What’s the shelf-life of a website and how to prepare for website 2.0?

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shelf life of a websiteI recently had a conversation with a colleague about how websites have a shelf-life. (I also get asked this a lot when I speak or teach). She was surprised and I went on to tell her that the average website only last 3-4 years before it becomes:

*Outdated

*Not functional

*Both

Here are some of the bigger problems I see with old websites that can really hurt your business.

  1. It doesn’t work on mobile devices. Everyday, I’m surprised how many business owners have a website that displays poorly on a phone. FYI – over 60% of your customers are seeing your site on their phone!
  2. The content is outdated and the branding doesn’t match the current business.
  3. The website’s functionality such as contact forms or buttons stop working because the code is outdated or the website isn’t compatible with modern browsers.

We’ve been building websites for so many years now, we’ve actually have had a few clients that  we’ve built version 2 or 3 of their website for. This is spurred by some changes in their business. They usually invested in their business such as getting professional photos, having a stronger brand image, wanting to target a different demographic, or other similar reasons.

Be ready to ask yourself these questions:

*Why do I have a website, what purpose is it serving?

*Do our current services and clients reflect on our current site?

*Have we had major changes to our staff, clients, locations, etc.?

 

So here are some great tips to help position you so that you can look your best online and build trust with your website when start thinking about Version 2 of your website:

  1. If you are leaning on having a website that is 4+ years old, create a budget for your new website. Start thinking about your new website now and what you’d like it to look like.
  2. Start collecting other sites through bookmarking or an Evernote list so you’ll have samples to show your web designer.
  3. Think about what you will want for your content of your new site. That actually changes quite a bit in some industries year to year. It just depends.
  4. Updating a website’s content –  It’s a good idea if you have a blog that you update it on a monthly basis. The reason behind this is your readers start to lose trust in your website if you haven’t written a blog post in a while. For example, you or your colleague started out writing a lot of blog posts in the last few years and were pretty good about averaging a blog post once a month. But then, like most marketing, it got pushed off and became a lower priority. Now the last blog post you had was from December 2017! That doesn’t build trust or sit well with your clients – they start wondering if you’ll ignore them too.

BONUS TIP: One more thing to note: make sure when you have a WordPress website built by a professional, you know that they are using trusted themes that are supported. Good sources for these themes are themes endorsed by WordPress.org and Studiopress. Avoid ThemeForest themes and themes such as Divi. We’ve seen too many of them fall apart on clients, forcing them to build a new site!