As a general rule you should refresh your website design about every five years. That is addition to continually and regularly adding/updating your website content and software packages.
Why are these things important?
The impression that your website visitors get when they arrive on your site will determine the success of your site. Some refer to this as UX, or the User Experience.
An older-looking website tells your website users that you probably don’t understand the part that your website plays in the overall success of your business or blog. If you ignore your website so will your visitors. Websites are not a set once and forget operation.
Older websites tend to be harder to navigate and present multiple conflicting paths to reach a visitor’s desired information. Updated websites use newer technology that is available within WordPress that will have the site operating noticeably faster. User frustration should not be a goal of your website.
Quite often a website owner designs his/her site without clear goals in mind. When you are new to website development you don’t know the critical questions to ask or the quantities to measure to determine the success of your website design. Being at the top of the search engine results is not a valid goal. Sure, it may help for a while but unproductive traffic to your site brings no return on your website investment.
The longer that a website sits before a redesign, the more expensive that redesign will be. There is always an expiration associated with software versions that can make the software ineffective, insecure, incompatible with new hosting frameworks or possibly incapable of being updated.
Not long ago I was asked to update a business’s website software and design to the latest WordPress version. The site had not been touched in about ten years. There was no software available that was compatible with the installed WordPress version that could even make a copy of the site, it had to be recreated/redesigned from the ground up, including new hosting.
At the very least, a continuous maintenance program must be established that keeps the WordPress version updated to the newest available and the installed plugins updated. This is a security issue, not just a design issue.
Updating your website’s design and operation will have your site outshining your competition, using the latest software, operating faster and being found easier than is is now. Technology is not static, your website shouldn’t be either.