Why a website is never finished – Part 2
In this post, I’ll explain why a website should evolve over time and should never be viewed as ‘finished’.
After investing in a website, it’s easy to move onto the next project and leave the website running quietly in the background. I think this is a real shame and prevents your website from achieving its potential.
Your website should evolve with your business
A website represents your business at a point in time. This is obviously true of the content, but I think it also refers to the website’s features.
As your business evolves, so should your website. A small brochure-style site might have been fine in the early days, but it’s important to recognise when you’ve outgrown it.
By building websites using the WordPress platform, our sites are designed to be modular and future-proof. This makes it easy to add features over time, without having to redesign the site from scratch.
- If your customers have adopted a new social media platform (Facebook, Twitter etc.), it’s time to set up an account and integrate it with your website
- If sales are down and you want to target a wider market, you can add an E-Commerce features and sell your products or services online
- If you want to attract regular visitors to your website, you can build it into an online community with social networking features – discussion forums, customer reviews, online polls, membership options, etc.
- If customers are asking to see examples of your work, you can add image galleries to showcase your portfolio online
- If the direction of your business has changed, it might be time for a website restructure to ensure it still reflects what you do
Use Google Analytics to see which parts of your website are – and aren’t – popular. This will help to inform your site’s future development: Build on the things that are working, and either improve or remove the things that aren’t.
Your website should evolve over time
You can tell at a glance when a website is in need of modernisation. The internet is constantly evolving, both in terms of the technologies used and the overall style of websites.
- If your site is built in WordPress then you can give it an instant makeover by installing a new theme. These can be designed from scratch as part of a new brand identity for your business, or based on pre-made designs (premium themes). These can be customised to your business as needed.
- Does your website work on modern web browsers and mobile devices? If it was designed to look good at a certain monitor size or to suit older browsers such as Internet Explorer 6 & 7, then it might be worth optimising and refreshing your website.
- With thousands of plugins available, WordPress makes it easy and inexpensive to add new features and make use of the latest technologies – social media, web video, image galleries, e-commerce, advertising, multimedia, and much more.
If your site isn’t very future-proof then migrating it to WordPress might save you money in the long-run.
Website content should change regularly
Everyone knows that potential customers are put off by websites with out of date or inaccurate content. However, you may not realise that search engines also favour websites that are updated regularly. This means that it’s worth refreshing and adding new website content as often as possible – see Why a website is never finished – Part 1 for more information.