Another decade comes and goes… And what a wild ride it was.
And yet, I sit here thinking about one thing:
How is it possible that we’re about to enter an era of hoverboards, self-driving cars, and ACTUAL DESIGNER BABIES, but over 40% of small businesses still don’t have a website for their small business?
As far as I’m concerned, they’re a lost cause. If they don’t have a website now, they never will. So I’m gonna focus my attention on the rest of you folks. The 60% that do have a website already.
You might be thinking that you’re set for life with that website of yours.
But, while I’ll certainly give you credit for recognizing the importance of having an online presence for your small business, and actually doing something about it, I’m about to tell you why that’s wrong…
And why it’s actually time to redesign your website …
And why 2020 is the perfect time to do it.
1. It's time for a website redesign because for the first time in history, more people are visiting websites from their phones than computers
The iPhone may have debuted way back in 2007, but it would take over 10 years for mobile website traffic to finally eclipse the well-established desktop experience.
In fact, by 2015, mobile devices still only accounted for less than a third of all internet traffic.
But, as smartphones became more affordable and mobile networks juiced up their download speeds, this happened:
In just two short years, mobile internet traffic worldwide exploded from 31.16% to 52.21%.
The king is dead. Long live the (new)king.
But, while fancy stats and pretty graphs are fun to chat about, here’s the only question that you really care about:
How does this affect me and my business?
If you already have a website for your business, then you’re to be commended. Because, as I mentioned before, for some reason 40% of small businesses still haven’t bothered to make one yet.
However, I’m willing to bet that you had this website made way before 2017, the year mobile officially kicked desktop out of its comfortable spot as King of the Castle.
Which means that your website was built with a desktop-first experience in mind, not mobile.
Sure, it’s likely still responsive to all devices, and serves a passable experience for mobile visitors. But that’s no longer good enough.
Modern web designers need to build websites through a mobile-first lens. The mobile user experience should be your new #1 priority.
How many potential customers are you losing because:
- Your Contact Us button is too small to easily thumb-tap?
- Your embedded YouTube video is too wide to fit within the phone screen?
- Your transparent navigation menu overlaps with your header image, making it difficult to see your company’s logo?
- Your paragraph text is too small to read?
Little mistakes like these are simply unacceptable in 2020. The margin for error is too slim to risk irritating your visitors and watching them take off to your competitors.
It’s time to design your website with mobile as your priority.
Because one thing is certain; we aren’t crawling back to our bulky desktop computers any time soon...
2. High quality web design has never been more accessible putting a website upgrade within reach
For years, high quality web design has been an exclusive privilege of the wealthy and well-established businesses of the world.
In 2020, the playing field has been levelled.
Coding languages like HTML and CSS, while still nice to have, are no longer a necessity.
DIY website builders like Weebly, Squarespace and Wix have democratized web design with easy to use drag-and-drop interfaces. Not a single line of code required.
They allow small businesses on meager budgets to get an online presence for their small business at incredibly affordable rates.
This evolution of modern web design has even made it easier than ever for newbies to learn web design on their own.
I myself built a successful web design business without knowing how to write a single line of code. I began with Weebly, then moved on to WordPress as my knowledge and skills improved over time.
And if DIYing your website still sounds like too daunting of a task, this overall simplification of the web design industry means that getting a high quality website built by a professional designer doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars anymore.
Many web design companies even offer new WaaS (Website as a Service) payment plans.
It’s essentially “subsidized web design”, similar to Apple’s iPhone Upgrade subscription where you pay an ongoing monthly fee to always have the latest and greatest iPhone each year.
You pay a modest monthly fee to have a beautiful, lead generating website that is constantly maintained and updated as web design standards change and evolve.
It’s a win-win.
- You get an amazing website that you normally wouldn’t be able to afford.
- The web design agency gets a consistent, reliable source of monthly income.
So, whether you plan on tackling your website redesign yourself or hiring a professional to do it for you, you really have no excuse not to update it for 2020.
3. There is a growing backlash towards social media platforms making your own website a more attractive option
Ah yes, the ol’ “I don’t need a website because I have Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/TikTok” excuse.
Well… how’s that turning out for you these days?
Social media platforms have been taking a great deal of heat over the past couple of years. And for good reason.
Let’s take the Wheel of Social Media Outrage for a spin, shall we?
Let’s be honest, I could have fit way more than five examples of social media scandals and controversies in this cute little wheel. But we don’t have all day.
Social media can be useful to market your small business but, in the end, it’s still a platform that you have zero control over. You are completely at the mercy of Zuckerberg and crew.
So, if Facebook one day decides that those thousands of subscribers you spent years acquiring are now considered “Paid Reach” instead of “Organic”, you have no choice but to play by their rules or quit altogether. (Which is exactly what they did.)
Your website is the closest thing to total control you’ll ever have. (It’ll never be 100% control as long as you have to pay someone to host it and use third-party tools to build it.)
You dictate the terms. You decide what your visitors’ experience will look like. And, most important, you reap all of the rewards.
Rewards like actual customers. Not silly little “likes” and “heart emojis”.
2020 is the year to redesign your website
I’ve just given you three compelling reasons why 2020 is the perfect year to redesign your website:
- Mobile-first: Your website needs to be rebuilt with a mobile experience as the #1
- Get a better website at a better price. High quality web design has never been more accessible.
- Take back control: Social media platforms are taking advantage of you and your business.
About the author: Patrick built his own web design business from the ground up without knowing how to write a single line of code. (He still doesn't know how.) Now he spends most of his time in his friends' basements showing them how to do it too. Oh, and on his blog/ podcast/ YouTube channel.