How often do you go get the newest bright, shiny smartphone? For most people it’s every year. For some it’s every 2 years or so. How long does your computer or tablet last? You may be able to make them last for a while (I know I always get at least 5 years out of a computer), but let’s face it, it’s pretty much obsolete after a year or two. That’s just how fast the technology industry moves. There’s always the newer, better, faster, smarter device.
Well, it’s not any different when it comes to your website. The technology of websites changes significantly every year or two. I’ve been building websites for almost 7 years. In that time, the style, design and method of building and displaying websites has changed drastically. The most recent change, of course, has been dictated by the mobile industry. More people today use their phones and tablets to view websites than computers (source). This has had a major effect on the web design and development industry, because now it’s important that a website look good and be functional on computer monitors of various sizes, as well as tablets and smartphones.
Google helped solidify this shift with their “Mobilegeddon” algorithm. This makes websites without a mobile friendly version drop in search results rankings on mobile browsers. Being that a majority of searches are being done on mobile devices, you really don’t want to be left out in the cold.
Here’s why you want to update your website at least every two years: Two years ago (2013/2014), most websites didn’t have a mobile version. It wasn’t until mid/late 2014 that building “responsive” websites became the popular and smart thing to do. A responsive website is one that has a custom view for each media size (mobile, tablet, small monitor, large monitor). And, this is all done inside of one theme. No longer are the days of building a theme for desktop and a separate theme for mobile (although, there are still quite a few websites like this out there). And, I guarantee you two years from now, the world of web development and design will be completely different than it is now.
So, if your website is currently older than two years, you should budget to have a new website built. In reality, you should always be budgeting or setting aside money for the next website build. Not only will you stay current with the technologies, but you’ll be giving your visitors something fresh and new to look.