About website rejuvenation - decision criteria

Your company invested substantial funds ten years ago in the development of the site, and at least over the years the site repulsed them. This was expressed both in new customers who came through the site, and in the ability to quickly inform existing customers about your products and services.

But, like any modern technology, website production technology is developing rapidly. Your clients no longer sit at computers, they began to travel with tablets and watch sites on smartphone screens. To adapt to the new habits of your customers, you need to rejuvenate the old site. Or maybe not?

Who argues, there are conservative businesses for which rejuvenation is not required. For example, the website of the richest private company in the world, Berkshire Hathaway, froze in 1996 because it copes with the main task of providing an annual report to investors, and nothing more is required from the site.

But, if your company does not yet belong to Warren Buffett, you need to deal with it somehow. And how do you know that it’s time to lead your site to a beautician, pah ... to a webmaster?

1) Increasing the number of "rebounds"

High bounce rate, for some reason in Russian-language literature referred to as the "bounce rate" means a low level of engagement of site visitors. If the site’s audience has not changed significantly qualitatively over the past years, and you can see this in the audience’s characteristics section, for example, in Google Analytics, increasing the level of rejection from viewing is a call! In Google Analytics, we look at Aquisition> Overview and evaluate the nature of engagement through traffic channels.

Figure 1. A gracious picture. No traffic, no failures.
no traffic or failures

Figure 2. And here in the summer, something went wrong!
there is something wrong with the bounce rate

2) Increase in the number of technical errors

Look in the Crawl Errors section in the Google Search Console, if there is a tendency for the site to accumulate server errors, 404 and the results of incorrect redirects, you need to do something. For example, hire an administrator to fix it all. And not so that “we mark the errors as fixed” in the same Search Console, but for real. With a technical audit of the site and analysis of problems for each section.

Fig. 3 We had problems here, but we fixed everything. Almost, but not quite.
Errors in the console - it's time to work on them again

3) Low relative page loading speed

Google favors the comprehensive content of the pages, which quickly falls into the user's browser. He frowns if you forget to fix FOUC * , and just comes to a rage that pessimizes your position, if you forget to optimize the size of images and give users page-blown megabytes where you can get bytes.

But the mood of Google is not as bad as your blow to the patience of your users. If your site for selecting filters for vacuum cleaners loads slower than 4 seconds (and you need 2), the client will go to a faster site with a high probability.

You can check the site’s health in this sense using the Chrome PageSpeed ​​Insights Tool, and for internal documentation purposes, you can generate a report on GTMetrix.

4) User friendliness for smartphones

Yes, the mobile-first paradigm alas - triumphs. More than 60% of Internet searches today are carried out with smartphones. Is your site ready for a changed situation? Learn this will help a great Google tool to assess the "mobilization" of your site - testmysite.withgoogle.com .

If you get a bad mark with it, it’s time for your site to change clothes not only for adaptive clothes, but also adapted for mobile data networks.

Fig. 4 6 seconds is long for 3G, this site should load in 3s.
The site should load in less than 3s

5) Outdated design - a diagnosis of the need for site rejuvenation

Without going into details, the design depends on the business function of the site, how the brand of your car depends on why you need it in principle. If the website of the Berkshire Hathaway multibillion fund can afford the style of crumpled A4 paper, this does not mean that your users will be happy with this approach.

The rule of thumb - if you can’t get to the site where you need to with the thumb of the working hand on the smartphone screen, and the font is too small and tedious to read - it's time to think about the redesign.

For a redesign it is better to contact specialists with experience in adaptive development and a test lab with real devices. The times of the single webmasters are over. Nowadays, few are able to single-handedly pull the amount of testing on a large number of tablets and smartphones, even typical ones.

6) Does the old site meet your current business processes?

And how well does the site meet the needs of your business compared to the situation a decade ago? If your needs change quickly enough, and you want the site to keep up with them, it is worth hinting to your contractor about changing the approach based on a more modern accelerated development methodology ** . And also, think about implementing a business process that brings the site into line with your internal needs. Otherwise, developers, no matter how beautiful they are, will not be able to help you fully.

If your processes have changed significantly, and the site has remained a "calling card with contacts," you should consider redesigning the site in terms of "what else can my site bring to my business?" In the end, Internet sites are built just for this, to help your business in our rapidly changing circumstances.

* FOUC - Flash of Unstyled Content - a UI / UX bug when unformatted content is shown to the user, since the styles controlling the output and scripts are loaded longer than the prescribed ones.

** Even a WordPress site can be equipped with an MVC development kit, turning it from a procedural framework into an OOP framework, getting free Laravel logic, Magic Magic and the convenience of ACF in one bottle.

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