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Chuck Fields
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Is it time to revamp or rewrite your website?

Is it time to revamp or rewrite your website?

(For more information, check out our podcast at OnlineCoffeeBreak.com)

If you fail to keep your website up to date, you could lose customers, and lose business. You need to first take a critical look at your website.  There are three main areas to consider whether it’s time to revamp or rewrite your website:

 

  1. Security & maintenance
  2. Features & functionality
  3. Adaptability
  • Let’s talk security & maintenance

I like to think of a website as a finely-tuned car. You need to maintain it properly to keep it running. There are oil changes, checking the tire pressure and occasional paint scratches that you need to buff out. Imagine if you drove your car and decided not to do any maintenance for months. Eventually the engine will give out. You certainly won’t be able to get where you want to after awhile.

Like a car, a website also requires maintenance to keep it running as well. Think of how often security patches are rolled out to your computer or mobile device. Apple has released 7 iOS updates since the initial release of iOS 11 just a few months ago. Microsoft has release updates at least monthly, and nearly every manufacturer has released updates recently (or will soon) to help counter the new threats of Spectre and Meltdown. It’s a crazy world out there, but don’t be crazy yourself and expect your website to remain strong without taking pre-emptive action to reduce your vulnerability to attack. I’m still amazed that companies adopt the strategy of getting a website built then letting it go until it’s obsolete. Is that really an effective way to run your business?

Make sure you have a plan in place to maintain your website. That may include setting aside a budget to perform updates on a regular basis. In the long run it’ll be more cost-effective to make updates each quarter than to do a complete revamp, especially if your website becomes compromised and you need to act fast.

 

  • Are there new features or functionality that could make your site better?

Everyday, the devices we use are getting smarter and better with new features. Your prospects and customers are experiencing this as well, and we’re all starting to expect that the sites we visit and the apps we use are improving as well. If your website doesn’t offer features that your competitor does, then you will lose customers.

You also need to look at how efficient your website is. Does it improve your interaction with customers? Does it speed up processes that used to take longer? Is there more you could be offering within your site that could help your team work faster?

One of the things I love to do is work with my clients to see how we can use their site to speed up their business. I had one client recently whose accounts receivable department struggled each month to process customer payments. It actually took them four days to complete scheduled payments from all of their customers, including individual consumers and businesses. Through some simple engineering, I worked with them to develop a system that automated the process, completing monthly billing in just 10 minutes. It was a win-win. They were happy and I was too.

So think about your site in terms that impact your business the most. There are always ways to enhance your web application so that your business can run better. Whether it’s improving your customer relationships, re-examine your billing, or just making content updates more quickly, you’ll find that taking time to add new features or functionality is definitely worth the effort. In fact the longer you wait to take the opportunity the more money it could be costing your business.

 

  • Lastly, you need to make sure your website is adapting to the current needs of your customers and prospects.

New technology is coming out every day, whether it’s a new phone with facial recognition, apps with augmented reality, or mobile payment technologies like Apple Pay. You’ve got to make sure that your website works with new devices and technology. Now performing regular maintenance as discussed earlier in step 1 will help with this, but you need to verify that your site displays and functions fine not only on your computer, but also mobile devices and tablets. And not just the older versions, but the newer ones too.

Quite a few years ago it was typical to run tests on a website just using various web browsers, such as Microsoft’s Edge, FireFox, Safari and Google Chrome. Frequently companies would have a website that ran fine in one of these, but failed to function in others. More recently this has been avoided through the use of “Responsive websites”. A responsive website is simply a site that automatically adapts to the device where it’s being viewed. It’s great for business since it only requires one version of code, not separate versions for computers and another version for mobile devices. So it’s both cheaper and easier to develop and maintain. You’ve probably heard the common term “Mobile Friendly”, which is a definite requirement for any site. But just because your site worked well when it was launched, don’t assume it’s still working well now. Make sure you test your site using various devices and keep testing it as new devices are released to make sure your site still functions well.

You need to ask yourself how you’re doing in these three areas concerning your website in order to make certain it is functioning well, protected, and helping your business grow. Make sure you’re reviewing these areas and giving your website the attention in needs to thrive for your business.

Who am I?

I’m Chuck Fields, the founder of SpaceTech Software. I’ve been developing custom web applications for more than 20 years. Before that I was a marketing director helping businesses both nationally and internationally. I fell in love with web technology in 1997, and transitioned to full time development as a Microsoft programmer. Now I work with companies to streamline business processes, reduce transaction fees and eliminate bottlenecks so that businesses can stop wasting time and get things done faster and more efficiently. 

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