Is my website outdated?
If you had to Google this question, the answer is most likely yes.
Web trends come and go. Some website trends fade gracefully, others die hard.
At Pesola Media Group, we can spot an outdated website from a mile away. We’re sure you can too. Outdated websites are a graveyard for low quality clipart, choppy animations and dreaded HTML tables. Although it’s easy to recognize when someone else’s website is outdated, you don’t always recognize when it’s time for your update.
Maybe it’s denial, or maybe you just haven’t taken an objective look at your website. It’s time to take a good, hard look at your website. What do you love? What do you hate? Depending on your answers to these questions, you may be due for a refresh. Here are five telltale signs of outdated websites.
Is your web design stuck in 1999?
Your website looks more like a digital antique than a fresh, interactive outlet.
Here’s a perfect example from our client, TII Technical Education Systems. Their website was originally built in May 1998 and only saw minor facelifts for nearly 20 years. When Pesola Media Group was brought in to reimagine TII’s web design, we noticed their look was reminiscent of web trends from the late 90s and early 2000s. As we started digging a little deeper, we found exactly why—their website was hard-coded.
When most of us web developers first learned how to build websites, we created simple sites using code. HTML and CSS are the languages that websites are built in. If you don’t understand these languages, there’s only so much you can do with your site. TII was in charge of managing their own website and really didn’t know where to start in terms of updates or additions.
Does your website strictly rely on coding?
In our world, there’s no worse feeling than breaking a website.
Here’s the cold, hard truth– codes can break. If you have a site that’s been coded from top to bottom, your website is essentially a ticking time bomb. It’s not a matter of if it will break, it’s a matter of when it will break and how. HTML websites are extremely delicate and fragile. One stray bracket or forgotten slash can easily take down an entire website. Sometimes, two fully-functioning codes won’t play well together. HTML is really a mixed bag of potential problems.
It’s not always easy to identity the broken code or issue on HTML websites either. Sometimes the biggest web tragedies are caused by the smallest pieces to the puzzle. A single character can completely change the way elements are viewed. Here’s a quick example if you’re think we’re being dramatic.
The only difference between these two is a period.
When the Code Works
When the Code Is Broken
Does your website use Flash?
If you really want to date your website, Adobe Flash is the way to do it.vely concerned with their web content, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Google PageRank. Good luck trying to make it on the first page of Google with a Flash website. Speaking of SEO…
Back in yesteryear, Adobe Flash was just the way websites were done. Virtually everyone used some form of Flash animation or slideshow on their website. Some early “cutting-edge” sites were even fully developed in Flash. So more than likely, you once had the plugin downloaded on your computer. Let’s fast forward to today. Very few websites still use Flash. Why? Simply put, there are more cons than pros.
- No one is going to download the plugin. It’s truly an inconvenience because it’s a proprietary software. You can only get Flash from Adobe. This means you have to go Adobe’s external site, download the software, opt out of the scamming add-ons, complete the download process and then finally come back to the original website. There are just too many steps.
- In his 2010 essay called “Thoughts on Flash,” Steve Jobs discusses the need for open web standards that encourage high performing, secure websites. Overall, Flash has a horrible security record. It’s known as a vulnerable, frequently exploited product. According to Apple, it’s the number one reason for Mac crashes. There’s a laundry list of Flash problems including cyber criminals, international hackers and malware infections. It’s just not safe.
- Flash websites cannot be read by search engines. Google only sees a single webpage with no content, just an embedded Flash file. Many of our clients are exclusively concerned with their web content, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Google PageRank. Good luck trying to make it on the first page of Google with a Flash website. Speaking of SEO…
Is it mobile friendly?
Responsive websites are now the standard of website design.
It’s becoming increasingly common for our clients to have more website traffic from smartphones than from desktops. As of 2015, mobile searches outnumber desktop searches.
“Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. However, our ranking systems still typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user. This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because our algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.”
With smartphone traffic on the rise, it’s safe to say that majority of your website traffic is attributed to mobile users too. This means that your website should cater to your mobile users. It’s no longer a part of your digital marketing strategy. It should be your digital strategy.
Is your web branding consistent with your other channels?
Don’t let your website efforts get trampled on by outdated branding.
Every few years, we are introduced to new ways to promote your brand. Whether it’s through new social media outlets or advertising platforms, the marketing landscape is constantly changing. Ideally, each part of your brand should be consistent. Your website is no exception. Successful branding fully encompasses your look, feel and tone. Your website should match your business cards, print ads and social media accounts.
From our experience, websites are the last piece to be refreshed. Most likely, this is attributed to the price tag. It’s easy to print new business cards but a new website design is more of an investment. That being said, websites have the biggest impact on customers. An outdated website gives the appearance that your business is old-fashioned and obsolete. A modern website shows that you’re ready and capable. If your printed collateral or Facebook page is more reflective of your current brand, it’s time to reimagine your website.