Although most “dated” websites were created before 2005, a new design can also have old characteristics. If your website looks like it hasn’t changed since the 1990s, customers may think that your company uses old-fashioned methods or technology. They might even doubt that your company is still doing business. It could also be difficult for people to view your website on the latest high-resolution computer screens, mobile devices, or tablets.
10 Elements of a “Dated” Website:
- White space – One sign of a dated website design is excessive or inadequate white space. This can occur because the websites don’t resize content to fit high-resolution monitors; this results in a huge amount of white space and very small text.
- Thick borders – Old-fashioned websites frequently use obvious drop shadows and put thick borders around images. Although they usually don’t cause technical problems, these design practices give a Web page a rather dated appearance.
- Scrolling marquees – Many old designs fill extra space with scrolling marquees.
- Hit counters – Older sites also show their age with widgets such as a hit counter badges. These badges often create unsightly “broken images” if they fail.
- Harsh textured backgrounds – Adding texture to the background of your website should add depth. If done wrong, that high contrast background image could be distracting.
- Banner ads – Many archaic designs also incorporate rectangular 468-by-60 banner ads. These image-based advertisements remain mildly effective, but many people overlook the ads or automatically block them with software. They also appear very small on widescreen monitors.
- Ridge table layouts – The layout of an outdated website design is frequently characterized by the excessive use of tables, frames and horizontal rules (HR tags). Like shadows and image borders, this is a purely cosmetic issue.
- Scrolling frames – Some antiquated websites put their navigation menus in scrolling frames. This technique can make it difficult for search engines to find all of the pages on a domain. Websites often look cluttered and unappealing when more than two scroll bars appear.
- Web rings / guestbooks – There are plenty of other signs you can look for. Most people consider outmoded add-ons like guest books, catch-all link pages and “web rings” to be relics of the ’90s.
- Old copyright date – If those weren’t obvious enough, the footer of a dated website will probably contain broken links, “best viewed with” statements, a list of keywords or simply an old copyright date.
If your website has any of these characteristics, you could probably benefit from a fresh new website design.