Now that I’ve been in the web business for over 7 years, I’m starting to see things come full circle. Clients that I’ve had the pleasure of working with since the beginning have been deciding to have me re-vamp or even re-design their original website to something more modern and conducive of where their business has evolved.
I’ve come to the conclusion, that when done right, on average a website should have a 5 year shelf life before it needs any sort of an overhaul or major attention. Of course there are exceptions to the rule both ways being some websites need to evolve sooner than others due to rapid buisness growth & evolution while others could stand pat for over a decade.
If your website is built with the following factors in mind, you should enjoy an easy breezy 5 years while enjoying the benefits that come from having a professionally designed website…
Much like many areas in life, it’s a good idea to ignore fads and gimmicks when having your website designed. If you want your website to be appealing tomorrow as well as many years down the road, its important to ensure your website is built in a clean, professional and elegant way.
WHAT TO AVOID – The next animated .GIF type fad.
Short Term Flexibility
Rarely is a website built, launched and left untouched even in the short term. Clients often need to update their website news, services, schedule etc., to stay current with what is going on with their business. So in order for the website to stay fresh, there either needs to be access provided to the client for those areas that change often, or a maintenance agreement in place for the web provider to handle any changes the client wishes upon their request.
WHAT TO AVOID – ‘Recent’ news from May 2009 on your ‘What’s Hot?’ page.
Built To Last
Ensure your website is built with the expectation of adding new pages or content over both the short & long term to avoid the need for a more invasive re-vamping or re-design. Do this by choosing a design layout that allows for growth within the navigation, as well as individual page size so both additional pages / links can be added as well as content to each page.
WHAT TO AVOID – Being confined to a small defined space.
As time goes on, new technology is introduced & more advanced design elements become available making it nearly impossible for you to build a website that will last forever while remaining appealing and productive. Yet if you keep the information above in mind, you should be able to make sure your website has a full and happy life.
As equally as important, when it’s time to re-design & evolve, do so. Imagine if Will Smith never grew out of his Fade & blue overalls?
Talk about a short shelf life…