I am in the midst of writing a proposal; I won't give too much away, but the client is located in Greenwich, CT. For those of you that don't know, Greenwich is a very, very, VERY upscale community--one of the wealthiest not only in the state of Connecticut, but in the entire country.
In my proposals, I always do a bit of research on the prospective client's local competitors. And to my surprise, this particular business's local competitors had websites that were, well--to put it quite frankly--bad. Really bad. Like 1998 bad.
It really made me think: here you are, with a business in one of the wealthiest areas in the country, and this is how you are marketing yourself? I don't know much about these businesses--for all I know they could be very successful. But if I was looking for this particular type of company, and I had the money to spend, these people had better wow me. And upon viewing their websites, my first impression was "wow," alright; just not that kind of "wow."
I'm not saying that you have to go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars for a hot-looking website with all the bells and whistles, but I am saying be smart about it. My prospective client expressed a desire for a classy, upscale website--as well they should, as that's who the target demographic is.
Look at who you're marketing to, and look at what you're marketing with. If your website looks dated, it might be time for a redesign. Check out your local competitors, see what you're working against.
I highly doubt that the people of Greenwich are shopping at the dollar store; why make them feel like they are?