One of the questions I’m asked most often is…
How do I know if my organization needs a new website?
Usually, the person asking the question is either getting conflicting opinions within their organization (some people saying they need a new websites while others are saying they don’t). Or they see it one way while their boss sees it another way. (“Our website is terrible, but my boss thinks its fine.”)
Some companies that make a living building new websites might give you all the reasons you should replace your website, but we want to see organizations make the best use of their resources, and quite frankly there are some situations replacing your website is NOT the right move. Here are…
5 Reasons NOT to Replace Your Website
1) One or two people told you they don’t like your website.
We all tend to be more sensitive to criticism than praise, plus people tend to voice criticism far more often than praise. So, just because one or two people criticize your website does not necessarily mean its got to go. If you’re concerned, ask 10 or 12 people whose opinions you trust to give you some honest feedback. Maybe you’ll find out more people think your website needs to be replaced, but one or two people could just be one or two people.
2) The church/school/business down the street just got a cool new website.
We also tend to compare ourselves to our neighbors and our competitors. Just because your neighbor got a new car does not mean you need to replace yours. And just because a neighboring organization got a new website doesn’t mean your website has to be replaced. Does your website look good? Does it have the functionality the enables you to live out your mission online? If it does, they stick with it.
3) You’re bored with the current look of your website.
If you’re a designer or a creative person in other ways, you probably have a passion to change things up and express things in new ways in many areas of your life. However, “We’ve had this design for a while” is not really a compelling reason to replace your website. There’s nothing wrong with regularly giving your website a new look, but you may want to ask yourself if its the best use of your time and resources.
4) You can get a new website for free.
We recently had a client cancel a website and web hosting for which they were paying less than $15 a month because their new phone/Internet company was including free hosting with their service. A month later, their new website is not available and their domain name still points to our server. I’m all for saving money, but if your sole reason for replacing your website is financial, make sure you consider the time, effort and potential problems involved in transitioning to a new website. It might not be worth it.
5) You think a new website will grow your organization.
Lots of people have approached me full of excitement about their business, nonprofit or church. They think their product, service or cause is so awesome, and if they just get a new website everyone will find them buy from them or join them. “If you build it, they will come” is a great movie line, but a bad marketing strategy. You may have a great product, service or cause. If your current website is poor, replacing it could be part of the solution. But you need a comprehensive marketing strategy that will get people to the new website – search engine marketing, paid ads, direct mail, TV, something. A new website is not a marketing strategy.
Here’s a bonus reason…
*You have a CMS-based website. If your current website uses content management system like WordPress, you don’t need to replace your entire website. You can give your website a new look and make it mobile-friendly by creating a new theme. Its much faster and less expensive to create a new theme than replace an entire website.
What do you think?
- Are you unsure about whether you need to replace your website or not?
- What factors are weighing in your decision? Comment and let us know.
Next week, we’ll publish part 2 of this post – reasons you should replace your website.
I’ll also share how the transition to our new WP-EZ Website Builder ties in with those reasons.