Three Key Signals It’s Time for a Digital Experience UpgradeBy Dan Wolf
Like a car or house, every website and mobile app needs proactive maintenance. Maintenance of digital products is designed to keep them running smoothly and effectively, even when new web browsers and operating systems are released or when the frameworks used to build them start to get old and out of date.
But after a while, the bare minimum maintenance just won’t cut it. If you have a website or a mobile app that’s been in “maintenance mode” for a while, chances are it’s time for an upgrade (or two). In this post, we’ll discuss the three key signs to watch out for that indicate it’s time to invest in a digital product upgrade.
Traffic to Your Site is Increasing
Traffic is a good thing. It means people like you and your digital presence. But, if your site was built to handle fewer visitors, it might not be powerful enough to handle your growing popularity. At higher traffic levels, your site might start to become noticeably slow. This may not sound like that big of a problem, but Google researchers found that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave a page if it doesn’t load faster than 3 seconds. They also found that the average website takes up to 15 seconds to load. If your site or app is too slow, you’re losing scores upon scores of potentially revenue-generating users.
But speed isn’t the only problem caused by traffic spikes. Too much traffic can also cause your site or app to stop working. Remember the first time we all saw Twitter’s “fail whale”? At the time, Twitter wasn’t set up to handle as much traffic as users were throwing at it. So, it broke.
Our friends at Show Me the Eats learned that a global pandemic can create a ton of unexpected traffic to their website, which is optimized to show visitors restaurants that offer carry out options, for example. When we began working together, their old WordPress website just couldn’t handle the traffic, so we helped them upgrade their experience to run smoother and scale better with their users’ needs.
Yes, getting more traffic is a great problem to have. But, if you can’t handle the traffic, you’ll end up losing a lot of those new users—and you may not be able to get them back.
Traffic to Your Site is Decreasing
Another great time to upgrade your website or mobile app is if you notice your traffic decreasing, especially around key conversion funnels. As a side note, if you aren’t tracking conversions in your analytics tool, or if your analytics aren’t optimized to be helpful, we should talk about how WolfCo can help.
Decreasing traffic can mean users no longer find your website or mobile app useful. There are a lot of reasons this could be the case. It’s possible that analytics can help you pinpoint the problem—maybe users are experiencing more errors on the site than they were before, meaning that something is broken. Or, as we discussed above, maybe the website or app has slowed down and you’ve got fewer people spending more time on fewer pages.
There are other reasons for the decrease in traffic that you can’t diagnose through analytics, though. If you haven’t upgraded the design in a while, your site is likely less user-friendly compared with your competition. Perhaps your site lacks new features or functionality that your audience is now finding on someone else’s site.
Whatever the reason, you need to pay close attention to decreasing traffic on your website or mobile app. It’s a clear sign that something is wrong and in need of an upgrade.
Your Team Doesn’t Have the Energy or Skill to Make the Updates You Need
Most websites today are powered by a content management system, like WordPress. But, as a website ages, the WordPress admin can start to feel inflexible, clunky and, well, old. You, your team, and your technology may have evolved, and you need something more customized to support your growth initiatives.
When this happens, it can become a chore for you and your team to update your website with new content or features. If your admin tools are too difficult to work with or are not user-friendly, you team won’t be motivated to get the job done simply because the job is more difficult than it should be. This will ultimately halt your growth, and it may mean it’s time for a backend upgrade to your digital experience.
At WolfCo, we’ve helped several clients update their admin portal using an open source tool called EasyAdmin. Show Me the Eats uses EasyAdmin to manage their growing list of more than 20,000 restaurants. Food Kitchen Sync uses EasyAdmin to streamline the complicated process of helping reduce food waste through real-time donation requests.
It may not sound like an earth-shattering upgrade to your digital experience, but a simple-to-use admin portal is often the heartbeat—and the brain—of our clients’ businesses. Without it, your company’s digital brand is destined to remain in the dark ages.
We Can Help
At WolfCo, we provide digital product strategy services to every business—at every stage of growth. Whether it’s your first website or mobile app or your fiftieth, we can help you decide whether an upgrade is in order and how to get that upgrade done quickly. Reach out to our team today to start a conversation.