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11 Reasons Why You Should Update Your Site this Year

Do you love your website?

If the answer is no or not really, you shouldn’t even continue reading this article. Just go visit our shop, choose a design that you like and start building a website that you’ll be proud to share online, and invite prospects to browse through. A site that will effectively promote your work and help you book more clients. Otherwise, what’s the point in keeping this powerful marketing tool, investing time and effort into it, if it doesn’t help your business grow and flourish?

It’s not enough to just have a website. It’s needs to look good, it needs to present information clearly, it needs to be easy to navigate, and it needs to create a strong first impression. Otherwise, you’re just competing for the attention of the same audience alongside another few hundred businesses. And that is an exhausting game.

If you’re not sure whether your current website needs a facelift? Here are 11 signs clearly pointing that your website needs a revamp (listed in no particular order). Know that we also have weekly hot deals on our website designs, should the necessity arise.

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1. It’s not memorable and doesn’t stand out

What was cool 3 years ago, may not be this year. Maybe you were one of the early adopters of a new design style or aesthetic, but that was 2-4 years ago. Look around, everyone has similar website designs, especially if they use them ready out of the box. That’s why we created Flexthemes and Flexblock – to empower you with more design and expression freedom. Create your own blocks and page layouts. Go crazy with website design ideas! Our FlexBlock editor allows you that and fully personalize how your website looks on desktop and mobile!

2. It Doesn’t Reflect Your Brand

This one should be straightforward. Your website promotes you 24/7 in the online world. If you’ve rebranded recently, if your photography style and aesthetics have changed and evolved throughout the past seasons – your website should reflect and advocate that change. Otherwise, you may be attracting the wrong type of clients, who are after your old type of work. Which brings us to reason #3.

3. You’re Not Attracting the Right Clients

We’re explaining this in more details in How Design Affects Your Business Growth article, but the point is – if you are not getting inquiries from the type of clients you want to work with, you are not positioning yourself correctly on the market. One golden rule is to carefully curate your work. Check the content and galleries you show on your website, remove the type of work you don’t want to do in the future (i.e. family, portrait, editorial, etc). Carefully select your BEST, fresh images (the type of projects you want to do more of) and include them on your homepage. This will immediately filter out some of the inquiries which are not a good fit for you. Make sure all your content is consistent, including colors, fonts, icons. An example of consistency in a website would be this.

4. Outdated Theme & Technologies?

This one affects your visitors’ experience on your website. “Old school is cool” does not apply when it comes to functionality. The digital world is constantly changing and evolving. Web standards shift each year, dictating new tools and technologies for building a good website. Your potential clients’ preferences and tastes shift even faster. What was trendy yesterday, may not be next week. If you want your business to succeed, you need to be agile with your visual presentation and website design.

If you’ve built your website over 2 years ago, most likely it’s far behind in terms of looks and functionality. It probably has outdated code that can slow down its loading speed or the way it responds on different devices (if it’s mobile friendly at all). It might also not be compatible with some of the latest popular browsers. Take our example, three years ago we launched our first Classic themes with the drag and drop page builder, a year ago we released FlexBlock, and in November 2019 the world greeted the first Flexthemes.

The difference between our old, classic themes and the Flexthemes is huge (we explain it here). Building a custom looking website with our new themes is a whole lot easier. You don’t need to know code, add Css snippets or hire a technical team. The new visual editor is so simple, your grandma could probably do it (yet please don’t make her do your own tasks).

Bottom line here, if it’s been a while since you’ve built your site, start looking for website design inspiration and a fresh template to use as base.

5. Mobile Friendly

I sure hope this is not the case, but if you still don’t have a mobile friendly website – get a new theme NOW! Even if you do have a responsive or adaptive design, you still need to keep up with the latest trends. Newer themes include modern css code which allows your site to adapt nicely to any device. They also allow you to hide certain page blocks for mobile and ensure a faster and smoother user experience. Also, you must know that Google cares about the experience you offer to your mobile guests, since over 50% of website traffic comes from portable devices.

Offering more control to our clients over the design and functionality of their mobile websites has always been an important goal on our list. With Flexthemes, the steering wheel is in your hands. You have access to the mobile view of your website sections, can easily make adjustments, hide or show certain areas of your site (as shown in the video above) to ensure a truly wonderful and unique browsing experience to your mobile guests.

If you’re not sure how many of your prospects access your website via their phone? Wondering if it make sense for you to customize your mobile site? Go ahead and check your site’s stats right now. You can do that via your Google Analytics account. Mobile is important and it won’t go away in the next years. Don’t leave money on the table with a poorly performing mobile site, it’s one of those crucial business aspects that you can’t ignore.

6. Does Your Website Load Slow?

Aim for a loading time under 5 seconds. If you’re not sure how quickly your site loads, use tools like Pingdom or GTmetrix  to check how long it takes for your site to load, and which files are the troublemakers. Poor results could mean you have some work to do. Slow loading speed could be caused by a number of reasons: heavy unoptimized images, underpowered hosting and even an old, poorly performing theme.

The first one can be easily solved by following this Ultimate Guide to Saving Your Images for the Web. For the second one, check out this article describing 5 key criteria to choosing a good hosting provider. If your hosting and image sizes are not an issue, you will need to choose one of these for your site (wink).

7. Your Bounce Rate is High

This is extremely important. If you’ve been pouring your heart and time into blogging, SEO and marketing, bringing a lot of traffic to your website – yet the second they access your homepage (or any other page), they bounce right off of it – you have a problem. You’re losing leads and potential clients.

A high bounce rate indicates that you’re doing something wrong, either with content, with the navigation or overall look and feel on your website. On average, a bounce rate between 40-60% is considered to be OK (this varies depending on your industry).

You can check your bounce rate via Google Analytics. Log in and go to Acquisition >> Overview tab. If it’s high, start with following these 9 Steps to reducing your Bounce Rate. If it doesn’t help, it’s time for a website redesign, and we do suggest seeking some expert advice in UX and UI.

In case you want to dive deeper into Measuring Performance and Tracking Success for your site, download our SEO guide here.

8. Security

To be honest, new or old, any website can be hacked. The experience is stressful and painful, especially when you lose information, or/and have to build everything from scratch. However, older websites rely on older technology, therefore chances of security breach are higher. Make sure your theme is updated and follow these 12 steps to make your site more secure.

9. SEO

Let’s start with the basics. Do you have a blog? You should, as it’s a powerful marketing tool to drive more traffic and users your way, through keywords (assuming that you invest time into a proper keyword strategy), internal links and backlinks.

You also need to know that search engines love good, updated content. Every time you make an update to your site, Google and other search engines crawl and index your pages, thus your site ranking gets recalculated. If you keep your content updated and GOOD QUALITY, you increase your chances of getting noticed in search results. Pair that with a charming, good looking website, and you’re guaranteed more attention.

If we got you curious about SEO, check out our SEO guide. Also take a look at this incredible post by Dylan M Howell on Content Strategy and How to Blog like and Expert.

10. Do I need Call to Actions?

Of course you do. And it’s not just a button or link added here and there. It has to be placed strategically, to keep your user’s interest and offer them to see more content on your site. We’re explaining How Call to Actions work in Design in this article, but the idea is to guide your site visitors through your content to your Best Work, then to your contact form. If you’re current website is limited in CTAs (Call to Actions) and doesn’t allow much customization – it’s time to get something more flexible and powerful for your sales funnel and business growth – like our Flexthemes. They allow you to fully customize any layout, add buttons, images, videos, texts and other design elements, easily, to any site section.

Never leave your site visitors wondering what they should do next. If it’s not subtle and intuitive, they’ll leave and never return. And that’s sadly a lost prospect.

11. All those Cool Apps & Integrations

An old outdated website might not keep up with all the new apps, plugins and integrations available out there. So, if you want your favorite Studio Management System, Photo Editing app or any other useful tools that simplify your workflow to be integrated with your site – keep it updated and fresh.

How we can help

The point of this article was not to convince you to update your website just for the sake of changing. While a website redesign is an important and complex process, which requires some time and effort – think about the reason you got a website in the first place. It exists to promote your work, help customers get to know you as a brand and person, as well as get them excited to work with you!

We put much thought and expertise into each of our products. We create beautiful and powerful tools to make website building simpler, more fun and empowering. If you’re not sure how Flothemes can fit your business needs, if you’re wondering if you’ll manage to set everything up on your own, if you need some assistance with choosing the design that would work best for your portfolio – talk to us, by scheduling a free consultation call or sending us a message here.

Want to learn more about website building? Need a set of rules to follow when planning your next website? Check out this article we wrote for PhotoBug Community on 5 Things Every Photographer Should Do When Building Their Website. Also, don’t forget to check out current hot deals on website designs.

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Flothemes Team,
Supporting You. 

One comment

    Tom Robak

    20:00 October 10, 2016

    Regarding bounce rate... Benchmark Averages for Bounce Rates Content Websites: 40-60%; Lead Generation: 30-50%; Blogs: 70-98%; Retail Sites: 20-40%; Service Sites: 10-30%; Landing Pages: 70-90%.

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