4 Reasons Why Your eCommerce Site Needs An Upgrade

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An eCommerce website is one of the most cost-efficient ways to market your products, your services, and your brand – and to convert curious visitors into paying customers.

But a poorly performing or badly designed website can do more harm to your brand and your SERP rankings than you might think. Which is why you might need to upgrade your site. Lucky for you, one of the main benefits of using WordPress for eCommerce is how easily these sites are to build, manage, maintain, tweak and even rebuild.

So if your existing eCommerce site is on WordPress and it’s time for a refresh, you should be able to take care of it with minimal wrangling. And if you’re considering upgrading your site to WordPress, you’d probably be wise to see it through.

There are several reasons why this is the case. Most WordPress-powered eCommerce websites are built in compliance with the latest SEO standards (more on this a little later), and therefore make it easier to rank in the search engines. What’s more, you can add even more functionality through the use of plugins designed to automate your workload, enhance the user experience, and give you a competitive advantage.

The fact is, even the best websites eventually get old. And there comes a point where simple coding fixes and new plugins can’t fix an aging website.

That’s when you need to upgrade. Some people balk at the idea of upgrading a website that functions and converts reasonably well, but there really is an advantage to staying up-to-date with the newest upgrades.

If you’ve been on the fence about upgrading or didn’t know you needed to upgrade your website, here are few reasons why you should.

To Perform Faster

In the infamous words of Ricky Bobby from the movie Talladega Nights, “I wanna go fast!” It seems like this is the mantra for everyone today.

No one likes to wait, which is why your website needs to be fast. Do you think your website is fast? You can test it at GTmetrix to see how fast it really is. We tested Wikipedia.org, and their website loaded in a blistering 1.0 seconds!

Example of Results for Wikipedia.org from GTmetrix

How does your website compare? Research has shown that a visitor on any website makes up their mind about the website in under 15 seconds. That’s not a lot of time for them to make a decision of whether they’ll stay or go. And if your pages take more than a few seconds to load, many mobile users will simply give up and bounce out before they’ve even seen your content.

Older websites tend to load slower than newer, speed-optimized websites and backend solutions. If your website didn’t perform so well in the test from GTmetrix above, maybe you should consider upgrading soon.

To Look Better

Unfortunately, we’re judged on how we look. And a website isn’t any different. And, as mentioned earlier, you have 15 seconds to convince them to like you and want to spend more time with you.

If your website is built on an older standard, it may not be visually appealing anymore. If you haven’t noticed, most websites try to make some sort of change to their appearance at least annually. It’s not because they got bored with their look – they are trying to keep their user experience fresh and find ways to increase their engagement rates.

And you should be doing the exact same thing. Some experts even recommend committing to monthly design “sprints” of mini-upgrades. If your website design and layout haven’t changed in over a year, it’s a good time to make some changes.

If you can’t change the layout to the newest standard, then you should definitely consider upgrading your website infrastructure and CMS soon.

Better Security

As websites age, so does their security protection. What was once on the leading edge of security standards is likely now lagging way behind. Technology is progressing faster and faster each day, and so are hackers.

Older websites are more susceptible to hacking attempts, due to unpatched vulnerabilities and weaker security standards. Hackers understand this and will attack any website, including yours, in order to use it for malicious and/or illegal purposes.

Which is why you need to make sure that your website is upgraded to the newest security standards. Otherwise, you are leaving your brand reputation and your customers’ data at risk of a major catastrophe.

If you don’t want to be in the news like Equifax was, be proactive and upgrade your eCommerce website soon.

Better SEO

Without the ability to attract customers, your eCommerce website is useless. If you can get your content to surface towards the top of Google’s organic results for the searches that are relevant to your products, then you’ll be in great shape for drawing audience members who are most likely to buy.

SEO standards are constantly changing in order to keep up with algorithmic changes made by the major search engines. But older websites aren’t built for the newer best practices for SEO, as things were different back when your website was created. For example, there wasn’t even such a thing as optimizing for voice search two years ago, whereas now, it’s widely considered to be the next frontier.

The fact is, if your website is two or more years old, then it’s potentially out of date to a severe degree. If you want to know how your website’s SEO is performing, go to SEOptimer and search your URL. They’ll give you a detailed analysis of what you need to work on.

Example of Audit Results for Wikipedia.org from SEOptimer

As you can see, Wikipedia could make a few improvements to their website. What about yours? How did you do?

If SEOptimer gave you low grades, it could be because your website is not compliant with the newest best practices for SEO. If so, you could be losing a lot of valuable traffic and sales. The good news is, by making the right improvements, you can achieve better rankings relatively quickly.

Conclusion

As you can see, upgrading a website is about a lot more than just implementing the newest and shiniest technology.

On the other hand, when your website looks better, your visitors respond better. When your website performs faster, your visitors enjoy their experience more. When your website’s SEO is up to standard, you get more organic traffic from the major search engines. And when your website is safe and secure, your customers trust you and spend more with you.

Ultimately, your eCommerce website is dependent on upgrades to maintain competitiveness in any market. If you haven’t made any design and/or layout changes to your website in the past year or so, then you might want to look into doing so right away.