What changes over the years?If you are a company existing for more than 1 or 2 decades, you would have noticed that technology has littery change the way businesses operate.
Website 10 or 20 years agoYou will surely agree with me if you built your website before the outburst of the internet:
- First of all, 100% of people were browsing on their computers. And hence, there was no need for a website adapted to mobile phones.
- Secondly, most of the negotiations were either made through phone calls or face to face. For these reasons, security was not a big concern. As a business, having an SSL certificate or third-party security tools were optional.
- Thirdly, there were few businesses on the internet and less stress finding potential buyers. It was therefore enough to have a static website with four or five pages.
- Finally, the performance of your website was not a big concern. It was easy to find customers through cold calls and conventional marketing.
What does the current or modern website development trend require?
- You need to build a fully responsive website (adapted to all screen sizes)
- A non-secure website is now a big concern. Most of the websites moved from just a corporate website to transactional sites.
- If you don't add content regularly, your website is going to die.
- To crown, it all, you have to make sure that you optimize your website regularly to avoid lost in traffic or bounce rates.
What do you have to do in such a situation?There are three approaches in such cases:
- Take the content and features of your current website and build a new one
- Update your website with a new template or design if you are using a CMS. And also, make sure to update your CMS
- Use existing modern features to readapt your website.
1-Take the content and features of your current website and build a new oneThis approach will depend on many criteria: the technology that you used, whether your website is static or dynamic and if your features are still up-to-date. Let assume for instance that you built a static website 20 years ago and did some custom programming with an outdated PHP version. In such a case, it will be challenging to go through each line of your code to get your content. In such a case, writing new content, and building something from scratch will be the ideal solution. But if you used a CMS like Joomla or WordPress, we can easily find a template or create one to make sure your website is up-to-date. In any case of this scenario, the steps will be:
- Getting your content
- Doing an inventory of your features
- Build a new website with your content
- If your functions have up-to-date equivalent, we get them of an update to your website
- Otherwise, we see how we can build or get features that will provide the same services.
2-Update your website with a new template or design if you are using a CMSThis approach does not always work for all sites. In fact, with CMS, some templates have outdated features. As such, trying to change the model or design after a long time of development process might require some adjustments. In the ideal world, if your existing website does not have custom features, switching from one design to another will be easy.Moreover, you need to make sure that part of your content is not static. In fact, during the development process or customization, some developers have a terrible habit of adding custom text in the code. And as a result, it becomes difficult to update. If this option is suitable for you; these will be the ideal scenario:
- Updating your CMS with the latest version. For example, if you are using Wordpress 4, you can upgrade to WordPress 5.2.3
- Buy or build an up-to-date template and features
- Upgrade your website
3 - Use existing modern features to readapt your websiteIn most cases, customizing a site with many changes to be done is always more expansive.Nevertheless, if you feel like building a new website or creating a new template is difficult for X or Y reasons, you might try this. The whole idea here will be to use modern features such as a mobile responsive library and other tools to make your website better. I will give you some examples to help:
To fix the responsiveness (website adapted to all screen sizes)You can make use of Bootstrap to adjust the responsiveness of your website. Bootstrap is a CSS and JS framework for a mobile site. In fact, with Bootstrap, you can build a website that changes the layout according to the screen size. To use it for your website, all you need to do is to go on the website get bootstrap, download it and add it to your site. Once you use Bootstrap CSS and JS files to your site, you can then call "classes" and "ids" to fix your website responsiveness.
To fix your website performance. (load time issues)There are generally, many things that can affect your website's load time. Some of the reasons are:
- The size of your images. If your pictures are too big or bulky, they will slow down your website
- A lot of CSS and JS files. If your site has a lot of CSS and JS files, your website will be using a lot of resources to call those files and hence it will slow down your website.
- Some broken links or features. It is common to see broken features if you did not update your website for quite a long time.
- Your server configuration and location.
To fix the performance of your website, you will, first of all, identify what is causing your website to be slow. You can make use of a tool like GTmetrix to identify all the aspects of your website that you need to fix. Once that is done, you need to handle them one by one to improve your website performance.If you are using CMS like WordPress, there are plugins like Fast Velocity Minify that can help you to compress and merge your CSS and JS files. Additionally, you can also use SMUSH to optimize your images. Another tool that you can use to check your Markup language is W3C Validator. It will tell you which markup is still up-to-date and will highlight all the lines that you need to fix. Check also with your using provider if your Server uses the latest features. If your website makes use of server languages like PHP or Java, it will be great if you could validate if they are still up-to-date.