Phones with cords. Beepers and pagers. Game Boys. These technologies were incredibly popular and impressive during the 90s. At that time, this “new” technology was leading the market and pushing digital communication and gaming to a whole new level. But in just a few years, they were overtaken by newer, better, more powerful, more effective, and more advanced technologies. These technology trends were “all the rage” in their time, but that time has since past.
The same idea applies to website design trends as well. Website design follows the ebbs and flows of advancing technologies as well as user demands, preferences, exigences, and behaviors.
Disregarding any of these factors means that you’re probably up to date with what your audience wants and expects. In the competitive world of the internet, this can spell loss for your business as well as a failure to maintain your position in Google’s search rankings.
Your website is the primary asset for your online presence. Fortunately, it is a business asset that you can easily control, manage, and update. If your website is “old” (has not been updated in the past 2 to 3 years), you should consider taking action to modernize it to today’s design and development standards.
But how do you know that your site is “old” and outdated? Check out these pointers.
1. Your website is not mobile responsive.
Tablets, smart phones, and other mobile devices have become incredibly powerful and common. In fact, 70% of Americans now own a smartphone. Another interesting fact is that a majority of Google searches are now done in a mobile device than in a desktop computer.
Furthermore, 51% of smartphone users discovered new businesses, products, and services by browsing through their smartphones.
These facts mean that people are now browsing websites, watching videos, checking emails, and doing online transactions through their mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, etc.), now more than ever before!
As such, it is important to ensure that your website is mobile responsive. Your site should be easily accessed on any mobile device that your viewers might use.
Let’s expand on this a bit further. Websites are either static or responsive. Static sites, as their name implies, show on screens with the same format and dimension, whatever the screen size. Thus, viewing a static site on a small screen means that the viewer will have to “pinch and zoom” in order to clearly read information or scroll left and right to access an entire website.
As I’m sure you know from experience, it quickly becomes frustrating to browse a static website from a mobile device.
On the other hand, a mobile-responsive website contains a special code embedded into the design. This code enables the page to expand, contract, or change its format depending on what device is used to view the website. Viewers can easily and comfortably browse the site without having to zoom in or scroll to the left and right to view each web page. Mobile responsive websites make the viewing transition from desktop to mobile device smooth and seamless.
Is your website mobile responsive? To check, click this mobile tester, and input your site’s URL. If your site is not mobile friendly, contact us right away so we can schedule a free website consultation. Simply fill up the form in the link to take your first step to a better, more powerful, and mobile-friendly website.
2. Your website design is outdated.
Just like the fashion industry, web design follows trends. The design trends and the technology associated with them change so quickly that a site which was built just two years ago can already look outdated.
Let’s use that time period as an example. Half a decade ago, punchy graphics and different fonts were the “in-thing” in web design. Image carousels, pop-ups, plenty of sidebars and widgets were some of yesterday’s hot trends. Not anymore.
These designs are now considered outdated. Today’s websites are simplified, minimalist, and easy to read. Viewers now prefer a clean and crisp home page with stunning images that paint an overall picture of the products and services of your business. Interactive features, video headers, neutral color palettes seem to be becoming popular. Check out this blog for web design trends to help your website stand out.
Your website speaks volumes about your businesses reputation. If your website is not updated or is not par to current design trends, visitors may assume your business is not trustworthy. With an outdated website, you won’t be able to position yourself firmly in today’s extremely competitive online business environment.
If your website was developed before 2015, it is strongly recommended to have a web designer check it if it is at par with today’s design standards.
3. Your website uses Flash animation
During the old days, many websites have Flash animation. Flash animation can include Clip Art objects flying across the screen or music playing when the website is accessed. While they may have been trendy once, in today’s digital environment Flash websites will make you stand out, in a negative way. In fact, Google will actually negatively affect your search results if they see that your website is still using Flash in it’s code.
Let’s look at the downsides of Flash websites:
- Readers need to install a Flash player plug-in to properly view the website.
- Flash websites need a lot of power to run, which unnecessarily slows down browsers.
- There are so many newer high-tech alternatives such as HTML5 Canvas.
- Flash-based websites are slower to load because they are image extensive. The slow speed not only makes it frustrating for viewers, but it can negatively affect search rankings. Remember that loading speed is one of Google’s ranking factors; this is discussed in detail in the next section.
- Flash-based websites are difficult to rank in search engines. Web spiders cannot read the content in flash websites. Also, you can’t add alt text, which is what spiders crawl and index.
- Flash is prone to malware, bugs, and security flaws as evidenced in this CVE Details report.
- Apple mobile devices don’t support Flash. Sorry iPhone and iPad users.
- Browsing Flash-based websites in mobile devices eats the device’s memory and drains the battery fast.
- Buttons on Flash websites are more prone to malfunction or link to incorrect pages.
Today, people want to find the exact information that they want in the shortest time and the most direct way possible. Thus, anything that is moving, singing, and/or popping up may severely distract viewers from what they want. You don’t want users to leave your site because of these unwarranted and outdated distractions.
Make your website design simple, with a navigation pattern that is logical and easy to use and understand. Your objective is to draw your viewer’s eyes to the information that they need.
4. Slow load speeds.
Nowadays, everyone wants and expects things yesterday. Instant gratification has become the new norm in almost every industry. That includes information they want to find on websites. Studies show that 40% of viewers leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
That is why it is important that your website loads quickly. Fast loading speed is so important that it is now considered a ranking factor in Google.
If your website takes a long time to load---often more than 3 seconds, you should have your website provider check to see what can be done to speed up the load time. A typical culprit for slow load speeds can be the size of images or graphics that you have on your website. We recommend all images and graphics be between 1500 and 2500 pixels wide or between 80 Kb to 100 Kb at most.
5. Your website is difficult to update.
As web design technology advances, old functionalities are overwritten, discontinued, and abandoned. The knowledge of maintaining these ancient websites disappeared as web designers embraced newer, more powerful, more versatile, and more efficient platforms and techniques. Thus, maintaining or making changes to old sites becomes increasingly difficult, frustrating, and even costly.
It is important to have the ability to update your website regularly. For example, if you find it hard or even impossible to add or change content on your current website, you’re missing out a huge chance to increase your page rank in search engines. That’s because new and regularly updated content is a ranking factor with Google.
So, do you have a non responsive website? Outdated design? Using Flash? Slow load speeds? Or have difficulties updating your website?
If you said “ugh, yes!” to one or many of the above questions, it may be time for you to try out FolioWebsites. With Folio, you’ll get a customized, effective, easy to update, modern, and affordable website design that is current with today’s technology and standards. Our web designers are dedicated to creating affordable websites that scale with your business and the ever changing trends in technology. Affordable website design with FolioWebsites starts at just $299.
You can start out with a free website consultation.