When is it time to upgrade your $500 website?

The other day I tried to show you that you could get yourself online, using WordPress, for under $500.

This is like telling you that you could buy a car for under $3000. The truth is, you can. And it will work. For a period of time.

But how do you know it's time to spend more money on your site?

When should you say bye to your $500 website?

Before I get to that, let me ask you some questions.

How often do you replace your pillows? From what I know (which isn't exhaustive), it should be about every 2-3 years. Are you doing that?

How often do you update your wardrobe? My guess is that you may not mind wearing that jean jacket because it was cool in high school. But still. Are you updating your wardrobe every couple of years?

How often (if you're a woman) do you buy new bras? I seriously have to fight with my wife because she never gets new ones, but that folks we talked to at the store recommended yearly replacements. You?

How often do you get new running shoes? For me, never – because I don't buy running shoes. Duh! But runners I know replace them every 500 miles. Some do it every 300. What about you?

Should I even ask about smoke detectors? What about the spices in your spice rack?

Even if you don't do it often, in that back of your head you kinda know you should, right?

Because of wear and tear.

And yet we don't tend to think about websites that way, do we?

We tend to think about websites like buildings. Big projects that take a long time to build. Physical things that are built only once. And let me tell you, that's an incorrect way to think about them.

[Tweet “We think about websites like buildings. Physical things that are built once. That's wrong.”]

Four ways to know that it's time to replace your $500 website

Are your customer interactions changing?

If the way you're doing business, or its revenue streams, are changing, it's likely time evaluate whether you need to update your site. When your customers start wanting to take care of simple issues without you (self-service portals, etc), your old $500 website just won't cut it.

The benefit of spending more on your site and adding self-service features is that you get closer with your customer – collecting data you may not have previously. And you also may find that you're reducing your regular support costs if they can handle things on their own.

Have you changed your target segment?

If you're the kind of person that bought a theme that was trendy and you pieced together a simple site, and now you've gone upmarket and have started working with a different clientele, it may be a good time to reinvest in your site. You don't want prospects showing up to a theme they've seen everywhere else, as it can leave the wrong first impression.

Are you making more money and still in growth mode?

Sometimes people put up a site because they feel like they have to. Then, slowly, they start seeing benefits (in terms of leads). They also start seeing people arriving and departing without any conversion. And that's when they start thinking about what they might adjust so that people start buying what they're selling.

If you're in growth mode, your website is a good place to invest. If you're making more money than before, it may be time to hire someone to create a custom theme for you.

Is your site slowing down dramatically?

This one seems like a no-brainer. Sometimes your site just struggles under the weight of traffic. Maybe you picked a host that was super cheap. Maybe you are using a plugin that's horrible under the kind of traffic you're getting. At that point, hey, it's time.

So there you have it. Those are the reasons I would suggest should trigger, at the minimum, a conversation about updating your website.

If you have more questions, you can always hit me up on Clarity.