business too. And as you steward your money well, that also means knowing when it’s time to invest in your business. I always say “it takes money to make money”. You’ve got to be willing to invest in your business, but not blindly.
For example, if you have just started your business and you have made no money and also are $20,000 in debt, then NO you don’t need a custom $8,000 website. You may still need a website if you don’t have one, but something at that price point isn’t right for you and it wouldn’t be smart to spend that much. But, investing in things like a website (at the right price for where you are) IS a worthy investment. And I would argue that when done well, your website can be one of the best investments you can make in your business. So, don’t let money be the reason you don’t have a great website. I know at least in my business as a designer, people really do make back what they spent BECAUSE of the website. I hear people tell me all the time that they get feedback that someone was attracted to them over a competitor because of their website or how they are presenting themselves online. It matters.
And as a bonus, when you work with me, you have the option to join an affiliate program where you can actually earn back the cost of your website FROM ME, as in, I pay you when you make sales!
So, some fast practical tips though for working an investment of a website into your business’ budget.
- Choose a payment plan option to make the money hitting your account be less at a time. This is hugely helpful!
- Don’t pay yourself every penny you make, save up money in your business for things like a website. Just like you save for things in your personal life, you should do this in your business.
I hope that after reading this blog post that you have clarity about what’s best for your business right now! If you’ve read and decided, I DO need a new website and you’re wanting it to be a website with ME personally. Thanks for that! Go look at my website and shop the templates. They are gorgeous, strategically designed websites that I created to help you book more clients. So many female boss babes like you are already using them, and I’d love to have you join our family!
September 24, 2019