Why Website Updates are Important

Recently, I was asked by a prospective client to give an estimate about updating an older website. We set a time and a date for the meeting and so I checked his website out to determine what was needed and what can be improved. In the initial telephone interview the site owner recalled that his site was created in 2002 or 2003.

Later, when I looked further at the website I could not open any of his site links beyond the first page. I thought maybe that the other pages didn’t exist so I looked at his html code and it didn’t show any other pages (URIs) in the links. I then could only assume there were no other pages, which could greatly influence my estimate. Then I looked at the “editor” information and found it was created by editor software that was designed in 1997 and discontinued in 2002.

The website owner and I met in his office a week later. Almost immediately he stated that he didn’t seem to be able to open any links on his website. I agreed that I had the same problem adding that I didn’t even find the other pages in the main page’s html code. I had a printed copy of the code so I could show him what I was saying. But then he decided to check an older machine he often used and it worked! The older machine still had Microsoft IE version 8, an older version of the MS browser. This fully explained why the site wasn’t working on the newer computers. The website had become obsolete to all browsers except the older ones. We verified that this was true when he had a copy of site statistics showing the main page was getting around 600 views during June of 2014, yet all other pages were only getting roughly 60 views. In other words, only ten to twenty percent of site viewers were able to properly see the full website.

In an after thought, the main reason it didn’t immediately occur to me that this was his main problem was because I keep websites up-to-date not only with current information for the client and client’s customer, but also keep them up-to-date technologically. It was a real eye-opener to me to see first-hand how websites become irrelevant to newer computers and browsers. Websites I maintain are always up-to-date and so I never see anything like this, unless I am talking to prospective client with an outdated website.

I suspect we will see many more websites like this in coming years, especially when computers, laptops, tablets, and SMART PHONES are changing the way the Internet is being viewed year after year. None of us can afford to lose customers due to allowing our websites to become obsolete.

And this is why we must keep our websites up-to-date. When calculating monthly update costs, be sure and include the hosting, content changes AND technological changes so others can read your information. Behind the scenes of a website is just as important, if not more so, as the actual site’s information. I am certain my competitors are not performing all of these functions at the prices I am charging. Let’s get together and discuss this further.