If your website is over three years old, then it’s probably a good time to get it updated or replaced. A clean, fresh, up-to-date website is a key element to putting across a professional image to your existing customers and new prospects too.
A low-cost option is to have a new ‘skin’ created for the site. If your current website uses a Content Management System (CMS), then it’s likely that replacing the current skin with a new one is relatively simple. All you need to do is commission a web design agency to produce a new skin, and test it with them with the existing content. They will help you do this.
A higher investment cost would be to completely replace the site. I would recommend this if the site is more than five years old. This is because an up-to-date website will be ‘responsive’. This basically means that it works on mobile devices and tablets as well as on traditional desktop and laptop computers.
Remember that over half of devices used to surf the web are now mobile devices. How does this reflect the demographic of people who you are selling to?
Regarding who to commission your website, here are some simple rules to use. Ensure the web designer has a team. Avoid a one-person business, unless you’ve worked with them before, or they are highly recommended. There are several different skills needed to create an effective website. Also, if a one-person business goes on holiday, what happens if you need urgent updates made to the website?
Sign a contract, and ensure that you own the domain name and website content. This is in case you would like to move to another provider in the future. Make sure the domain names are assigned ownership to your business.
Check your existing or new domain names on ‘www.whois.com’ to see the name of ‘the registrar’ – this is the person who legally owns the domain name. It needs to be your business name and address to avoid future problems.
Golden rule – keep the content fresh. Make regular posts to blogs, and update the home page with news worthy items. Search engines love up-to-date content.