1. Your website contact form has gone silent.
When’s the last time that someone contacted you through your website form? Or made a donation or purchase? Or subscribed to your newsletter? Set a calendar reminder to regularly test your contact form or other key parts of your website’s functionality. You may not know that there’s a problem with your website unless you test it regularly. Sometimes people might feel like business is just slow or the message is not getting out when the actual problem is with parts of their website not functioning properly. This can happen for many different reasons so stay on your toes to ensure that it doesn’t happen to you.
2. Your website uses Flash…anywhere.
If your website still uses Flash, it’s a problem. From the dawn of (internet) time, Flash was often used as a way to add animation to websites. While it did have the capability to make things more dynamic, Flash was always problematic. We’ve come a long way in terms of alternative means to achieve animations for websites that don’t rely on Flash. This means that, if your site still uses Flash, it’s probably time to think about alternatives.
3. You don’t have the ability to make website edits or changes on your own.
Tired of calling your web designer or web development company to update your organization’s bios again? You have good reason to be. If your website still does not have a built in content management system (CMS) then it was likely built a very long time ago (or possibly more recently by someone with limited capabilities or knowledge). Some common content management systems in use today are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. These are really the foundation that the site is built upon and, among other things, empower you to alter the content on your website. Bottom line: if you have a website, it should have a CMS.
4. Your site doesn’t look right or function correctly on a mobile device.
A couple of years ago, we reached a tipping point where more people access websites from mobile devices than they do from standard desk top computers. This may or may not apply to your website so check the statistics (see #5 about analytics below) that show what people use to access your website. You want people to be able to see and interact with your site no matter how they got there. If you’re having a new website built be sure to understand how this is being planned for as technologies exist (you may have heard the term “Responsive Web Design”) that make it relatively easy to build websites that perform well for desktop computers, mobile devices and tablets.
5. Site visitors have been decreasing for 3 or more months in a row.
Admittedly, 3 months is a bit of an arbitrary number. Pick a meaningful duration of time for your organization (maybe the correct unit of time is a season or year over year) and check your website analytics to see how things are going. Is there a decline in the number of unique visitors? Have your marketing efforts waned resulting in less traffic being sent to your site? Or, if you continue marketing at the same level and degree of effectiveness, is your site simply aging to the point that it’s getting penalized in search engine rankings? Keep your marketing going, your website content fresh and the underlying technology up to date to ensure that people are being driven to your website. Note: If you don’t have analytics installed (Google Analytics is great AND free!) on your website, please remedy this as soon as possible. It’s a simple fix and can provide a wealth of knowledge.
Adrian Gershom is the founder of OffShoot Design and has partnered with Giving Tree on website projects for our clients. For more information on Adrian and OffShoot Design please visit his website.