I am constantly talking to people about their website and how important it is to their business and, even though the web is becoming part of everyone’s day to day life, I still get asked why? Why do I need a website? Why do I need to spend time looking after my website? Why do I need to make sure it looks good?
And, this question always shocks me. Even now, after working in this industry for 10 years.
Next time you catch a train, take a brief look up and down the carriage and count how many people are talking to someone that isn’t in a screen. You probably only need to use one hand. As surprising as it sounds, the world we live in now, phones are the new newspapers, the new yellow pages, the new place to talk to friends.
Although people say this makes us anti-social and use the line “online friends aren’t your real friends”, arguably you should always disagree with that. Because using the internet isn’t a way to ignore people around you, it’s a way to organise your social life or find and buy new things. It is now the way the people run all aspects of their life. So as a business, why aren’t you on there?
It shows the people buy from the internet. Remember Blockbuster? Most people don’t. They weren’t fast enough to catch on to the internet and Netflix overtook them. Many other places are now also beginning to struggle with their digital counterparts.
You wouldn’t go to a restaurant if the outside looked disgusting, would you? You’d avoid a shop that “looked dodgy” or if you couldn’t use the door to get in because it hadn’t been cared for.
This is exactly the same reasons why you should always have a website that is cared for. With everyone now living on the internet, having somewhere your visitors can go to find out more information, that looks good, and is well maintained does your brand and your business good. First impressions count and the internet is now where most of those first impressions happen.
But it does take time to look after a website and you cannot just let it rot in the corner. It isn’t something you get done, or make yourself and just leave. There is a lot to think about, including link building, content updates or creation, there is also SEO and trends to keep up with.
A lot of smaller companies make a website and ignore it, they think once it’s done then that is that. But every website comes with its own lifespan and it’s probably not as long as you think, which is why I wanted to quickly pop this section in as making sure your website is up-to-date in all aspects is important.
We estimate that your website will last you 3 years, at a push 4. Mainly because technologies in the digital sector change rapidly, what is popular and works well when you create your website might not work as well 2 years down the line. A good example of this is Adobe Flash, websites used to be made completely from Flash but over the years it became insecure, Google stopped supporting it, and technology moved on – what you used to be able to do only in Flash now comes as part of HTML and CSS.
As a result of these changes, websites that are now years old need to be updated to remove elements that might cause issues for customers, like issues viewing the website, or not being able to find your company on Google, and even worse – getting a virus and ruining computers.