A Website is Like Owning a Car
Recently my car needed some major repairs. After considering the age of my car, the expense of the repairs, and the value of the repairs I opted to buy a new car. This experience led me to consider how owning a car and having a website are similar experiences; They are both a major investment, customizable, need regular maintenance, and eventually replacing.
A Big Commitment
When you purchase a new car, you'll be driving this car for the next five to 10 years or even longer. It's not something to take lightly. The same applies to a website. The average lifespan of a website is 3-5 years and it has a direct impact on the success of your business. You want to be sure that the website you have is robust, secure, achieves your business goals, and lasts as long as you need it to.
Just as there are things you can do to extend the life of your vehicle so are there for your website:
- With your car you will change the oil regularly, rotate your tires, and check various fluids. With your website you should be ensuring that the Content Management System (CMS) and any plugins are up to date.
- With your car you will put fuel in the gas tank. The fuel that your website needs is fresh and relevant content added on a regular basis. Fresh content will keep visitors coming back and will help your site with SEO.
Cars and Websites are both customizable. With your car you can choose the color, adding an on-board GPS, heated seats and steering wheel, backup cam and more at the dealership. These are all features available when you buy your car and are analogous to the options you might see when working with a prebuilt theme or template available on many services.
However websites like cars can have custom items added not available from the dealership. With cars you can add in a custom stereo, after market GPS or DashCam, custom trim, custom wheels and even custom parts in the engine if you really want to pimp out your ride.
With websites you can add in various custom features including ecommerce, video, integrations with other sites or services, and more. One of my clients requested that visitors be able to drag and drop images into a form, add captions to the images, add full text pages and then download everything as a custom pdf with a custom title page based off the images they were downloading. This type of feature is not available with off the rack templates and themes, however they had the vision and I made it possible for them.
Your car needs regular maintenance. Sometimes this is minor like a scheduled oil change or rotating the tires. Other times it is unexpected like a part in the engine has worn out and needs to be repaired or replaced. Your website is similar, it needs regular maintenance as well. This includes updating the CMS and any plugins in use to ensure that your site is properly secure and up to date.
Other types of maintenance involves keeping up with technology changes when necessary. This can mean ensuring that any changes to Googles recommendations do not negatively impact your sites SEO ranking or ensuring that your website content is easily sharable on facebook, twitter or other social media. A new minor feature to be added on the product information page or on your blog could also fit under regular maintenance.
Eventually your vehicle will have outlived it's usefullness to you. This could be because newer cars have features that you want such as heated seats which are not easy to add. It could also be the case, as it was with me, that your car needs repairs that are more than you are willing to spend. However it happens eventually you will need to replace your car.
Websites are the same. There is no such thing as a future-proof website. Technologies change, user expectations change, and as your business evolves so should your website.
There is no such thing as a future-proof website. Technologies change, user expectations change, and as your business evolves so should your website.
Your CMS may be dated. Plugins in use may no longer be maintained resulting in a system that cannot be updated. These are important reasons to consider rebuilding your website from the ground up.
Replacing your CMS allows your business to evaluate it's web presence. This can involve removing sections or content from the site that are out of date or are no longer in step with the companies goals. This opportunity also enables you to ensure that updating your sites content is as simple as it can be. Being able to update your content as easily as writing an email makes it more likely that your content will be fresh and relevant.
Additionally rebuilding from the ground up will help to make your site as future proof as possible. Since you're starting over the site can be coded with modern features and technology in mind. Just like new cars are more efficient, safer and get better gas milage, your new website should be easier to maintain and update, be better for SEO, better security, and faster to load.
Does your website need work, Contact Usto get started.