Your Web Site, How Old is Too Old?

We’ve seen a lot of web sites over the years and have spoken to countless companies who had not touched their web site for years. They told us when they approached us for help with designing a new site. Probably not surprising to the average small business owner who barely has enough time in the day to run their company. Never the less, not having someone knowledgeable look at your web site code on a regular basis, at least every six months could spell big problems and unwanted surprises.

Here’s Why:

Aside from doing nothing to promote your web site and help it to help you do more business with regular updates and proper search engine optimization, not paying attention to the age of your web site’s code or keeping its code current can cause the significant problems:

  • Web Servers are continually updated in order to use the safest, most current and secure web hosting and database software, (to keep it simple). Older versions of the various software typically running on a current web server are kept around for a while but eventually, the older software and database versions are removed because the producers no longer provide security updates and patches for those older versions.And you guessed it. When your web hosting provider removes the versions your web site needs, it usually doesn’t survive.
  • Local or browser based web site code such as Java Script and others, are also updated regularly. Again, if your web site is trying to pass along instructions with out dated code to the browser, to make a drop down menu drop down, or a contact form collect and send an inquiry, that functionality is going to be broken.
  • And finally, browsers themselves like the four different “supported” versions of Internet Explorer (yes, 4!), Google Chrome, Firefox and others are updated and patched regularly. We are continually making minor and major adjustments to code and adding styles to correct what the latest browser update broke on our customer’s web sites.

Your web site is just like so many other things in our lives. If you have one, it needs to be maintained in order to keep it healthy and working the way it was designed to work.

If your web site was built more than 3 or 4 years ago and you have made no significant updates, it is time to let a professional take a look at what code it was built with, and browser test it to make sure it is working in all the current versions of the numerous different browsers that are being used.

A broken or improperly functioning web site can do more damage than not having one at all… Get a web site check up! Even if you don’t have time. And if you don’t have a web site guy, we’re be happy to help.

 

Responsive Web Design and why it’s better than having multiple web sites.

When our clients first approach us about creating a web site for small handheld devices and web enabled cellular phones, they often say they want a “Portable Web Site” or “Mobile Web Site”. But this is not necessarily the best way to go…

There are many companies out there that will create a portable web site (only). The way this works is pretty straight forward. Typically the client will contract with a company to create a separate portable web site. They also provide some code that is added to your current full sized web site. This code “sniffs” out what type of browser or device is attempting to view the web site, and if it is a portable device or cell phone, the code redirects the visitor to the portable web site, that is usually hosted under a different domain name.

The problem with this or downside is probably a better choice of words, are a couple of issues:

  • You have two separate web sites doubling the work whenever you need to update or add to your web site.
  • You have two different domain names (web sites), and neither benefit from the other with respect to SEO.
  • Google prefers one web site with one domain name.

So what’s the answer? A “Responsive Web Site”!

Web sites can be constructed in a way that allows them to dynamically resize, reorganize their content, and adjust text size to function properly on everything from a wide format computer monitor to a small cellular phone. This is called Responsive web design and it is the best way to create a web site that works well on all computer monitors and handheld devices.

Learn more about the benefits of Responsive Web Design