Do you remember what you wore on your first day of high school? If you’re like many people, you’re probably cringing a little bit as you think back on the clothes you wore as a teenager. It’s nothing to be ashamed of – clothes cycle through trends and styles faster than people can keep up with it, and each generation has a handful of fads that are forever associated with that time period:
- Bell bottoms
- Teased bangs and denim everything
- JNCO jeans wide enough to fit three of your friends in a single leg
- Skinny ties over white tank tops (paired with thick black eyeliner and pin straight hair)
… just to name a few examples. And while those things were the height of fashion at the time, it’s very indicative of that specific time period. If you see someone walking down the street wearing acid wash jeans and shoulder pads, you’re going to wonder why they’re dressed like it’s 1985.
The same thing can be said for your website.
Just like crimping your hair or wearing copious amounts of body glitter, website trends come and go. When you invest in a website, it should last you a number of years, but it shouldn’t last forever. If you aren’t updating your web design regularly, it begins to look dated. The longer you leave it, the less effective your website becomes, which means it’s no longer making you the money that it should.
Dated websites drive customers away.
If you visited a website now that was designed in the early 2000s, you’d know it right away. It would be jarring and strange, and as a customer, you’d probably question why the company hadn’t updated it. That is, if you get that far. Most people who visit a site that is obviously dated click away without a second thought because:
- They assume the information is out of date
- They doesn’t trust the company or may think it is no longer in business
- They aren’t sure how to navigate to find what they are looking for
- The website itself doesn’t entice them to stay
User behaviour changes over time
Updating your website design is about more than the aesthetics. The way people use technology changes with time, as does our understanding of people’s behaviours. As people develop new habits, the way websites are designed have to change. Scrolling down endless pages is a perfect example of this. The advent of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram meant that people got used to websites with “feeds.” Users began to instinctively expect that as they scrolled down a page, they’d get more information. Websites that mimic this design keep users on the page longer. When your website caters to user behaviours, it performs better. That means more visitors staying on your site, which leads to more sales.
So how do you know if your website is out of style?
No one likes to be told they’re not trendy. Finding out that your website is out of style is kind of like being told that no one wears skinny jeans anymore and that side parts make millennials look “old.” At first, you’ll probably be a little insulted. Then, you might be a little in denial. But eventually, you’ll accept that it’s time to update your wardrobe – or your website.
Your website developer should have a thorough understanding of current website trends and user behaviours. Part of the reason you want a professional website developer (like us!) is because we actively seek out cutting edge technologies and systems that increase your traffic, improve your user experience, and boost your sales.
That means, just like your teenage child/niece or nephew/other well-meaning youths, we’ll sometimes tell you “no” as you’re reaching for that fringed and bedazzled denim jacket – or for a website style that isn’t the best choice for a modern business. It means that some of the things on your website might not be what you expect, but that they will be effective for your sales.