My husband and I are moving to a different home after over a decade, and holy cow, there has been a lot to take care of! Packing up everything of course, but also, we’ve needed to take care of some long overdue chores, such as replacing a door handle that’s been semi-busted for 3+ years, and finally upgrading to a garage door opener that opens without fail. These items were way past their prime but technically still functioned, so we stuck with what we had for far too long. Were we just avoiding the expenditure? Or were we low-key attached to them?
We all have belongings or less-than-ideal situations that we hold onto for way too long, and that includes our websites. It’s very easy to limp along with an existing site, even if it’s outdated or performing poorly. I’ve experienced this myself, and I’ve heard this from sooo many studio owners over the years.
After all, as wonderful as it feels to have a spanking new dance studio website, it can be a big job, and a spendy one. Best not to go through that process too often, right? But on the other hand, waiting too long to have your website redesigned could put off potential dance families, affecting your bottom line. Are you starting to feel that your studio’s site may need an overhaul, but are unsure? This post will help you determine whether you should get to it right away or whether you can put it off for a while.
How Often Should A Dance Studio Website Be Redesigned?
Standard industry rule of thumb is to redesign a website every 2.5-3 years. That
schedule balances getting value for money on your current site design, and keeping things fresh for your visitors and search engines.
But, and this will sound odd coming from a web designer… 2.5-3 years is only a guide, not a hard and fast rule. Just because your dance studio’s current website has been in place for 3 years doesn’t automatically mean you need to schedule a redesign this instant. Your current website might actually be fine for a while longer.
For example, if you’re in a “one studio town” and don’t rely on your website to draw in newbies, or if you’re already at capacity and are blessed with loyal dance families, you can wait another year or two, as long as the functionality and speed of your website is up to par.
So How Do You Know Whether You're Due For A Redesign?
Thankfully, when your studio’s online home needs a major revamp, there are unmistakable signs.
Here Are 7 Ways To Tell Whether Your Website Needs a Redesign:
1. Your Current Website Is More Than 5 Years Old
You don’t necessarily have to schedule a redesign as soon as your site hits 3 years old, but if your dance studio’s current site is approaching 5 years old or older, it almost certainly needs a redesign.
Why? Websites begin to look and feel clunky and outdated after time, due to changes in design trends and styles. Plus, it may not be performing as well as it once was – or could actually be broken or insecure due to some out-of-date technology.
- A redesign will keep your website looking and feeling fresh, which will appeal to
potential dance families.
- It can help you feel ahead of the curve, instead of playing catch-up. That’s a great feeling!
- By having a fresh site designed, you ensure it’s in full working order, which will benefit you when it comes to your search engine rankings.
2. Your Search Engine Rankings Have Decreased
While we’re on the subject of search engines… If it’s been a long while since your dance studio’s website was created or redesigned, your SEO (search engine optimization) and page ranking may be suffering. Because Google’s algorithm changes regularly, good SEO practices change from time to time too. Techniques that were once common stop being as effective, and on the flip side, new SEO trends and techniques need to be put into place.
A website redesign does more than breathe new life into your dance studio’s online presence — the very fact of using updated code and following current web design best practices is beneficial for your search engine optimization.
In short, if your studio’s search engine ranking has been dropping, you could be due a redesign to clean out old bad SEO practices and add in new good ones!
3. Your Webpages Load Really Slowly
If you’ve done what you can and your page loading is still slow as molasses, it may be time for a more drastic approach, namely, a redesign. A full, professional redesign means you’re using the most recent coding available in the creation of your site, which should result in a new site that loads much more quickly than your current one.
You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention and let them know they’ve arrived on the right dance studio’s website. When it comes to page loading speed, every second counts. If you have a slow loading site, it’s probably time for a fresh design.
4. Your Studio's Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
It’s fair to guess that a large portion of your website visitors are originating from phones and tablets. If your dance studio’s site isn’t mobile-friendly, you may be losing those visitors and therefore, potential new dancers. Yikes!
The fix? A new website built to be responsive. By responsive, I mean a website optimized for different devices – in other words, a studio website that responds to different screen sizes and adapts the layout and content accordingly to fit. A simple way to test if your studio’s website is responsive is to temporarily resize your laptop’s browser window or, even easier, just view it on your phone. If the content extends off the side of the screen or you see a horizontal scrollbar, your site isn’t responsive. If you see that the layout is resizing, moving and adapting to the size of your screen, then it is.
If your studio’s site isn’t mobile-friendly, a new website is definitely in order. An effective website redesign will address this issue. It will give your visitors a user-friendly experience, help reduce your bounce rate, and increase conversions (which means more dancers through your doors!).
5. You’re Embarrassed To Give Out Your URL
How comfortable do you feel sending people to look at your website? If you cringe at the thought of people seeing your studio’s site, you really need a redesign.
It’s crappy to feel that your website isn’t worthy of the amazingness that is your dance studio. This feeling points to an incongruity that could actually be affecting your ability to pull in new dancers. Whether your site suffers from a branding mismatch, a markedly UNfriendly user experience, a lack of now-imperative features such as online registration, and/or an aesthetic that looks old fashioned, a redesign will help you get back on track.
With a fresh design, one that properly represents your studio and its brand, you’ll be proud to show it off. Resulting in? An greater chance of increased enrollment!
6. Other Studios In Your Area Have A Website That Is Far More Professional And Contemporary Than Yours
This one may be hard to hear, but the difference between the website of your studio and that of your competitors matters, at least when trying to gain new dance families. If the website of the studio down the street looks built by a professional and yours appears built by your nephew (no offense to your nephew), that will affect a newbie’s perception of both studios. If your website doesn’t function well and your competitor’s is user-friendly and intuitive, that colors not only the momentary experience of prospects, but also their feelings about which studio to select for their children.
Take a deep breath and do a quick exploration of your competitors’ websites. Can yours compete? If not, it’s time for a redesign.
7. Your Business Has Changed
If your dance studio or its branding has changed since your site was created, there’s a good chance you’re due for a redesign.
- For example, if your original aim was getting preschool dancers through yours doors but your dance studio is now most known for its competition teams, a fresh website can signal that fact.
- If your visual branding has changed, your website’s current design and layout may be clashing with your studio’s new branding. A website redesign can fix that and get your branding back on track.
- If the ownership and/or name of your dance studio has changed, a new website can introduce your community to these changes and get them excited about the studio’s new direction.
Well, how about it? Has your studio’s focus, offerings, or branding changed since your existing website was built? Your site may need an overhaul.
Is Your Website Due For A Redesign?
How did it go? Did the signs point to your need for a fresh studio website, or are you fine to stick with what you have?
Best wishes to you and your studio,
If your site needs an update, whether that’s to make sure it’s in full working order, or to make it more professional and appealing to potential dance families, we can help. Check out our “web design for dance studios company” www.studioofdance.com – and get in touch to see whether we’re a good fit!