When should I upgrade my website?

Technology moves forward quickly in web design. New design trends and methodologies emerge, and older sites begin to lag behind and look dated. We still have some sites that were created over ten years ago which were ‘state of the art’ at the time. Although they still work, they are beginning to look tired and are probably falling behind in their SEO performance.

So exactly what causes a website to date?

Google directives

One of the problems is that Google issues new directives now and then. Web designers have to take note of what Google says because if websites do not comply with Google’s guidelines, websites are downgraded and will not perform so well in the search rankings against a modern site that meets all its guidelines. This is particularly important if you are a business and want to keep ahead of your competitors.

The need for responsive websites

For example, the need for responsiveness in a website was introduced. Since mobile browsing on phones and tables is now the most common form of browsing, Google wants to make sure that all sites are display well on such devices. This means that the content of a website must be able to rearrange itself into a format that is suitable for the device used. If you look at a mobile responsive site on a phone, the content is arranged in a column and the menu converts to a standard mobile menu, often known as a hamburger menu because it consists of three lines and a drop down menu giving access to the pages of the site. See What is a responsive website?

Secure website status (SSL)

The latest directive from Google is that all websites must be secure and have an SSL certificate. This guideline was introduced last year because Google wants the web to become a safer place for websites. An SSL certificate adds an extra level of security to a website. Google are now pushing this requirement. Their browser, Chrome, now shows a warning if a site does not have an SSL certificate, which is disconcerting for visitors to say the least. It is likely that other browsers will follow. All our new sites are built with an SSL certificate built in, but eventually all old sites will need to be upgraded to SSL.

Design trends

The look and feel of a site is often catalyst for an upgrade. Old sites look, well, old-fashioned! Wide screen images, sliders, video, social media connectivity, space and bold headings are the current trend. Older sites, with a boxy look and feel, graphic headers, backgrounds and small text are often signs that a site needs updating.

When should I update?

Business sites probably need to upgrade every few years. A website is a window into your business, and it is not a very good reflection of your business if your website looks tired and dated. Artist and author websites tend to last longer, probably five years or so before they need an update. Some can last longer. But the important thing to remember is that responsive design and SSL requirements are here to stay and sites that do not adhere to these guidelines will perform less well on Google.

Get in touch if you would like an upgrade

We offer significant discounts for existing clients who want to upgrade an old website. Please get in touch and ask for an estimate. If you are not an existing client, but would like to update to a modern, mobile responsive site with SSL protection, please get in touch. Don’t forget to send us the link to your current site so we can review your content.

Web Design for the Arts and Small Businesses

Studio Websites (for artists): websitedesignforartists.com 
Bookwebs (for writers): bookwebs.co.uk
Bright Sea Media (business): brightseamedia.com
General enquiries: enquiries@brightseamedia.com
Tel (UK): 01903 879362

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