Your Website Has a Shelf Life

By Rebecca Bullard, Creative Director of Matice

Just like that box of graham crackers crammed in the back of your pantry, there comes a time when your website is past its prime and becomes a bit stale.

The web and tech industries evolve so quickly it seems it’s hard to keep up! If you’re not on Snapchat already, forget about it – we’ll be onto the next big thing any minute (hello Periscope). Let’s go over some recent web technology updates in the past few years and how you can update your website to get back on track with current trends and standards.

Outdated Platforms

There has been a shift over the past several years from proprietary platforms and static websites to open source content management systems (CMS). Some of the frontrunning CMS Platforms include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and DNN.  (market share stats)  http://trends.builtwith.com/cms

Even if your website is already built using one of these platforms, they roll out new versions fairly often. If your site is set to auto-update, sometimes things break along the way or some themes or plugins don’t keep up. If you haven’t updated in a while, your site could be running inefficiently and be in need of a lot of updates.

Responsive Web Design

If you haven’t heard of Responsive Web Design (RWD), I’ll fill you in.

In the past several years, web design has changed dramatically in step with the wide adoption of mobile devices. The old way was static design and separate mobile friendly versions of a website. Users’ screen sizes were much more predictable then. Now the variety of screen sizes and resolutions available between monitors, laptops, tablets, and phones justify a design strategy that works on all screens. Enter Responsive Web Design (RWD).

Responsive web design is the practice of building a website suitable to work on every device and every screen size, no matter how large or small, mobile or desktop. Responsive web design is focused around providing an intuitive and gratifying experience for everyone. Images, Boxes, Sections, and text blocks are coded to rearrange and resize by detecting the user’s screen size and using logic to determine how to display the layout.

Search Ranking & SEO

The practice of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is ever-changing. If you want your website to be found on Google when customers are searching for relevant products and services you need to put some priority on SEO and keeping up with the search engine technology and executing new strategies on your site. In fact, “freshness” of your website is a ranking factor as well.

Another reason to update your website and adopt Responsive Web Design is that since April, mobile friendliness of your website can affect your search ranking on mobile search. Additionally, responsive sites use a single domain and one website, which means that mobile, tablet, and desktop content is working together as one source. This is good for SEO.

Your Domain Name

If you have never been able to get the “.com” name you’ve desired and settled on a less than ideal “.com” you may reconsider your domain name. Today there are so many new Domain Extensions (TLDs) available including .city, .xyz, .insurance, .today, .jobs, .club, and many more. If one of these new extensions makes sense for your site AND will be easily remembered, it may be worth trying out in addition to your existing domain.

Flash is Dead

For the most part, Flash is completely unsupported on mobile. Plus we never liked it much anyway. There is so much now that can be accomplished with more simple and standard coding (HTML, CSS, Javascript) and it is more widely supported, faster to load, and content is indexed by Google. If you can avoid Flash, we recommend it. Now video, that’s another story. Video & Web is like the new peanut butter & jelly.

Security

Lastly, just as the web standards and trends improve, so do skills of hackers and spammers. If your site is not up to date there may be security vulnerabilities waiting to be taken advantage of. And if someone does hack your site, do you have regularly scheduled backups so you can restore it? Keeping your website up to date can help minimize security breaches. In addition, having added security on your site by way of a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate enables use of https which may also help your SEO and website trust and authority.

Time to Get Up to Date

Now is a great time to consider a redesign for a fresh start in 2016. A website redesign sends the message to your customers that staying up to date is important. A fresh design and improved user experience will help your website stand out from the competition and establish your brand as a leader.

If you’d like to learn more about how to update and refresh your website, please contact Matice – info@matice.com.

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