Is the Spirit of the ’90s Alive In Your Website?

Published January 30, 2013

10 Ways To Tell If It's Time To Update Your Website and Why It's Important To Have A Clear Goal For Your Website.

Remember the 1990s — Kurt Cobain, grunge, Lugz, Starter Jackets, and those Hypercolor t-shirts that encouraged way too much familiarity and let everyone know when your antiperspirant was failing? But before you break out your chain wallet and start wondering whatever happened to the original Aunt Viv on Fresh Prince, let’s talk about the '90s in terms of technological advances.

The 1990s were a time of new beginnings. Al Gore had just invented the internet and these things called modems were helping us screech our way onto the Information Superhighway. We were all going to become millionaires, dot com geniuses! But for every helpful, informative website there were so many that served few purposes other than to boldly proclaim "Welcome To My Website!"

Fast forward to today…content is king and the ability to easily access and update that content is pivotal. So if you’re still futzing around with static content, trying to perfectly "valign" that really sick animated gif into a triple-nested table, or your home page takes longer to load than a cord of wood, then yes, the Spirit of the '90's is alive in your website.

Why should you make every effort to keep your company's web presence current? Because it's not uncommon today for potential clients to first experience your products or services in an online setting and an unprofessional first impression leaves a lasting imprint on the mind of the consumer. Additionally, if you are a business owner and you don’t have a website at all, you are missing out on a vast number of people who could be potential buyers of your products or services.

Here Are 10 Ways To Tell If Your Website Needs Updating

  1. Animated Intro-Page, Flash or a "Click to Enter" button. These things are all just annoying hurdles that make it all the more difficult for the user to access your content.
  2. Too many fonts styles and/or outdated fonts. Papyrus is great…if you're running a World of Warcraft fan forum, but it doesn't have much of a place on the modern website.
  3. Copyright notice in the footer is from a previous decade. If the date in your website's copyright notice calls to mind a time when Saturday Night Live was funny and gas was under $2.00 a gallon, then that's a sure sign it's time for an update.
  4. Your website's Design does not match your brand. This is often due to poor design or the use of free templates that don't fit your brand or set it apart from your competitors.
  5. Your content or text exists in images. I want to call you, but your phone number is frozen in graphical carbonite. Ugh!
  6. Your site is completely static. Do you have to call a team of experts when you just want to update your phone number? A dynamic website, based on a platform like Wordpress is one of the easiest ways to keep your content fresh and easily updatable.
  7. Your site has music or auto-playing media…and you are not in a band. That new Celtic Woman track is killer, I know, but save it for your Spotify playlist and not your home page.
  8. Your website displays outdated, poor quality or unlicensed images. Bad images communicate poor vision and will undermine a consumer's confidence in your products and services. That iPhone in your pocket is great for social media posts, but it is no replacement for a professional photographer. Images should be given equal consideration with text in your content strategy.
  9. Your website is not mobile-ready. It is estimated that in just a few years the number of mobile web users will overtake desktop users. We are seeing mobile users increase by 1-2% each month on our clients' websites. Some that had just 10% mobile traffic a year ago now have 25-30% of their overall traffic arriving from a mobile device! You can either accommodate that traffic or let it rush by you.
  10. There is no call to action! The visitor doesn't know what to do. They are a sad, lost puppy who just washed up on your shore with their wallet open and all you can say is "Welcome To My Website!!!" This is where having a clear goal for your website and a content strategy can help.

If you've decided that it's time to update your website, ask yourself, "What is my #1 goal for my new website? If it could only do one thing for my business, what would that be?"

Goals will vary depending on the number of stakeholders involved, but if you're a small or mid-sized company you should be able to sum up in one sentence the reason for your website to exist, and, "Everybody's doing it!" doesn't count. Keep your goals clear and measurable. My site exists to sell and promote our company's widgets. Or…The goal of Brand X's website is to display our company's capabilities while garnering leads through a simple contact form. Having a clear goal will affect the very design of your new site, help you to develop a call to action, and define and refine the content that you'll generate for your website.

We at Edge find value in great websites with relevant information and crisp designs. If you have questions about improving or overhauling your site, drop us a line. We will be happy to do a consultation.

Article by Zack Stack, with contributions from Natalie Chambers