How to Know it's Time to Refresh Your Website Design

The world seems to move at a blistering speed these days, especially online. New fads, new colors, new fonts, new online builders, new social media platforms and marketing methods.

New! New! New! New!

Check out the sparkle!


New! NOW!!!!!!


If you’re a savvy online business owner you’ve already learned that it’s a waste of time to chase all the trends.

So how do you know when it’s time to update your website so you don’t send your hard earned web traffic screaming for the hills in 2 seconds flat?

Today I’ll show you exactly what you should be paying attention to, the rest you can save for when you want some extra icing on top.

How to know its time to update your website designArtboard 1 copy 3.png

Your favorite blogs look nothing like yours

When you think about the sites you love to frequent online and compare to your website what comes to mind? Are you feeling a bit of website shame knowing your website looks like the inside of a 1990's teenage notebook you had.

Jam-packed with text, images, and all sorts of stickers, fonts, and ideas all over the page.


Google's homepage simplicity makes your site look like a damn mess

Ahh Google – with the sleek white page that makes designers geek out.

This is a brand who really knows the value of simplicity – and it shows.

Users land on the Google homepage and there is no confusion as to what they do next – type in their search term and follow it down the internet rabbit hole.

But, ff you’re old enough to remember, Google didn’t always employ such a simple design. When Google first launched in 1997, their homepage looked like this:

Google's Original Homepage.jpg

Ew. Right? Too many fonts, to many links, too many options. TOO MUCH GOING ON.

Does your website remind you of Old School Google? Time for an update.


Your site plays music automatically

Nothing worse than landing on a website that has a ton of animations or music loading automatically! It slows down the web page and looks extremely dated.

Users don’t like to be bombarded with a bunch of content and music and images all at once – it’s overwhelming and difficult to figure out what to do next.

Do you have music auto-playing on your site as it loads? Cut that shit out!


You have a ton of shit all over your page

Again this comes down to making your website as easy for your audience to use as possible.

Imagine someone brand new to you lands on your website and knows nothing about what you do or what you offer.

If you splash your website with a thousand different pictures, a ton of columns of text and links and no clear direction your website will have a hard time making a great first impression.


You use tiny font sizes to fit it all in

Think about your audience for a second and be a little compassionate – their tired eyes don’t want to work any harder than they have to so if you pack in a ton of tiny fonts you can bet they won’t go through the effort to read it.

Don’t waste all that great copy writing! Space out your fonts and make sure they’re legible.


You have zero white space 

It used to be trendy on the internet to pack in as much color and patterns and photos as you could on a web page.

Chalk it up to the internet’s awkward teenage growing phase, cause that shit looked terrible. Seriously – it looks like their designers learned a few new tricks and wanted to use them ALL AT ONCE. No. No No.

Clean, modern web design uses color and pattern with a purpose while employing ample white space to visually organize the information.

It’s the difference between three different genres of songs being played all at once in a confusing and frustrating mess versus a single, glorious instrument playing a solo.

Using white space effectively allows your content to be the focal point.


Your site uses Flash

I know it's hard to hear for some people but when the majority of online traffic is mobile and that majority growing bigger every year, you simply cannot ignore that Apple products will not run Flash.

What does that mean for you? All of your website traffic that comes from an Apple device will miss out on any of the content you have on your site based in Flash.

It might have looked cool 10 years ago and impressed your mom, but if you are serious about keeping your website up to date - ditch the Flash like a bad boyfriend.


You use a sidebar

This can be a touchy subject for old school internet users or people who have been blogging for over a decade but hear me out.

You only have so much real estate on your website to get your point across to your audience - every pixel your sacrifice to something that isn't your message better serve a purpose.

Be honest with yourself - how much are you really making by sending people away from your website with other brands' ads? Itty bitty slice of nothing?? Yeah. That's the trend with ads these days unless your traffic is astronomical.

The sidebar is a waste of space, and for mobile users, completely ruins the experience of using your website.

Remember - you want to keep your pages simple - don't overwhelm your audience with lots of options and buttons and places to click.

We think instinctively this is the right way to go - like the restaurant with over 300 menu options for their burgers, but what happens most often is people get overwhelmed and paralyzed with the options and usually don't end up doing anything at all. 


Your competition spent money on their website and you didn’t

There are a lot of industries where a DIY hacked site is all that is required. If that’s your industry – good for you, you can move on to the next sign. Everybody else, keep on reading.

Take an honest look at who your competition is and what their websites look like.

Do you feel a bit jealous when you compare to your own website? Do they look like a million bucks while your site makes you look like a newbie?

A professionally designed website can help give your online presence that edge.


Next Steps…

Take an honest look at your website and actually update it if you think it's time.

Eliminate excess images, colors, patterns and fonts.

Don't overwhelm your users with too much information all at once, keep it simple!

Get your business ready for a new website using the free Website Prep Roadmap.

Need some more old school interwebz sites to help you feel better about your website shame?


*SHWEW* Those were ugly. Aren't you glad the internet grew up???? 

Anne Russell