The life cycle of your website

Created: Friday, 07 November 2014 Written by Saskia
the life cycle of your website

If you view your website as a product, which in fact it is, than its life cycle consist of four stages: introduction, growth, maturity and decline. These are marketing concepts that describe the phases of any product. 

Applied to the “product” website these stages could be described as follows:

Introduction

The website is being designed and developed and goes “live” online for you to market and attract potential clients.

Growth

In time the owner of the site adds articles, texts, languages, photos, components or modules to it, so it develops and tries to match everybody’s expectations of it: owner and visitors.

Maturity

At this state, when all components of the site are working as the should and the owner knows how to manage it, the site doesn’t need much attention. Obviously it does always need its maintenance and updates. Also from an SEO perspective a site will always need some sort of attention and time from the owner.

Decline

After a relative stabile stage the website reaches its final stage. Every website, like a car, computer or phone, will need replacement after a certain time period. Even if you have maintained and updated regularly it is better to buy a new one. Everything is still working but you know that either it will stop working or it needs a lot of time and energy to keep it running smoothly.

Factors to consider

What a reasonable life cycle expectation for a website is, is hard to say. In general sites and their importance for business owners differ so much that we cannot give a set time. There are a few import factors to consider in this matter.

Complexity

First of all it is important to know how complex your website is and how much your data base is customized to your work flow and requirements. In general: more complex and customized sites have shorter life cycles because it is more difficult to apply general updates, upgrades and security patches to customized code.

Relevance

Secondly you need to consider the importance of your website for your company; is it your main communication channel with your clients, or does it basically serve as an online business card only? Can we say that how bigger the importance of your website is, the shorter its life cycle will be?

Developments

Another factor is the environment of the website. The introduction of tablets and smartphones has drastically shortened the life cycle of a lot of websites. Any website that didn’t work on a tablet or smartphone, had to be replaced at that time. And still there are quite a lot of sites out there that don’t operate smoothly on new devices.

Marketing

Finally you should consider the market you operate in. A website for a hotel or a campsite in a touristic area is completely different from a website of a local plumber in a mid-size city. Presenting your hotel or campsite is of key importance, making sure that visitors to your site get a good impression with recent pictures and recent information.

Of course you can think of other factors that influence the life cycle of your website. And everyone should make their own decision about this subject. But based upon our experience and knowledge, we think that most sites should be replaced every 3 to 5 years. Maximum!

 

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