You could be somewhat surprised to learn that a website lifespan is relatively limited. And at some point, the cost of maintaining the website outweighs its value to your organization, and it’s time to upgrade or redesign. When is this exactly? The answer to this inquiry isn’t set in stone and can depend on many different factors. Generally, a website lifespan is around 5 years or less. But a website doesn’t have to be officially retired to become a liability. A website without updates in 2 or 3 years can pose significant risks for an organization for multiple reasons.
Unsupported Technology Impacts Website LifespanTechnology is constantly evolving to become faster, more secure, and more device-friendly. But as website technology advances, as do the demands from users for new features. If you know your website is a few years old, it might not support the latest versions of the web browser or search engine software. What’s more, many websites rely on third-party applications that have their upgrade periods and can stop working with your website.
Incorrect InformationSites lacking updates for long periods are susceptible to significant inaccuracies or misrepresentations of their content. These inaccuracies can be especially problematic if you sell products or services where accuracy is crucial, such as medicine, education, financial advice, etc. And misinformation becomes even more problematic if the search engines index the page for users to visit. For example, if your company’s business was selling ‘widget A’ and you stop selling ‘widget A.’ Then, anyone searching for this widget who visits your site but can no longer purchase it will have a negative user experience and take their business elsewhere. At the very least, updating website content to reflect changes to your current offerings is worth doing to stay competitive.
Outdated DesignToday’s websites should have a clean, attractive, user-friendly, and responsive design to the access device, whether a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. So while a website might look just fine on a desktop screen, move that same page to a smaller device, and the design elements don’t work. A poorly designed site can also hurt your credibility, resulting in fewer visitors willing to do business with you. But this isn’t just about aesthetics – design plays a significant role in any website’s relative success online. For example, a recent study by an independent web analytics service revealed that the average user spends fewer than 10 seconds on a page before deciding whether to stay or leave. If your website takes longer than 5 seconds to load, 56% of users will abandon you. Slow loads and unresponsive sites can be disastrous for an organization’s visibility and revenue. You see how it becomes clear that neglecting a website can have dire consequences for your organization.
Unstable Or Slow HostingWebsite speed and uptime is a critical factor in user experience and site stability. If your website is down or experiencing performance issues, visitors, users, and customers can’t access information. While no web hosting provider guarantees 100% uptime, choosing a hosting company with a proven track record of providing reliable hosting services helps keep your online presence ready for the next visitor! In addition, most companies offer backup measures like daily backups and hourly incremental backups to minimize downtime in case something does happen. So, now that you know how your website can become a liability if it’s not updated, what should you do about it? Among the first things you need to do is understand the expected lifespan of your site. If there are plans for significant changes within the next few months, postpone any action until those plans are complete.
When Is The Ideal Time to Upgrade or Redesign?There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Factors like what you’re hoping to accomplish with an updated version. Factors that must get considered include:
- The frequency and quality of web traffic
- Your audience
- The resources available for a new design or update
- The size of your organization.