website lifespan

How long will a good website last for my business?

I met with a potential client recently. Built in 2017, her site has reached a point where it is time for a website refresh. The technology is no longer current. The backend has tools she’s no longer using. There is information that no longer matches her services. Photos of her young kids who are now teenagers. The list goes on… Things got added on, and then added on to what was added on, and now it’s all a bit of a mess.

Is the site serving her? Yes, it is. She has a successful business. Clients still find her & reach out through her site. But is it serving her as well as it could be? No. If your website is feeling dated or hard to use, you are most definitely missing out on clients.

As your Website Doula I strive to build the highest quality website possible for my clients. That means I’m making design, SEO & technical decisions based on the latest evidence-based research. I’d love to say that this means your website will last forever. And it will, in a sense. The foundation of your site is rock solid. And with regular care & updates will serve you for YEARS to come.

But those regular care & updates are KEY.

But alas, in the world of technology and design, things change – frequently. And yes, your website needs care and attention over time. Even if you LOVE your current website, every year you should do a full website review. It may be time for time for a website refresh.

So how long can you expect a website to last?

Most websites will serve a business well for 2-5 years before they need a refresh. One company researched the top 200 marketing firms and the average lifespan was 2 years and 7 months! Now you are not the CEO of a major marketing firm. And as a small holistic business owner, you likely don’t have the funds to do a full redesign every 2-3 years… Occasional refreshes, however… absolutely!

So, how do you know if it’s time for a refresh?

1. Your site is clunky on mobile

If your site was built in 2018 or before, I can almost guarantee it is time for a website refresh. Over the past five years mobile devices have become the main way users will view your website. That means it is essential that your site mobile experience be the best it can be.

2. Things have gotten unclear…

This one can be hard to detect without taking a step back from your website. You know the content inside and out, so it may be hard for you to see the gaps. This one can be hard to detect without taking a step back from your website. You know the content inside and out, so it may be hard for you to see the gaps.

Most older sites have had content updates over the years. Sometimes these updates leave things feeling more confusing. Site visitors have to click too many times to find the information they need. The end result? You lose them to the next link in search results.

3. The design feels dated…

It’s a little scary how quickly a design that you LOVED can feel dated and like it no longer represents you. This might mean a change in your branding colors or font choices. Replacing stock photos that no longer feel authentic. Or removing that slideshow that you loved because we now know that the information after the first slide simply gets lost. Sometimes the best design advice I can give a client is that less is more. A redesign could even be a simplification of your original design that makes it more effective.

4. Shifting standards of care…

A lot has changed in recent years. Rising commitments to inclusive language and practices in business. The importance of addressing website accessibility. Rising concerns about website privacy and how our data is used. It might be time for an update if you have not yet addressed these on your site.

5. I’m not getting as much business as before…

Have you noticed a decrease in your business inquiries and conversions? It’s time to consider if a fresh website design could be part of the change you need to get back on top & keep growing.

8 factors you should consider to determine if it is time for a website refresh:

  • How has my business shifted in recent years? Does my current site accurately represent my services? My values and mission?
  • Is my website up to date with current design trends? It is too wordy? Is there plenty of white space?
  • Does my site function well on all mobile devices – phones AND tablets? Remember that as the devices your users own change, so too will the way your site functions on them.
  • Is my website loading quickly & smoothly? A website refresh can make a big difference to your site loading times.
  • Does my website reflect my current priorities around language and standards of care?
  • Does my site design feel cluttered or overwhelming? Is there plenty of whitespace? it is easy to scan and find what you’re looking for?
  • Am I able to easily make changes to my site myself? Technology has changed so much in recent years that the tools I am now using to build websites are completely different than just 5 years ago… Little or no coding. Drag & drop functionality. Inherently mobile responsive. These should be standard now.
  • Am I still getting regular inquiries & good conversion rates? If not, I’d take a look at some of your competitors and see if any of them have launched new websites in the past year. How are they showing up in search results? Has my site has started to look dated in comparison to others? Am I showing up lower in search results than I used to?

Is it time for a website refresh?

If your website is 3 or more years old, yes, it’s likely time to give your website some love & care. In my next post, I’ll be sharing some creative ideas on how to refresh your site in phases if you’re not yet ready for a full redesign. If your site is newer, these simple ideas will help you keep your site fresh & modern for longer. Just a bit of love & care can go a long way to ensuring that your beautiful website foundation will last you for years to come.

Finally, it is important to note that a GOOD website will last far longer than one built with dated technology or without understanding current design standards. One of the most important aspects of my practice as the Website Doula is building websites in such a way that they will serve my clients for years to come. Contact me today for a free discovery call to learn more about launching your forever website.

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Sarah Juliusson

Hi there, I’m Sarah Juliusson, The Website Doula. I support your practice growth with creative website design, seasoned business guidance, and plenty of great resources to help you find your way. With 20+ years as a doula and childbirth educator, I believe in the value of your work as much as you do. >> learn more about my work as the website doula