Just a few years ago, it was customary to build websites in HTML and CSS, to launch them, and then to leave them alone for a few years till they became out of date, at which point they would be redesigned. The process was much like redecorating a home. You create a room, and when it becomes out of date or you get tired of it, you redecorate.
Things have changed since then:
- Perhaps most importantly, websites don’t just gradually improve in rankings and results by sitting still and doing nothing. Regular fresh content is now an absolute requirement for an effective online presence. Typically this is accomplished through blogging, but adding white papers, ebooks, and multimedia is also an increasingly common and successful practice.
- New websites are increasingly being built on content management system platforms, making regular updates easier and more cost-effective. According to W3Techs, about 36% of all websites are built with a CMS. When you consider how many old, outdated websites there are online, this is a surprisingly large percentage. Of those that have a CMS, over 60% use WordPress — 21.7% of all websites. The percentage was about 17% a year ago, so we can conclude that the use of platforms like WordPress which allow nimble responses to business change is increasing
- In 2002, there were 3 million websites. There are now 644 million — oh, 645…646….648… According to the most recent figure I found, there are now 644 million active websites, though we’ve launched one since then so I know the number is higher now. This means that competition is incredibly high. No business can expect to succeed without a strong online presence, and the ante is higher than before.
These factors have caused some web design experts to decide that the old way of doing a complete redesign every few years is now outdated. Instead, they figure, there should be more frequent updates. Instead of being like decorating a room, updating a website should be like updating a wardrobe: regular additions of new things, with significant changes each season. Keep some classic pieces but revamp the whole thing frequently.
Honestly, we like the full redesign every few years. Technology changes, business changes, and frequent updates can easily lead to a piecemeal effect. We also like frequent updates — and we believe in planning for content updates, seasonal changes, and updates to sliders and banners. Somewhere between fashion and home dec, perhaps. How about you?