We want things to last forever, right? It would be fantastic if that happened, but we know that is not really going to happen. Our clothes and homes don’t last forever, and our cars don’t last forever. Things will always need replacing, fixing and updating. Looking around my desk, my computer won't even last forever *sniffle*. The keys on my keyboard are even slowly dulling with use. The parts inside my computer that were once cutting edge and top of the line, are now slightly outdated. It’s not horrible, don’t get me wrong, but there is something faster that has more memory out there. All of these things are the results of usage… and change. Everything changes and wears out eventually.
This is frustrating. I get it. I experience these things too. I wanted the money I spent on my computer and other products to last forever. But I know that's not possible because I know that things are always improving. Always changing.
How does this apply to websites?
When your website is created, it might be at the top of it’s game. Fast, modern, secure. But very quickly in the world of web, things change and you’ll even see triggers to update plugins and software. The updates are indications of the changes that are in some way ‘wearing your site down’. Updates patch security vulnerabilities, code, improve performance, and a myriad of other things even I can’t think of right now because honestly, things change just that fast.
Why can’t things be like they used to?
Well, for starters, you could have a really old looking site and live in the past but you wouldn't last very long in business. It would look like you didn't care (so why should your customers?). More an, clients are wanting a website they can edit and manage themselves. That means editing the site without knowing how to do the heavy duty back end coding. Thus, the need for a CMS website like WordPress which is very different from the days when we’d create a static site that just sat there and never changed and it wasn’t even responsive. Granted, web design style has changed a lot since then, but you get where I’m going with this. These needs have upped the ante.
Websites today are more sophisticated. Code standards change faster than you can blink. Browsers even have different standards and if you look closely, websites look a little different on each. There are responsive and adaptive sites, mobile phone and tablet users, databases, and cool functions that you can do without the use of Flash (thank GOD!). There are plugins that allow sites to do funky things, and those pesky hackers stop at nothing to work their way into a website's server to compromise your company data. The more sophisticated things get, the more expensive it becomes to create a solid property that functions and looks great, and of course will stand the test of time.
But why don’t you just build better websites?
We do. We really do. We are constantly improving our skill-set. We increased the amount of time we spend on every website project in the ‘planning and design' phase before we ever even write one line of code. We do this to ensure that what we create for our clients will be the most efficient interface as well as the best code possible.
We use as few plugins as we possibly can which reduces security risk. The fewer plugins there are on a site, the lower the chance for cross-plugin functionality interference when there are updates. We do our best to power the site with up-to-date CSS and web standard code to ensure cross-browser compatibility, within reason of course. I mean, Internet Explorer 8? *cough-cough* A woman has her limits.
So how often do you really have to get your website redone?
In my experience, this isn’t an exact science. Depending on your industry and the type of site you have, I err on the side of every 3-4 years for a redo. I don’t believe in cookie cutter solutions. Every site is different and every business has a variety of needs. But one thing is for sure: when you spend money on your site, you want to be sure it will last as long as possible and work hard for your business.
If you are still not sure and perhaps scratching your head, here are a few questions to ask yourself that might help answer the question for you:
- Is your site just not performing well?
- Has your site been hacked or do you suspect it has been hacked?
- How long has it been since you looked at your website?
- When was your website created?
- When was the last time you edited the content on your website?
- Have you ever received feedback that your site is difficult to use?
- Do you have flashing text, scrolling banners, animated navigation hover buttons, music or Flash?
If you answered “yes” or “I don’t know” to any of those questions, it might be time to look into getting your website redone. It sounds like there is room for a refresh!
If you want to have a professional site review, we can help. Our site review and audit will identify the areas that need improvement and get you on the road to a fresh new site.
If you're not sure what you need, get in touch with us by filling out the following form and we'll help get you on the right track. We look forward to hearing from you.