Your Studio Website in 2019: Update or Start Over?
What year did you build your first studio website?
Did you build it yourself? Did a family member or friend build it for you? Did you hire a web designer?
I built my first website on Squarespace in 2013.
It was both overwhelming and thrilling. I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment when it was finished, and received frequent compliments on how modern and professional it looked.
I wish I’d taken a screenshot of that website; you would think it was anything but “modern” now. Ironically, while our 4-year old kitchen remodel still looks up to date; my 6-year old website design would look ridiculously dated.
That’s because website technology and online design trends change at lightning speed now.
It’s important that your website is connecting with parents, and many of these parents are millennials.
Keeping your website relevant and relatable to parents in 2019 means updating the look - and performance - of your website regularly.
But how do you know when to update your website and when to build a new one?
Here are 3 quick ways to know when it’s time to start over with a new website:
1. You aren’t able to fully update your website
Do you feel confident that you can go into your website and make the changes you’d like to make?
If your website platform doesn’t allow you to easily change your font, photos, colors, and layout, it’s time to ditch it and find a new platform.
Because of how frequently you need to update your website, it’s imperative that you feel confident and comfortable doing so.
One of my favorite parts of working with our music teacher clients is giving them a Squarespace tutorial after we’ve launched their new website. They are always surprised at how easy it is to make changes and updates to their new website, and that’s a big part of why we only build on Squarespace.
You should feel like it’s easy to update your own website. If it feels like a daunting task, it’s time to find a better solution.
2. It would take more effort to bring your current website up to date than to start over
When you think about overhauling your website, do you feel immediately overwhelmed?
There are times when it’s easier to start from scratch than to change your existing website.
You may find yourself staring at your current site, distracted enough by what you see that you aren’t able to imagine how to make it into something that you’re proud of.
Don’t worry; you aren’t the only one who feels this way.
We just started over with a new website!
When we launched Studio Rocket Web Design in early 2018, we knew exactly how we wanted our website to look.
The catch was that we didn’t know what our business would look like. We hadn’t yet started working with clients, hadn’t had conversations with dozens of music teachers, and didn’t know exactly what our business style would be.
Fast-forward to this winter and many wonderful music teacher clients later, and we knew that our website wasn’t representing us accurately. In fact, when we looked at our not-particularly-old website, it already felt like an outdated version of us.
We decided to start over rather than to update. We wanted a completely different design aesthetic, and knew it would be easier for our creative process to start from scratch than to simply implement a few changes to our “old” website.
So we rebuilt our website - and are super proud of it. It’s a much more accurate representation of the work we do and the needs of the teachers we serve.
But remember when I mentioned that I built my first studio website in 2013?
I’ve updated that website every couple of years, always with a fresh new look, and it has served me very well. I’ve never needed to start from scratch with a new website.
There’s no right answer to this question; it’s entirely a matter of how you feel about doing the work on your website.
3. You don’t know where to update your SEO - even after searching for it.
If you’ve kept your website at all updated over the past several years, chances are that you know where to work on your SEO and how to keep it up to date.
However, if you aren’t sure how to do this - or if you can’t locate things like your meta tags or meta descriptions, then it’s time to either learn more about your website’s capabilities or move to a platform that makes this easy.
SEO is vital to your website, and it’s not going to become less important. Because the rules evolve with each year, it’s imperative that you are able to adapt and update your SEO over time.
You don’t need to be an expert on SEO to be found online, but you do need to understand the basics of keeping your website’s SEO strong.
Hope this article helps you decide where to take your studio website in 2019.
Are you on the fence about what you should do?
Comment below and let me know what’s holding you back.