“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, we understand- however, this phrase wasn’t intended with the internet in mind. You’ve had your website for years, it works for you, you just wish you could change the design or you wish that you were generating more orders or enquiries from your website. We understand.
If you haven’t updated your website for a while, it will quickly look outdated, your content will no longer look fresh for search engines and you will come across as out of touch with trends and technology. Your content strategy or message may have changed, your industry will have evolved and your site may look terrible on mobile, however, it goes deeper than that. Here, we look at why an old website won’t work for you.
After some time, old plugins and frameworks which were supported by your CMS may lose development support and can not be updated. This, unfortunately, means if you have an outdated website, features you use such as image sliders, contact forms or even payment gateways may cause errors or break, without you having the option to update or upgrade. An outdated plugin may also mean that new additions or features are not even possible for you as they may conflict with these outdated plugins. Newer technology allows for more efficient personalisation on your website and will able you to have more flexibility in the design of your website.
Unfortunately, old plugins don’t just affect how your website works, but how secure it is too. A plugin with security holes, whether by code, structure or DbConnections, can be fatal for a site even if it’s deactivated. Unfortunately, outdated plugins, website themes or old versions of WordPress are the most common way that a hacker can gain access to your site. With a plugin that no longer has support and a lack of upgrading, you risk your website becoming vulnerable. When a security vulnerability is discovered, details of the exploitable code can almost immediately be exploited by hackers.
Google has now rolled out a new mobile-first index, which means the search engine algorithm will determine your website’s mobile experience as a factor for ranking results. Good and responsive web design is a future-proof. As technology develops, only responsive web design can keep up, fitting all browsers, devices, and screen sizes.
In most cases, reverse engineering significant website development such as a mobile responsive design can be more expensive than starting fresh with a new website. Air Website’s current website development standard prioritises mobile-first design, so the initial build focuses on mobile and then adds additional elements as the screen size increases. By nature, you cannot reverse engineer a website to be mobile first, but with Google’s focus on accessibility and usability, a mobile-friendly design is a must for search engine optimisation.
Unfortunately, site speed does influence conversion rates for leads or for sales. Heavy elements such as text, buttons and large quality images can affect your website load speed. Over time, the more elements you add to your website, the slower your website can become.
There are other issues that can result in your website taking longer to respond. This includes the performance of your server, the location of your server and how much traffic your server might experience. Other issues that may result in a slow website speed include heavy code density, too many file requests, too many plugins, unnecessary 301 redirects and even an outdated version of your CMS might result in your website taking too long to respond, so it is very important you stay on top of any new updates to ensure your website remains up to date.
Your existing website may have been around a while, so it is a possibility that if you have worked with other companies you might link to each other through blogs, social media posts, case studies or you may even be featured on local listing or in the press for any work you do. Over time, this can cause many backlinks linking both to and from your website.
Every time your website is indexed by a search engine, all these links will be analysed, meaning if there is an outbound link to a website which could potentially be marked as spam from a low-quality website, you may experience a penalty from Google which can potentially mark your own site as spam or effect where you appear in the search engine result pages (known as the Penguin algorithm). It is possible to disavow low-quality links that point to your website to increase your website performance, but often without the help of an SEO marketing service, you may find a new website can cut down on some of your outbound links that may be hidden in subpages or blogs.
As an industry standard, it is expected and advised that you refresh your most important content every six months to keep your information or services up to date and relevant. This will also increase your website’s SEO performance if you are regularly updating your website content. Due to Google’s content algorithm (known as the Panda update), you may not be penalised if you do not regularly refresh your content or if you have content which seen to be low quality.
Low-quality content usually refers to pages or blog posts that may be under 500 words, contain spammy keywords or are even seen not to be informative or useful. If you have lots of old content that doesn’t drive any traffic, contain engaging or informative information for your visitors, you may want to consider rewriting this content to help drive traffic towards the main pages of your website, or you could consider reducing the amount of content you have to ensure you only include high quality, useful content for your visitors which will also benefit your website performance. Often, a new website can help you analyse what content is important for your business or how you could recycle your old content.
Unfortunately, after time, websites don’t perform very well unless they remain responsive across all devices and stay up to date with the latest CMS or plugin versions. Air Website designs are built with user experience at the forefront and are search engine friendly, making them completely futureproof. With a variety of professional designs that are built for your business without the cost of a bespoke site, contact us to find out more about how we can help you futureproof your website today.