7 Signs Your Website Is Dated

Posted / 09 January, 2015

Author / Enginess

dated website

Think your website might be outdated? Here are 7 signs to look for to see if you’re right.

1. Dated Fonts + Graphics

It’s the ineffable ’look and feel’.

It’s hard to know exactly what gives a website its vibe, but fonts, pictures, graphics, and icons are definitely part of the conversation. They’re also some of the easiest ways to update a site that looks like it’s lagging behind the times (sometimes these projects are called re-skins).

Current trends in web design are moving towards flatter design and iconography, creative fonts, and, above all, clarity in communication.

Conversely, trends have moved away from skeuomorphism, frilly fonts and designs, unreadable (but gorgeous) fonts, and bordered, clunky stock images.

If your website is more clutter than sleek, it might be time to address it.


2. Slow Load Time

A study on Amazon load time found that for every 100ms of load time, sales decreased by 1%.

The thing is, the study was done in 2007. So it’s been known for a while now that we don’t like to wait, especially when it comes to the internet. This is even more important as mobile traffic continues to increase. Mobile connections are often slower, so businesses have even less leeway when it comes to load times.

Never forget that your customers are only too happy to go somewhere else.


3. Too Much Unnecessary Content

Websites tend to collect content over time. Even with superb information architecture, a great content manager, and a solid site maintenance crew, it just happens.

Homepages are particularly prone to this issue, especially in large organisations where different departments vie for control of precious homepage real estate. After a few years, the result is a hodge podge collection of info, and end-user needs fall by the wayside.

A redesign, in conjunction with a meticulous strategic plan, will help you prune your site so that your content is relevant and useful to your visitors. (Not enough content is also a problem, but more on that at the end.)


4. Mobile un-friendly

Speaking of mobile, your site needs to be mobile friendly. The trending best practice is to build a responsive website, which gives your visitors the same experience across all devices. Other options include mobile websites and native mobile apps, both of which have pros and cons.

Your customers are increasingly less tolerant of poor mobile experiences – and so is Google.  Being mobile friendly:

  • Helps your customers
  • Helps your Google search rankings
  • Which gives you more customers

See the positive feedback loop? A good mobile experience is a need-to-have for any modern website (TOP TIP: You can actually run a quick check to see if your site is mobile friendly).


5. Built with Flash

Websites built with Flash (and without any fallback) have got to go.

Don’t get us wrong – Flash offered many benefits, namely intense levels of customization and a potentially great multimedia experience.

But when you build in Flash, there’s a whole tangled mess of problems. Most importantly, Flash and iOS do not integrate, so without a fallback for iPhones and iPads, you’re alienating an awful lot of users extremely quickly. Plus, Flash needs to be downloaded and installed, causing further problems.

Fortunately, there’s a better way. HTML5 and CSS3 both had benefits that Flash is lacking. Sites built with a combination of HTML5/CSS3 help alleviate a lot of the problems of Flash and:

  • Allow a better mobile experience for everyone
  • Allow better indexing for search engines (better results in Google)

6. Splash/Intro Page

No one likes these. Search engines don’t like these. Unless there’s a very good reason why users should self-identify before proceeding to the next page on your site, it’s just another click between users and your content and offering.

Consider its usefulness, and if it fails the test, get rid of it, or your users will move elsewhere.


7. Unnecessary Images

Rich media – images, graphics, video, sound – is great… it’s just not the best solution all the time.

If your site is a veritable ocean of graphics and pictures, you might need to rethink your website. Common image problem areas include:

  • Outdated logos
  • Images instead of text in menu bars and buttons, potentially causing accessibility issues
  • Images instead of text in web footers

Not sure if some images are pictures or text? Try and drag them to the desktop. Images will go no problem, text will not.

 

To recap, knowing when and how to redesign your website is a big decision for companies. 7 signs yours might be overdue are:

  • Dated fonts and graphics
  • Slow load time
  • Too much content, especially on the homepage
  • A poor mobile experience
  • Your website is built with Flash
  • A splash page or intro page guarding your site
  • Unnecessary images that are used inappropriately

Bonus Tip!

If your content is months out of date (e.g. addresses, contact info) or is completely static, then you're definitely overdue for a redesign.

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