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Karmabunny Blog

Is your old website on it's last legs?

Posted in Technology, Watercooler, Management

With a lot of hard work and a little fanfare, today we're proud to put live our new Karmabunny website.

There's no denying that every website has a lifecycle and we all thought it was well and truly time to hang up the boots of the old version. What made us conclude this? Being 5+ years old, there where some telltale signs including...

Screen resolution

The old website was optimised for monitors with a 1024x768 screen resolution. Back in 2009 when our old website was launched this size was all the rage. However these days a 1024x768 screen resolution is not only on the small side, but they're considered a dying breed with only 6% usage in January 2014. Why is this important I hear you mumble? Well catering to larger resolutions which are now the norm maximises the amount of available real estate you can use to sell your brand to your target audience.

Web technologies

Our old website had a few little tricks up it's sleeve, but there's so much more these days that can be done to create a bit of magic and sparkles, further enhancing the user experience. I'm talking markup which is CSS3 and HTML5 rich and the use of JavaScript libraries such as jQuery to create fun and movement.

Non-responsive

As mentioned above our website was optimised for a 1024x768 screen resolution, fullstop. The end. Nowadays it's not all about your desktop. There are so many different devices out there which come in all sorts of different sizes and resolutions. Mobile, tablet and desktop - web users want to see a well designed, well thought out, intuitive and easy to use website on all of their shiny devices.

User interactivity

Social media hadn't really hit the big time back when our old website was just a baby. These days no online presence is complete without it. At a minimum most new websites will at least feature a feed, or pop some buttons on the page so users can tune in and join the conversation.

Content management

Now we're really digging into some cringe-worthy mistakes from our past. Our old website wasn't even content managed! If we wanted to update text, images, links or portfolio pieces, we had to roll up the sleeves and mingle with the markup. Not that this is a big deal as we recite HTML and CSS in our sleep but even still, it is so much easier to manage and update a website with a good content management system. FWIW, we use SproutCMS of course;-)

The rest

Above are some core flaws we wanted to rectify. Other sins include:

  • A lack of updates to content and our portfolio. Google rewards fresh content so our search engine rankings had slide markedly over the years, queue a face palm.
  • To make the website more unique in a sea of machine fonts, we also sinned by using images to show fancy (non-standard machine) fonts. This is not standards compliant and raises accessibility issues for website users with a disability (who use screen readers). These days there's great resources and ways to employ trick typography thanks to @font-face, Typekit and Google Fonts.

So, is your website on it's last legs?

Top tips for keeping your website out of the digital gutter:

  • Update content. Pay respect to your organisations brand with fresh information, news and products etc to keep website users coming back for more.
  • Get social. Interact with your audience by posting relevant and frequent (but not over the top) social media updates.
  • Be mobile. Make browsing a breeze for website users on a range of platforms and devices.
  • Ditch old technology. For example Adobe Flash is at best a bandwidth bloating barrier (which won't even show on iPads and iPhones) to users seeking information. Think embedded videos with HTML5 and JavaScript for some fancy effects.
  • Install analytics software. See what your audience view the most and least on your website. Play to those strengths and trim the weaknesses.

Tell me more...

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