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5 Things To Know About Your Website’s Shelf Life

Website Shelf Life

How often you should redesign your website is based entirely on how frequently technology and design trends change and evolve. Even the best websites should be re-designed around every three years, as the look of your website can affect your business. An out of date website could lead to potential customers assuming that your services or products are out of date or that your business is not trustworthy.

Having a good website, both in terms of content and design, is intuitive and people should be able to consume the content relatively quickly. Customers who have trouble finding what it is they are searching for will end up looking elsewhere. Presenting your users with a well-organised and smart website will immediately communicate what your company is about and who you are. So, when it comes to the shelf-life of your website, what exactly is there to know and consider?

Design Follows Technology

Often, it is developments in technology which enable changes in website design. When computers used to run on dial-up, people weren’t browsing websites which had nice imagery and videos, unless you wanted to wait hours for a page to load.

Now there are high-speed connections, this means that designers can increase the aesthetics and complexity of a website. Card layouts, hero images and hidden navigation bars can be found on most websites. Mobile devices have also had a huge impact on current website design and it isn’t a coincidence that scrolling websites have become the latest rage. Reducing the number of times that a user has to click through onto another page means that a website is easier to browse on a mobile screen, meaning a customer is more likely to make to leap from browsing to making a sale.

Find What’s Right For Your Business

It may be that your website doesn’t need a complete redesign. If it still looks prominent and if your competitor’s websites aren’t fresh or up to date – you may only need a few updates. If you haven’t looked at or refreshed your content in over a year then it is best to get stuck into this first. Re-writing the website copy and optimising it for SEO will extend the length of time that your design will last. Have a check and see if Google has released any updates which may be having a negative effect on the ability to crawl your website and catalogue your website. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, then enlist the help of a local SEO and Digital agency.

You will know if your website needs redesigning if:

  • The website is over three years old

  • Your company has rebranded

  • The scope of the services and products you offer has changed

Archive Old Content

Archiving or removing old and irrelevant website content will help to reduce the size and load speed of your website and increase the ratio of fresh content. Keeping old and irrelevant pages may help to offset your chances of being recognised for your informative and fresh copy. Fresh and new content will keep users returning to the website and will help to position your business as a trusted source of quality and correct information.

It is much easier to stay relevant if your website is ran using a CMS (content management system) which makes updating your website just as easy as typing on a word document. It may be easier to have a dedicated member of your team in charge of updating and refreshing your website, as far too often updates are ignored due to people assuming other people have done it.

Built To Last

If you want your website to have longevity, then you need to ensure that your website is built with the expectation of adding new pages and/or content, both short and long term, to avoid needing to invest in a more invasive and time-consuming re-design. To do this, you should choose a website layout which allows for growth as your business progresses over the years. Avoid being confined to a basic and plain website and instead choose a design where you can update and change individual page sizes, content and navigation so that pages and links can be added as and when you need to.

Short-Term Flexibility

Very rarely a website is built and launched and then left untouched, even in the short term. Often, businesses will need to update their services, news and schedules to stay current with what is going on within their company. For your website to stay fresh and up to date, there will need to be access available for these areas of the website to be changed frequently. You may want to get a maintenance agreement in place if you have a provider or agency who will make these changes as and when you request them.

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