Maybe you’ve had a website for a while, and maybe it’s served you well. But if it’s been a year or more since you’ve taken a good look at your website, it may be outdated and giving the wrong impression about you and your organization. There are a few signs that your website is aging, out of date, and out of touch. See if your website has these old or outdated characteristics.
1. An introduction or splash page
One sure sign that it’s been a while since your last website update is using an introductory or splash page to your website. We’ve all seen them. They’re when you go to a website, and nothing shows up except maybe a “loading” icon. Then there’s perhaps a little movie, some music, or some animated images. There’s nothing useful on the page; it’s just a commercial of sorts. Hopefully, there’s a “Skip Intro” link to click to get to the real website.
Fortunately, fewer and fewer websites have these splash pages. As with any trend, these splash pages were cool to have several years ago. They made a website seem sophisticated and slick. And as with any trend, they became “uncool” when we learned that most people click right by them anyway and that websites with splash pages lose valuable search engine optimization (SEO) benefits. They serve no purpose except to showcase a designer’s abilities, act as a commercial for your website, and annoy the visitor.
2. Automatic audio
Maybe, just maybe, at one point in time, having a website automatically play music or other audio when someone visited it was cool, but that was a long, long time ago. Yes, there are circumstances when it would be preferred, such as music or entertainment websites, but in general for most business websites, it is unprofessional. Think about it: In most workplace environments, having an uninvited audio clip blaring unexpectedly when visiting a website would be embarrassing. It just might leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth.
3. Animated icons
Not all animations are bad. In fact, some serve very useful or aesthetic purposes. What I’m talking about are the ones that were popular in the late 1990s, you know, fourteen years ago! These are the icons like the opening and closing mailbox with eyes near your email link…or a house with smoke coming out of the chimney for the home link. To poorly adapt a cliche, these are your grandmother’s icons. Bring your website up to date by dropping these old-fashioned animated icons.
Oh, we’ve all seen these, too. There are the numbers, usually near the bottom of a website, that tell how many visitors a website has had. They sometimes look like analog or digital odometers. These were popular ten years ago or more as a way to determine how successful a website was. Now with more robust programs, like Google Analytics, there’s no need for these counters. Many websites have dropped them, but some smaller personal blogs and older organizational websites have kept them. If yours has one, perhaps you should consider getting rid of it to show that you are up to date and current in technology.
As with many things in life, styles associated with websites are trendy. Some become permanent standards, and others fall out of favor and look out of place in a few years. In order to keep the perception that your business is updated and current, be sure to give your website the attention it needs to help mold positive first impressions on potential customers.