4 ways an outdated website can hurt your business

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Public Relations

How old is your website’s design? Has it been five, 10 or 15 years since you’ve made an update? If your website is old, the design is probably outdated. At first, it might not seem like a big deal to have an outdated design. Many businesses have websites that haven’t been updated since the 1990s and they still generate sales. While that’s true, those businesses are missing out. If your website is outdated, here’s why it’s hurting your business.

1. You’re losing sales

It’s entirely possible for your website to be generating sales and losing sales at the same time. There will always be a portion of website visitors who convert regardless of your site’s design, but that doesn’t mean you’re generating as many sales as you could. People judge websites by their looks, and an outdated design can make visitors bounce.

You won’t know how many sales you’re losing until you have a web designer update your design. When you get an updated design, it helps to hire a web designer that also provides high-quality web hosting that can handle more traffic. An increase in traffic and sales will place a bigger load on your server, and you don’t want it to crash.

2. You might have broken page elements

If your website’s design hasn’t been updated in years, there’s a good chance you have broken page elements, especially if it’s been a decade or more. Newer sites designed on platforms like WordPress can use plugins to identify 404 errors, broken links, and other broken page elements. If your site was built on an obscure platform, or in pure HTML, CSS, or PHP, the chances are even greater that you’ll have broken page elements.

What happens when your website has broken elements? It depends on the page and the element, but it can range between inconveniencing visitors to preventing them from accessing content.

One element that might be causing you trouble on an older website is Flash. Although many web designers stopped using Adobe Flash years ago when it was deprecated, some websites were still being built with Flash elements just a few years ago. Flash was completely discontinued on December 31, 2020, and Adobe currently blocks it from running. If any part of your website was built with Flash, it won’t work.

3. Broken links make visitors bounce

Do you have a website with deep internal links? Over the years, if you’ve deleted any of your pages without applying redirects, you have broken links. This means people are clicking on links and getting an error.

While it’s worse to have a large number of broken links, all it takes is one broken link to lose visitors. When you update your website’s design, it’s the perfect time to go through each of your web pages to make sure all of your links are valid. If your link structure is going to change with your update, unless you used relative links, you’ll have to update all of your internal links anyway.

4. An outdated design makes visitors bounce

Forcing web visitors to navigate your site with an outdated design is like asking your friends to sit on a couch with 1960s upholstery when the rest of your house is modern. It’s uncomfortable and doesn’t feel quite right.

Your website’s visual content matters, and when you have your website redesigned, you can incorporate all the important visual elements that capture attention and support conversions. Some of the best contemporary visual content includes:

  • Explainer videos. People love explainer videos because they simplify complex concepts and ideas into a visually-appealing format. If visitors can click a play button and learn about your product or service without having to read, you’re more likely to get the sale.
  • Authentic images. Stock photos are boring and they all tend to look the same. Using authentic images created just for your business will impress your visitors.
  • Professional graphics. Just like stock photos, stock graphics give off a general vibe that isn’t appealing. When you need graphics, hire a professional designer to create your designs from scratch.

Remember that people are predominantly visual, and the visuals on your website will have more of an influence than your copy.

Strengthen your design, boost your business

When your website’s design is on point and aesthetically pleasing, your business will benefit. Your bounce rate will drop, you’ll see more repeat traffic, and you’ll generate more conversions. If your site needs a redesign, don’t hesitate to get it done.

Larry Alton
Larry Alton is a freelance tech and computer writer


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