5 Reasons to Blow Up Your Website

Be honest: Is that Web design as attractive as it was five years ago? Here are key signs it might be time to rebuild.

By Phil Simon | inc.com

I’ve received a decent number of compliments on my website over the years. To be sure, it’s a pretty good one and it has served me well, but I’ve decided that it’s time for a makeover. In this post, I’ll list five conditions that almost always necessitate building a new site.

You acquire a new–and sexier–domain.

This one is a no-brainer. After years of trying I recently acquired www.philsimon.com. What better way to announce the new site than redesigning it? (As of this writing, the new site is under development.) Related to this, what if your company is launching a new product? In my case, both things are true. (My new book will be out in about a month.)

 Your current site can only host so many pages.

Far too many people think of websites and content management systems as one in the same. They’re not. Static websites resemble brochures; they aren’t designed to enable users to easily add content. On the other hand, CMSs were conceived with nearly unlimited capacity for content of all types: videos, podcasts, and text. For many reasons, SEO favors sites with many pages over sites with very few. Think about it.

 Your current site appears long in the tooth.

A theme or design from 2006 might look a bit dated now. After all, the Web has changed a great deal over that time. It’s folly to assume that Web design has remained static. I wrote a few months ago that Pinterest has had a significant impact on design. If your site is image-challenged, it may be time to consider redesigning it.

 Your current site isn’t mobile-friendly.

Fellow Inc.com columnist Hollis Thomases writes that “Mobile now accounts for 12% of global Internet traffic, and it’s scaling faster than the desktop did.” It doesn’t take a sorcerer to see what’s coming. Yes, there are WordPress plug-ins that effectively simulate a mobile site. That’s a bit like getting a little bit pregnant. Why not embrace mobile completely and get a responsive theme?

 The performance of your current site is suffering.

My old site held its own for more than three years. However, I just had too many images and plug-ins running in the background, most of which I felt I needed for different reasons.

Fast forward to 2013 and new development frameworks obviate the need for a great deal of Band-Aid functionality. That is, these frameworks “ship” with many neat features baked in.

Websites age over time–some better than others. Think about how your site looks relative to your competition. Are you really putting your best foot forward?