We have a couple of clients that have sites built in the late 1990s or early 2000s and are essentially using that very same design. Basically, no substantive changes since the site’s last design release.
We are very likely going to do them a favor at the point of their current contract’s expiration – by dropping them as a client.
These site designs today tell the online world that they are not investing in their business. They are not thinking about their online efforts at all. Dated looking web sites make the visitor wonder if the business is still around – in fact, there are MANY web sites out there with a dated appearance representing an organization that no longer exists as a functional entity.
These aged appearing sites do more disservice than service at this point. They are not mobile, they do not invite visitors to dig deeper into the site, they do not provide a gateway into something (an email list, a social media site) that might provide more current information and interaction. They make the visitor question whether the business still exists.
This isn’t anything we haven’t told them. Repeatedly. But cost, or the labor of thinking about it, or a general reluctance to learn more about using the web, has prevented them from evolving online.
After over a decade, we think they have to move on with their website. It is best for them. But if we’re willing to keep doing it at a minimal cost as is for another year, what is their incentive to change if they haven’t already realized it?
Clearly, we don’t know, and we can’t explain it in a way they understand. So it is best, for us and even more so for them, to end the relationship. Maybe they will find an online partner that fits in better with how they see the web. Maybe they’ll decide they don’t need a website at all. But at least they will be thinking about what they are doing online.