6 Signs Your Website Might Be Outdated

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6 signs your website might be outdated - Sanders Design

In an increasingly visual and mobile-first world, if your website looks like it’s from the early 2000s or you can’t find ways to share it on social media, it might need an update. If you want to know whether your website is ready for the present online demands, there are signs that point toward an outdated website. 

Here are 6 signs your website might be outdated:

The rest of this article will explore these signs in more detail to understand why they signal an outdated website. I will also share potential fixes for each of these signs, so you can quickly get your outdated website up to speed. 

1. The Website Looks Old

One of the most telltale signs that your website is outdated is if it looks old and out of touch compared to other popular websites, especially those in your niche.

An outdated website design will typically have old-fashioned fonts, bright colours, no cohesive branding, poor navigation menus, and will look cluttered. 

These factors make your website look unprofessional and unattended. And this can steer away visitors who have come to expect a sleek and modern design style from websites they usually visit. Also, old-looking websites give off a sketchy vibe, and people avoid them, fearing viruses or malware.

How To Fix 

  • Convert your HTML website to a WordPress site. In the past, websites were made with HTML. Today, website development is advanced yet simpler. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that powers 37% of the world wide web. It will make managing and updating your website extremely simple. 
  • Recode your website. If you hand-coded your website in the past, you’d need to recode it again, following modern website design trends.
  • Hire a web designer. There are numerous website designers for hire on Fiverr or Upwork that will take care of updating your website. However, there are unscrupulous individuals on these sites. Therefore, it’s recommended that you use a professional website design service to know that your website is in safe hands. 
  • Upgrade your website theme. If your website is already built on a modern CMS like WordPress, Wix, or Shopify, simply upgrading to a modern theme will update your site’s design. 

2. HTTPS Isn’t Enabled

Does your website have HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)? If not, it’s likely outdated, and you need to enable HTTPS soon. 

HTTPS Isn't Enabled

If your website still uses HTTP and not HTTPS, this means the traffic that comes in and out of your website is not encrypted. As a result, a hacker can intercept the data and gather information about you or your customers. Therefore, Google Chrome and other popular web browsers mark non-HTTPS websites as “not secure.”

Cybercrime and hacking are becoming more common, so your website must keep up with security trends to protect you and your visitors. Furthermore, visitors are more likely to leave your website and go to another one if they see that your website is “not secure.” 

How To Fix

  • Purchase an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate from your hosting provider. Most website hosting companies such as WPEngine, Bluehost, Siteground, GoDaddy, etc., offer SSL certificates. If you are purchasing one from your host, you will pay a higher price as the company will automatically install the SSL certificate for you. 
  • Purchase an SSL certificate from an external vendor. Other companies, besides website hosts, sell SSL certificates at a much lower price. However, you might have to install it manually. 
  • Enable HTTPS for free on your own. Alternatively, if you’re more of a DIY person, you can follow this guide to enable HTTPS for free on your own. 

Once you have an SSL certificate for your website, it will move from HTTP (not secure) to HTTPS (secure). 

3. The Website Uses Flash Animations

Flash animations were trendy in the 2000s as the go-to tool for running videos or animations on websites. However, it was a major power hog with many security vulnerabilities. 

As a result, more and more browsers stopped supporting Flash, and websites moved to other alternatives. Eventually, the Flash player, the program required to run Flash animations, was discontinued in 2020. 

Therefore, if your website still uses Flash animations, it will suffer from slow loading speeds and an increased risk of cyber attacks. Furthermore, these risks will be for nothing as most users won’t be able to see the animation and will get an error message instead. 

To check if your website uses Flash, you can use this Flash test tool at SEO Site Checkup. 

How To Fix

  • Delete the flash animations on your website. If the flash animations aren’t a core component of your website, deleting them should get your website feeling decades younger.
  • Redesign your animations. If the animations are a core part of your website experience, you might need to consider a redesign.
  • Convert your Flash animations to a new format. You can convert SWF (Flash File Format) to HTML5 – the modern way of embedding animations on websites. 

4. The Website Is Integrated With Old Social Media Networks

It’s good practice to provide links to your social media handles so website visitors can follow you for more information and updates.

The Website Is Integrated With Old Social Media Networks

If you don’t have social media integration on your website, you’re missing out on ways to engage your users. However, if you’ve integrated old or discontinued social media networks on your site, it is embarrassingly outdated. For example, does your website still ask users to connect with your Google+? Well, Google+ was shut down in 2019. And god forbid you have a Myspace account still linked to your website. 

Or perhaps you still have a Snapchat icon. Although Snapchat is still active, it isn’t as popular as it used to be, and people have moved on to other social media platforms, namely Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. 

Overall, if you affiliate your website with old and outdated social media channels, it will create the impression that your site is old and has been left unattended. 

How To Fix

  • Integrate the top five social media channels on your website. Look up social media statistics each year to stay up to date with the latest channels and trends. 
  • Focus on the social media platforms that the majority of your visitors use. Unfortunately, not all social media channels are going to work for you. Some might be more popular with your audience than others. 

Also, here is a list of modern tactics from Smash Balloon for integrating social media into your website. 

5. The Website Has Old and Outdated Content

Does your website have articles like “Best XX of 2019” or “Top XX from 2018?” Or did you last publish a blog post in 2020? 

This outdated content will make your website look old and irrelevant to users and Google. And this problem isn’t limited to mentioning a year, but also if you have content that references products that used to be popular years ago. 

Your audience is seeking the latest information. And if your website can’t keep up with this demand, readers won’t stay. 

How To Fix

  • Update your blog posts and articles. If you have old posts on your website, you can rewrite them and add new relevant information. This will also boost your website rankings on Google. 
  • Write new content and archive old content. “Content is king.” Writing new content will freshen up your website and provide visitors with new insights. 

6. The Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly

If your website loads its desktop version when opened on a mobile phone, you’re still living in the dark ages of the internet. 

The Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly

92.1% of internet users access the internet from mobile phones today, which makes mobile optimization a significant ranking factor for Google, and a necessity if you want your readers to be comfortable navigating your site.

A website that isn’t mobile-optimized will typically look awkward, have slower loading times, and be difficult to read. 

Most modern websites have an optimized mobile version in addition to their conventional desktop version. And many themes have dedicated mobile customisation options. 

How To Fix

  • Rebuild your website using a modern CMS platform like WordPress. WordPress will make your website mobile-friendly within a couple of clicks. 
  • Install a mobile-friendly theme. Most of the themes in the market today are mobile-optimized. 

Hire a website designer. A website designer will build your website while keeping mobile best practices in mind.

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