How old is old? When to replace your website

25 March 2024 | | Blog, Marketing, Web design

The average dental website’s lifespan is around 7 years. That’s the length of time from the day it goes live to the day it no longer fulfils its purpose. That purpose of course being bring in more patients to the practice. There are actually two ways that a website can stop attracting patients due to its age. Firstly, the most apparent thing is the look of the site. A site that is around that age and older is always going to look dated. Website design is an incredibly fast paced industry so what looked good a few years ago will undoubtedly look tired now. When you take into account that seven years ago was pre-Covid, and the fact that people’s viewing habits changed so massively during lockdown, you start to realise that what used to work well almost a decade ago simply won’t cut the mustard in there here and now. Just think about what you were doing 7 years ago and you’ll realise how much time has moved on. When it comes to your website, if it’s not converting any more, it’s not doing its job.

The second factor is how the website interacts with Google. Older websites are by and large slower, have less media, such as video, and can often include outdated plugins. Also, they tend to be more desktop focused despite most visits now coming in from mobile and tablet devices. All of this can contribute to a negative reaction from Google, and all the SEO in the world won’t be able to halt the slide that often happens as a website ages out. There’s only so much ‘patching’ that can be done before the underlying structure needs ripping out and replacing.

It’s actually not a bad idea to think of a new website as a new car that you need for your job. To start with it’s reliable and sleek and does the job of getting you from A to B. You maintain it over the years and make sure it’s in the best condition it can be, but eventually it simply can’t keep up and you need to trade it in for a newer model.

When approaching the realisation that it might well be time for a website redesign, try not to think of the cost of a new one. Instead, think about how much the old website cost you and then think through just how much money it brought you throughout its lifespan. I guarantee the return will be an order of magnitude more than the investment. The same will be true of any new website you redesign. When things start to look old, reflecting back to look forward is an important mechanism, not least when you’re  approaching ‘The Big Something Something’ like some blog writers I could mention.

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