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Web Design Longevity: How Long Does a Website Last?

May 1, 2017
Zach Jones

Most of our Clients want their website to not only achieve their goals, but also last as long as possible. This is certainly understandable, and we do our best to “future proof” the websites we build. Let’s take a quick peek at how we do this.

Web Design

With regards to design, this can be difficult, as trends and styles are constantly changing. Just like with clothing, home decor, and even vehicles, the only constant is change. Trends come and go. Some are major, while some are minor. Some last mere moments, while others last years. Over the past few years, across all media, the undeniable trend has been clean, simple, and includes the use of bold colors with sans serif fonts. Anything created outside of these parameters may look dated the moment it drops. This trend is likely to continue, as the focus on digital and devices isn’t waning anytime soon.

However, within this shift and gradual redefinition of what “modern” is, are many “undercurrents.” In our experience, the trick to keeping a website from looking dated in the near future is resisting these undercurrents, or minor trends. There are certain elements of style that are almost timeless. Chasing the latest fad is a guaranteed way to ensure your site looks dated once the fad dies–and all fads die.

Here is a great example. Each time Apple updates the style and user-interface of iOS (the operating system on iPhones and iPads), many designers race to emulate it. The first few websites look great, but the deluge that follows tires the new look very quickly.

We only follow the major trends, and largely ignore the minor ones. This can easily be the difference between a web design lasting one year and three to five years.

Web Development & Functionality

Believe it or not, functionality is more difficult to make long-lasting. The sites we build now will likely still work in several years, but will they work as well as the technology available at that time? Doubtful.

For many businesses, even though a five year old site’s functionality still achieves its intended purpose, it may be a fraction as efficient as what newer technology may allow. Therefore, it is up to each business to decide what sized gain in efficiency warrants an upgrade.

Here is an example. Websites built today utilize credit cards for payments, and some consumer retail sites utilize modern payment methods like Apple Pay. In five years, though, this may be considered detrimentally ancient, to the point that an upgrade to the latest payment method can easily be justified. It is all relevant.

We work with each Client, learn their goals, and regularly communicate technology advances as they occur. We’ll help you determine the advantage, if any, and let you decide when to upgrade.

Summary

It is important to remember that no two businesses are alike, so future-proofing your website will present unique challenges. Let’s discuss them!

Until next time, Keep Ascending!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zach Jones

Zach has been with Ascend since founding the company in 2002. Currently, Zach serves as president & CEO, and focuses on business development and managing department leaders.

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