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How Long Does a Website Last?

how long does a website last - time hourgalss

Your website is starting to show its age, but it’s definitely not dire. Should you start looking into a website refresh or new design? How long does a website last anyway?

While the long answer is it varies between industries and website elements, the short answer is easier to digest.

Here are guidelines for how long a website should last, between web design, web development, and core website content.

Design

Your web design should carry your brand for at least five years. Keep this in mind as you design or hire an agency to design your website. As you approve the colors, fonts, and modules, consider whether they will look good in the foreseeable future.

Preserving Your Site

Timeless web design is a real thing, and if you want to extend the life of your website, you’ll want to focus on these themes:

  • Simplicity: Simplicity will always lengthen the life of your site. Simplicity covers the fonts, white, space, layouts, and interactions of any website. Getting too cute in one or two elements is a sure way to show your age.
  • Stellar Photography: Investing in high-quality images, whether stock or custom photography, can keep your website looking on-brand and engaging.

Why You’ll Eventually Need a Refresh

No matter what precautions you take, you’ll eventually need a site refresh. The reason? Design trends come and go. You don’t want to appear stuck in the past.

Take the once-loved traffic counter in the footer of a website. If you saw one of those today on a brand’s website, you’d think their business was old and out of touch (and possibly carrying malware).

Set aside budget for a complete web design overhaul every five (or so years) and you’ll be golden.

Development // Code

If done right, your web code should also last at least five years. The “if done right” is essential, of course. Sloppy code can cause lagging and bugs which must be addressed if you want your digital brand equity to remain intact. If you’re a marketer in charge of hiring a web developer, be sure to properly vet them and ask them questions on making content updates.

Preserving Your Site

If you’re on a popular CMS like WordPress, be sure to update your WordPress version and any installed plugins every quarter. If not updated regularly, these plugins can start causing issues in your code and break things.

On the flip side, don’t make unnecessary changes to your site without a developer’s help. Every developer creates CMSs differently and an inexperienced person going in and adding lines of code might damage your site.

Why You’ll Eventually Need a Refresh

The web is in a constant state of evolution and improvement. New data networks, encryption, and security technology emerge every year.

Take Adobe Flash. Once considered a futuristic development tool, Flash is now an unsupported audio/video streaming platform who’s getting fully-blocked by Chrome Browsers.

Evergreen Content

While some content types will last longer than others, they will hardly ever last as long as your web design and development. For your website’s core content, plan to refresh or rewrite every 1-2 years.

Why You Need Regular Refreshes

  1. Products and features changes and every time they do, you should update your copy and supporting content materials.
  2. For organic success, you should analyze your keywords every six months or so. If there is any volatility, you should update your content.

Are you about to hit the 5-year mark on your web design and dev? Contact Zenman. We can create a timeless design in the latest standards of development and even write or consult upon your website content.

Calendar July 31, 2019 | User Zenman