To Optimize or Upgrade? That is the Question

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Website design is a continuous process, and you have to maintain your website according to the latest trends in web design.The trends in web design keep changing and evolving, and you have to keep up with them else users stop visiting it. If lately, the traffic on your website has shown the sign of going down, and you need to consider upgrading and updating your website. There are simple methods that help you decide whether your website needs an upgrade.

In this blog, we talk about website optimization and upgrade. We are going to see the factors that tell you whether you should select website optimization or website upgrade. First, let us look at the factors that help you decide whether your website needs an update:

1. Your website is not mobile-friendly:your website is not mobile friendly

If you open your website on any mobile device, does it look device friendly? Is it easy to go about the interactive elements of the site on a mobile screen? If the answer to the above two questions is no, then you should make your website mobile-friendly. A mobile-friendly website is a trend these days as most of the users browse websites through their smartphones. It makes it imperative for everyone to create websites that are mobile-friendly to stay in the competition.

The website should be optimized such that it works perfectly across all the mobile screens, regardless of the screen size the user is using. Google gets more search queries from people using mobile phones than people using laptops or desktops. Hence, your website must be mobile optimized.

2. The website is very slow:

The website is very slow

The average load time of a website on any Internet connection is around 4 to 5 seconds. If your site takes more time to show up than that, you need to upgrade your website. When your website doesn’t open in 4 seconds time window, you are bound to lose the user, and the bounce rate increases. You may start losing traffic because of the more loading time of your website. In this fast-paced world, users love websites that load quickly irrelevant to the device. And as far as mobile users are concerned, they think browsing a site on a desktop is tedious; hence they prefer browsing on their mobile phones.

Make sure that your website is working based on the latest technological tools so that it takes less load time.

3. Non-functional navigation:

Non-functional navigation

The user interface is the first thing that the user encounters when he first visits your website. UI or User Interface is something where a user clicks and expects your website to take him to his desired webpage. Long navigational menus are out of date, and you need to design the user interface so that the user reaches his webpage in fewest clicks possible.

The best design in any user interface is when your customer goes where you make them go. You make them click the links that they should follow. It makes the user interested and keeps him engaged on your website for a more extended period. More prolonged engagement makes the search engine think of your website as relevant. This relevance can make you rank higher in the search engine results page. With a higher ranking, you can gain more traffic because users tend to click the top most website links on a search engine’s results page.

4. Your website is impossible to modify:

Your website is impossible to modify

If your website is not running on the latest update, you may be losing a considerable amount of money while using traditional methods. You need to implement and use a content management system (CMS) that allows the website owner to modify and add new content inside a website. A CMS allows more than one user to edit, update, or upload content on the site. It is beneficial when you want to upload content from anywhere in the world. Any user of your website can perform the task without knowing web programming languages and tools.

You should build your website on the WordPress platform, which is widely used by many website owners. Once you implement a content management system, you don’t need to contact your web developer. You can update the content on the website through CMS as and when required, which saves you a lot of money.

5. Your website is not updated in terms of digital marketing:

Your website is not updated in terms of digital marketing

Digital marketing has taken the world by storm. Digital marketing is endorsing your website digitally using a few proven techniques like content with targeted keywords. It improves the rank of your site in the search engine results page. Hence, you should update content and other elements of your website periodically at regular intervals.

If your website is older than a few years, you should be sure that it does not adhere to digital marketing laws. It may lead you to lose a potential customer base only because your website does not follow the digital marketing trend because it is not updated according to the SEO guidelines. Hence, to stay in the competition and grow your customer base, you should optimize your website in terms of digital marketing.

6. Your website still has Flash elements:

Your website still has Flash elements

Adobe Flash is software that allows online streaming of multimedia content like audio and video on a webpage of a website. These multimedia elements were present using Flash plugin on a web page of a supporting web browser.

But now, Flash is considered outdated for the last five or more years. Apple products and search engines have stopped supporting Flash, and hence it is terrible for your website’s SEO. A search engine cannot interpret Flash elements; therefore, it can prove detrimental for your website to have Flash plugins. With this point in consideration, your website can lose relevance to a great extent from the search engine. If this is the case, it is about time you redesign your website from scratch.

The above factors are enough to help you decide whether your website needs updating.

Optimization improves your webpage’s performance by increasing the factors that make the numbers of users, browsing your website, grow. It could be anything like making a user fill out a form, subscribing to your blog, or nudging him to make a purchase. It means you are receiving the traffic and making the most out of it.

Now, let us move forward and see the factors that help you decide if your website needs optimization:

1. High traffic but low conversion rate:

High traffic but low conversion rate

A common reason your website has a low conversion rate is that people don’t approve of what they see on your website. Another reason being, they don’t seem to find what they are searching. Now, you have designed your website according to the latest tools in trend.

Even though your website has a fantastic user interface and design, the user keeps jumping off your site. When there is a higher bounce rate, the search engines lower your rank on its results page. If this is what is happening, then the website design issues need the right amount of attention. You need to map and understand the user’s behavior and interaction on your website. You can also conduct funnel analysis, which tells you about where the user chooses to bounce off. During website design, you should also pay attention to who your target audience is and what they prefer. It helps you design the website while keeping your target audience and their preferences in your mind. Therefore, if your site has a traditional design, you need to redesign it while keeping these things in mind.

2. Your concept of customer psychology is not the same as customer behavior:

Your concept of customer psychology is not the same as the customer behavior

User behavior signifies what a user’s activity is after they land on your website’s home page. These activities can be clicking on links, entering information, or merely scrolling through the page without any other kind of interaction. It may help you understand what a user expects from your website. Your assumptions about a customer’s psychology can work wonders only until some point in time.

With changing trends and user’s thought processes, there are chances that your website may not align with it. Running various tests to understand how the user behaves on your site may give you an insight into what is lacking. You would be able to see which points receive more of a user’s attention than others. If a user is not going to where he is supposed to, it is about time you optimize your website.

3. Your website is pending renovation:

Your website is pending renovation

If you haven’t changed your website design and function in years, there are chances that your users may have lost interest in your website. There is also a possibility that some aspects of your site may have stopped working, which could create a negative impact. Every user on the Internet loves to see a visually appealing website that is up to date with the latest facts and figures. With an outdated website, a user may land on your site if he finds it on the search engine results page. But, he may jump off because he didn’t see it updated according to the current trend. This bounce rate may damage your website’s reputation, which eventually puts your business in danger of losing the market’s status.

Google ranks the website based on its relevance and freshness. If your site boasts of recently updated content with correctly targeted keywords, then your website may receive the right attention from search engines.

4. Website revamp happened recently:

Website revamp happened recently

With extensive exposure to website designs, users are smart enough to know which designs stand more chance than others. With the design trends and optimized websites, there is a change in how a user responds to a specific design. Decide a specific page with which, you want the maximum user engagement. For that, design two pages. Various configurations allow you to see the pages in a different light and help you decide upon the best plan.

Hence, you should often compare two versions of the same webpage to see which page receives more user engagement. For this, you should gain the response of pages from a smaller section of an audience before making a decision. And then, you should select the one that receives more user response.

5. You received a web designer’s advice for your website:

You received a web designer's advice for your website

A web designer knows everything about the latest trends in website design schemes, themes, and color combinations. But if the users are not very keen on interacting with your website, there is no point in discussing website designs. Instead, you should consider website optimization, which can boost your sales and customer footfalls. SEO tools like scroll maps allow you to see whether the customer visits the content you want them to see, and this can give you an understanding of all of it.

6. Your website has security issues:

Your website has security issues

If you are still functioning through old website design, the chances are that your confidential user data can leak when hackers try to hack it open. When you use the latest tools, you receive updated security snippets and patches with the latest tools. Because of a traditional website, the security patches in new tools may not be available to you. It may pose a massive threat to your website, and it may be long before you realize that your site is already compromised. Therefore, this is an essential factor to consider securing your website before you do anything else.

7. Keeping an eye on your competitors:

Keeping an eye on your competitors

It is a wise move to keep an eye on your competitor’s activities to understand how a user responds to certain things and actions. There is a possibility that a potential customer is interacting with your competitor’s website. If your competitor’s site is more comfortable to interact with, you may be losing out because your website is not optimized and updated according to the user’s preferences.

These days, it is standard customer behavior to interact with a brand before going to an online shopping website to make a purchase. If your site is outdated, you may lose on so many potential customers. These prospective customers would have turned out to be those who make purchases. Hence, this could be a sign that your website needs to be optimized.


We talked about many factors in this blog that can help you decide whether your website needs updating, optimization, or both. Even if one of the factors matches your website, it is enough to tell you that you need to upgrade your website. You should make sure your website works hard for your business and brings you, potential users.

John Culotta
John is the chief editor here at WebDesignDev. He is a creative who enjoys writing, research, and all things design related as well as (formerly) a full-time musician. As an entrepreneur, he has many years of experience in designing websites, packaging, logos, photo editing, and the development of his own top-selling products on Amazon and Shopify. You can see his motivational Instagram account or connect on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.

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