Many businesses outgrow their original ecommerce sites, but they wait way too long to upgrade. The sad part is that most businesses don’t even know they’ve outgrown their existing infrastructure because it creeps up on them. Here’s how to tell when the time is right to upgrade.
Your Website Feels Slow Or Is Difficult To Manage
When your website is slow or unresponsive, it’s hard to feel like you’re running a legit business. People will complain, site visitors will bounce, and you will feel endlessly frustrated by the lack of “flow” onsite.
It might be time to upgrade your site and hosting provider.
Most speed problems can be traced back to a combination of wonky code or conflicts with third-party platforms integrated into your site. Sometimes, the host is to blame because it can’t handle the amount of traffic you’re throwing at it.
But, unless you see a surge in traffic, it’s unlikely that this is the problem.
If you’re running WordPress, an easy upgrade would be to move to WP Engine or Synthesis hosting. Either of these provides a serious boost to speed and performance as well as security. And, these platforms are fully managed so you can sit back and not worry about the technical details – perfect for small businesses.
If you’re an enterprise customer, then you might want to check out IBM AS400. It’s robust and will completely transform your hosting experience.
If you use a lot of third-party integration, check into it. You may be experiencing conflicts that will prevent you from really unleashing the power of your site. You could be being held back by something as simple as a plugin.
It’s Hard To Update Your Website
If your website feels difficult to update, you might need a better CMS. You should have easy access and control over your site without having to contact a developer to update things like your product descriptions and content layout. And yet, this is still very common in the business world.
Move to a platform like Drupal or WordPress (if you haven’t already) and ditch the static site design. You may not want to get bogged down in the details, and you don’t have to. CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal make it easy to manage your own content, update your blog, and tweak your site without getting overwhelmed by technical details.
Your Rankings Are Budging
If you’re not ranking well in the search engines, it’s probably because you’re not promoting your content or you don’t have any educational material to promote.
Consumers are way too smart for cheap product pitches, and they don’t want to know how your product helps them. What they want to know is “do you have an answer to my problem.”
While you might think that explaining the benefits of your product or service seems natural, it’s not. If you can help them without pitching, you’ll have won them over. If you can distribute educational material throughout the web, and promote it, your rankings will naturally improve.
Upgrading Is A Real Pain
If upgrading your site is a pain, it’s because you’re not using automated solutions. As your website becomes more complex, you will want automated or managed solutions to take care of that for you. Whether that means switching to a managed host or hiring your own IT staff, the solution is IT automation.
Sean Perry has been involved in all aspects of e-commerce since leaving college and starting his own website. Now a website consultant for other small businesses he shares his invaluable knowledge with an online audience by blogging for business sites.