Some of the most common questions we’re asked after launching a website are “How often should you update your website?” and “Why is it so important to keep a website up to date?”.
It’s simple – an outdated website could be the difference between a customer choosing a competitor over you.
Websites aren’t designed as a ‘set and forget’ thing; you should have a vision of what you’re hoping to achieve. If you want a website solely so your potential clients can find your phone number and other contact details, you can probably get away with not updating very often.
On the other hand, if your website is a key tool to communicate your brand identity and build trust with your potential clients, there is more value in staying on top of everything.
So, how often should you update
Your website should grow and pivot with your business – not lag behind. Websites are one of the first touch points for clients, and having something that is both practical and exciting can set you apart.
Below are a few examples of when you should consider updating your site:
- The products/services to your business change (or you add new ones).
- New key messaging is defined, and you want to speak to your clients in a way that is recognisable and consistent.
- You update your style guide, and need to showcase your brand consistently across all digital platforms.
- You need new features (e.g. booking portals if you run a salon, a calculator if you run a brokerage etc) which give potential clients a reason to use your site.
- You update old content to ensure your SEO is well received.
General maintenance and security
Maintaining your website’s health is extremely important in ensuring you are protected against security threats and technical issues.
These updates should occur at the very least every 6-12 months. However, we recommend performing them monthly and even monitoring things like web security daily.
If you use WordPress, there are some great plugins available to install that help automatically monitor security threats and block attacks.
Some of our favourites include:
- Wordfence Security
- iTheme Security
You’ll also need to make sure that your WordPress installation and plugins are kept up to date with the newest versions. This ensures your site is as secure as it can be against potential attacks from hackers.
Vulnerabilities can be found by hackers and used to their advantage to access or deface a WordPress installation. Fortunately, the WordPress team is quick to react to these security exploits, often releasing a fix before you even know there’s a problem. These fixes are also provided by WordPress at no cost.
However, before making any major updates, it’s important to perform a complete website backup to avoid critical errors and potentially losing your site.
If you require support with website maintenance and security, get in touch with us to see our website maintenance and security packages available.
Your content strategy will usually depend on your industry, sector, product, or service. Fresh content could include updating team members or adding new testimonials, while for others, it could be posting new blogs or adding items to the online store.
If blogs are a part of your content strategy, you should define the frequency that you’ll post and stick to it as best as possible.
The frequency will again depend on your purpose and audience. Posting regularly could look like daily posts or posting multiple times per week. Posting infrequently could be weekly or even monthly.
If your blog is new, writing daily would help you build content quickly and increase your domain authority by boosting daily traffic through loyal readers.
Updating imagery as you acquire more can be a good way for clients to resonate with your services, communicate that your services are high quality and keep potential clients on your website.
It also helps you build uniformity across other mediums, such as Instagram.
Over time your business will evolve, and your product or service offering may change or expand. Your content strategy should allow for these changes and be reviewed frequently to ensure you are communicating the correct information to your audience.
It’s also important to make sure your communication style and tone of voice is consistent across all platforms.
Additionally, you may need to update things like team members or testimonials as they grow with your business. While these aren’t services you offer clients, these things help build trust and make your brand more personable, and keeping them up to date can build trust and confidence
It’s important to consider other content, such as online forms, privacy policies, terms and conditions, etc., in your content strategy. Make sure these include the latest information, disclaimers, etc., where necessary.
If your business has undergone a visual rebrand, it may be time for a website design overhaul.
Visual consistency across all touchpoints of your business is important in creating brand recognition and enhancing credibility. Having an instantly recognisable site means the audience won’t think they’ve come to the wrong place – imagine thinking you’re jumping onto the Officeworks website, and instead of being hit with their signature blue and red branding, you’re bombarded by pink and black… how confusing!
There are several visual elements that may need updating on your website. These can include:
Your logo is your ‘trademark’. It’s the main thing used to identify your brand, so it’s important that this is front and centre on your site. If you have updated your logo, ensure you are using the latest version. Discrepancies between logos across your collateral could make visitors think they are on the wrong site.
Often new fonts are introduced with a visual rebrand. If your brand fonts aren’t available as web fonts, your designer should give you alternative web fonts that suit your brand fonts as closely as possible. This will help maintain visual consistency.
It’s also important that your fonts are legible online and displayed consistently across browsers and devices.
Colour is often the first thing we see as humans. Ensuring your colours are consistent across your online and offline collateral is crucial in creating an instantly recognisable site for viewers.
Iconography and graphic elements
Iconography and graphic elements help to tell a story. People relate to imagery much quicker than text. When online, people don’t always want to consume as much text. They want answers quickly. If you can tell your story using iconography, infographics and other elements while linking it back to your brand identity, this will engage your audience and draw them in much faster than copy.
Changes to your brand strategy probably won’t happen often, but it should happen at least every five years. This is also a good time to review your website as, after five years, websites will generally be out of date.
When you are reviewing your brand strategy, it’s important to include your website as part of the review so you can diagnose what’s working, what isn’t working and analyse how you can best achieve your business goals through your website.
It could mean that you need to rebuild your website from scratch, building upon the strongest elements of your last website – or rebuild your current website utilising all the key features of your new brand strategy to create a more complete experience. Each situation is different, but the upkeep of your website will yield the best results in the long run.
At Oraco, we love all things branding and web and can help to bring your vision to life. Get in touch with the team today to learn more.