For this month’s blog, I was asked to list my top reasons for updating your site. But that topic is a red herring. You need only one reason to “update” your site – because you can. That’s the beauty of websites, versus TV commercials, brochures and other kinds of marketing communications. You can and should refine, create and delete content, functionality, design elements and images in order to improve your visitors’ experiences. These updates should be an ongoing point of focus. They should be based on analytics, and the changes should come monthly, weekly or even daily, depending on the traffic your site receives.
So the real question isn’t whether you need to update your site. It’s whether you need to replace it. At M/C/C, we’re big advocates of something called iterative web design and development. In essence, that means your website should evolve over time in response to user actions. If you practice iterative design and development correctly (and luck breaks your way), you may never need to build a new website again. Instead of launching a new site every couple of years, your site could just fluidly become something else over time through an ongoing series of small improvements. Having just written that, I will admit that sometimes even the best-laid plans go astray when luck doesn’t break your way.
Here are five instances when you need to put your website out of its misery: