client knowledge base

How long will my website last?

August 21st 2014
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How long a website will last is not often discussed. Depending on your knowledge of technology, you bring your own expectations. We would like to outline here how, why and when your website will go out of date.

Technological

Your website is built using the following technology.

  • HTML – this is what is used to display a website in your browser.

  • CSS – this style sheet allows us to format the look of your site.

  • PHP – does the clever stuff to allow you to update your website yourself.

  • Javascript – this is a browser script to allow data manipulation.

  • MySQL – this is the database where all your website content is stored.

  • Apache – this is the server software that lets your website sit on the server and be displayed to the world.

Each of these standards and software are updated, maybe every 6 months, maybe every year. But changes in each of these occur and are rolled out to your server.

So if your website was built 3 years ago, it was built with the most modern version of these components at that time. However as time passes, upgrades to each of these occur and your website is slipping behind. At some point the changes might break your website. This does not mean your website was not built well. It just means that technology has advanced. The underlying standards and software the website relied upon has shifted.

Instead of seeing your website as a one-off purchase and a completed task, try to allocate time and a budget to it regularly. This is an adaptable marketing tool. You can easy measure the effectiveness of your spend by sales, enquires and search results. Compare that to any radio or print campaign and you will be way ahead online.

Customer Expectations

In addition to technology a website is dated by customer expectation.

The advancements in technology commonly bring additional functionality. In recent years we have seen a growth is your customers accessing your website with numerous devices. Instead of the computer being in the study and having to be turned on and then connected to the Internet. Nowdays people have laptops, ipads, mobile phones that can access the internet instantly from anywhere.

So the website that was built for you 3 years ago had no consideration for people accessing it from a mobile phone. It does not work well on a phone or ipad.

There may also be shifts in style. 3 years ago it may have been trendy for a website to look and work in a particular way. Those trends change so that customers may be put off by your dated looking site.

Content

Nothing dates a website like a lack of relevant content. Your website will not last long at all if customers cannot find what they want. They will quickly move to another website. It is important to ensure that your website is answering peoples questions and meeting their needs. Scheduling a regular time to update your site is important. This regular attention will allow new content to be added to benefit your customers and improve your Google search results. If this is not scheduled then other work on your business will take over and your website will get out of date and become less effective at getting you leads and sales.

Conclusion

Today we have outlined some factors that effect how long your website will last. To combat this and ensure your website remains effective you need to:

  1. Have a realistic expectation of your websites longevity – budgeting for a new website or regularly investing in it will see your website continuing to perform, using the latest technology.

  2. Always be customer focused – make sure your website is relevant to the current needs of your customers and the way they access it.

  3. Schedule time for your website – a regularly updated website will mean that it is is relevant and effective for your customers. Meet their needs and sales will follow.

Please contact us today with any questions you may have about your website.