When is it time to replace your website?

We don’t advocate replacing a website simply because “it’s old”, but there are a few criteria we measure to determine if it’s time to consider a refresh.

These are the kind of questions we ask ourselves when reviewing existing websites:

Design

Does the site still look modern and professional? Does it still match the corporate identity and branding?

We sometimes discover that a business has moved on with their visual style or design, maybe producing a brochure with a new design but have neglected to update their own website. All your marketing efforts should match your website including print collateral, emails, social networking sites and advertising.

Does it work correctly on all modern browsers?

Web technology is constantly moving forward with web browser updates being released several times a month. Unsurprisingly older websites can start to exhibit display problems introduced by these upgrades.

Is it well optimised?

We check that images are compressed to still look great but download faster. Investigate if parts of the site download in a way that will show your web page quicker and allow other elements to load in the background, thus making sure your visitors are not waiting and staring at blank pages or spinning icons.

How well does it work on mobile devices and modern screen sizes?

With typically 50% of web browsing now done from mobile devices (phones and tablets) it is essential your site looks great across all mediums and screen sizes. This is typically achieved using Responsive Design – layouts that change the content to best fit the device.

Are there new technologies we can leverage to enhance the performance or usability?

A great example of this today is Progressive Web Applications – a method to make a website application run more like a native app on the mobile device. They are more reliable, load faster and offer better user engagement.

Are good SEO guidelines followed?

The subject of Search Engine Optimisation is hotly debated. Whatever the current school of thought is to achieve the best result, the one certain thing is to ensure your website meets a minimum technical standard which search engines expect to find. It’s surprising how many websites are built without even basic search engine consideration. Utilising Google Webmaster Console and Google Analytics can help you discover existing issues with your site.

Code support

What programming language version was used to write the website, is it up to date and is it still being maintained and secure?

At the time of writing, PHP 7.1 is current with PHP 5 only receiving security updates until 31st December 2018. See the PHP lifetime plan here http://php.net/supported-versions.php

PHP 7 is being actively worked on giving developers new tools and significant performance improvements over previous versions. Your websites will likely require modification to work with PHP7.1 resulting in a good few hours work testing and fixing any issues.

Does your site use a package manager like Composer? Do the code dependencies require updating or are they still being actively maintained by the authors?

Features

Some websites we see have bespoke features developed which are limited in usefulness or barely meet their design specification.

A common example are sites which manage their own mailing list and send bulk mail from the web server. There are far better solutions to manage and maintain a professional mailing list and distribution strategy, for instance, MailChimp along with all the many benefits it offers.

Use of such a service will improve the chance of delivery, provide useful reporting, automated unsubscribes, compliance with GDPR and better design tools to ensure your email looks great on every device.

Security and Hosting

Does the site meet modern security compliance standards?
Is the hosting suitable for the required uptime and performance based on its geographic audience and how mission critical availability is?

Your website hosting needs to be designed so it is responsive and fast for your audience, if you’re trying to sell products to people in Australia it’s no use hosting your website in London!

If you’re running a busy ecommerce store you’ll want to ensure that it is designed with no central points of failure and can be expanded to provide more resources at times of high demand.