The rule of thumb about when you should update your website changes almost as fast as the technology used to launch and maintain the site itself. Right now, the industry standard is a new website – with new coding and new design – every 2-3 years. The reason for that timeline is that so much technology has changed in that time span that it is often easier, cheaper, and quicker to launch a new site than it is to fix the old one – if fixing it is even an option. Every year things change faster than they did the year before. Sometimes we see things change several times a year. Even for us web designers, it can be hard to keep up with the changes in our field.
Think about it: everything in your life needs maintenance – from your vehicle to your home. You can put more money in to your vehicle and try to find parts for a much older model, but at some point it will be cheaper and more efficient to invest in a newer form of transportation.
What Has Changed?
A lot has changed in the technology world overall. Think of the fast evolution of television sets from big clunky pieces to sleek flat screens. Or how you can now get a terabyte hard drive on your computer when just two years ago you could only get up to a 500 gigabyte. And we’ve gone from boom boxes to iPod minis in a flash.
Now think about the Web. Here are some things that have changed:
- We’ve gone from static websites to responsive websites
- Just in the last six months coding language has been adapted and updated – coding techniques have evolved so they are more efficient for Search Optimized Text (SEO)
- Sites like WordPress have made framework updates (every time there are updates, you will have a new version of scripts)
- WordPress is phasing out older versions and older coding methods that are no longer supported
- When versions of any software become older, they are often not supported any longer – for example, Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer 6
Trusting Your Web Developer
There will always be people out to turn a quick buck by telling you that you need to invest in something more than you need. To the extreme, they’re like the shady mechanic who slices a hose in your car in order to sell you something more than you needed when you arrived. Just like it’s important to find a mechanic that you trust to oversee things that you can’t do yourself, it’s also important to have that kind of trusting relationship with your Web developer.
It’s your Web developer who can look at what you currently have, make recommendations and give advice on a case-by-case basis. It is not always necessary to completely replace your website, and you may be able to make updates without fully recoding. A good developer can look at the site you have and tell you if there are things that are no longer relevant in site’s code, or if it needs to be rehabbed. Sifting through old code can end up being as expensive as replacing. Some things can be fixed and some things are not worth fixing.
Work with a designer or developer that you trust to get an honest opinion. Just like any mechanic worth their weight in ethics, they can recommend the best solution for your problem.
How do you plan to keep your business up to date and relevant? Contact us today, and let’s find out.