Why 'Create It and Leave It' Websites Fail

Why “Create It And Leave It” Websites Fail

Your website is one of the most important marketing tools you have in your toolbox. Within a few seconds, it should describe the tone, practices, and culture of your business. Performance, security, and credibility are put at risk if your website is not kept up to date. If you're taking the approach of "create it and leave it", your visitors will notice.

Person using a tablet with digital marketing and technology icons overlaid, symbolizing the interconnectedness of online business strategies and website maintenance.

What can you do to keep your website fresh?
And more importantly, why should you?

Your Website Is A Reflection Of Your Business

According to industry experts, the average website has a relatively short lifespan of about 2 years and 7 months. Often, businesses will seek out a website development company to create a great website, intending on it lasting for the long haul without realizing the importance of regular maintenance and updates. 

What starts off as a positive investment depreciates over time without proper caretaking. Website visitors can tell the moment they scroll through the homepage when it’s antiquated. Anything could tip them off to this: a layout that isn’t mobile-friendly, calendars or news pages that have been left unused, or the wrong copyright year. These are just a few examples. 

Whatever the cause, businesses with outdated websites lose credibility and trust, forcing visitors to seek the information they need elsewhere. 

How Do You Maintain A Strong Presence? 

Your website doesn’t need a complete face-lift every two years to be considered “fresh”.
Amazon demonstrated that it’s easier to implement small updates over time, which can be done in-house without hiring dedicated employees, spending a lot of money, or devoting a lot of time. 

For example, updating the main navigation links, calendars and event lists, refreshing text and images, or changing a website’s color scheme are all ways to adjust slowly and easily.   

Reinvigorating your website’s look and layout inspires visitors to linger longer to discover what new offerings, products, and information your business provides.  

Why Is Website Security Important? 

Security is just one factor in leaving a good web impression. Updates play a big role in how visitors perceive your business, what actions they take, and the general website usability.
Customers don’t want to visit a website that acts or appears suspicious. Safeguard your online presence by integrating simple and effective website security measures.

Improve Visitor Trust With Website Security 

Nothing is worse than finding out your website has been hacked, that code was injected, and your site now redirects (or becomes) somewhere malicious.  

It’s difficult to clean a website after an attack, which is why you must take preventative action before an attack can happen. The domino effect of a hack can in turn destroy the trust you’ve painstakingly built with your clients and can even put them in danger, depending on if the malicious code can infect their browsers. 

Blue computer code forming a skull shape, representing the dangers of neglected websites and cybersecurity threats.

Ensuring your plugins are trustworthy is one way you can make your website more secure without needing a website developer. 

If your site runs on one of the popular content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, you may have the option to run updates and install plugins from the dashboard. Observing the best practices and operating on the most current version of the platform code is the first step to blocking any threats. 

Plugins allow users to accomplish many things, from adding calendars on to their website, implementing customizable popups, to website builders. The possibilities are endless.  

Plugins can be made available for free or as a subscription.

To be considered trustworthy, plugins must be up to date, and if they’re not being updated, that opens another door to website hacks.

Always investigate when the last time the plugin was updated and which version of WordPress it’s been tested with.

Here is an example of what you would see on the plugin installation page. The plugin has been updated in the last two weeks, it has 4.5 stars from ratings, and is compatible with the most recent version of WordPress.

If the plugin hasn’t been updated in the last few months, or if it says, “Not tested with your version of WordPress”, has bad reviews, etc., this may not be a trustworthy plugin.

Additional Security Measures To Consider 

It may be more arduous to set up security measures but a little research or help from a website development professional, and your site will be secure in no time! 

Continuing with WordPress as the example, here are a few measures you can use to fortify your website

With these steps implemented, most threats are easily blocked. 

Not only does the administration area need to be secure, the public-facing web pages can be optimized to improve the functionality and experience of your website.

Boost Your Website Traffic With Speed & Search Optimization 

SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization” helps your website show up on search engines like Google. By integrating SEO keywords into your website content, you can improve your “rank”, increase traffic to your site, and reach business goals. 

 Before you start implementing keywords, you must consider your audience. 

 Most people who search are motivated by the same things: 

  • They want to learn about something (Informational
  • They are looking for a specific page or site (Navigational
  • They are gathering information before a purchase (Commercial
  • They are ready to make a purchase (Transactional

Optimizing your website keywords is the easiest way to start. Keywords are words and phrases searchers use to discover content. Adding keywords to a website is as easy as updating the text on a webpage using a keyword planning tool. Once those words are strategically placed, Google can pick up on the terms and serve searchers your website.

A more advanced SEO step includes implementing meta descriptions and meta titles. Meta descriptions and titles are short summaries of each webpage which describe to Google and searchers what the page is about. These tags target user motivations which will help your website rank higher in the search results and direct traffic to your website. 

When provided, meta titles and descriptions appear in Google search results, such as in the example screenshot below: 

An example of a Google search result highlighting the meta title and meta description, emphasizing the importance of these elements in website optimization and search engine ranking.

A Slow Website Is As Detrimental As An Antiquated Website 

frustrated businessman raising his hands in exasperation while looking at a laptop, symbolizing the challenges and failures of 'create it and leave it' websites.

If your website is slow, you’ll start losing business. You’re competing for your visitors’ interest, but the reality is that the average adult attention span is only 8.25 seconds, and it’s quickly shrinking

 When a website is slow, you might see: 

  • Bounce rates rise as your visitors lose patience and leave 
  • Your SEO rank will drop because it takes longer for Google to crawl your site 
  • Lower engagement due to poor customer experience 
  • Google may blacklist your website from search results, making it impossible for visitors to find your site 

How Do You Address These Issues? 

Here are a few ways to speed up your site: 

  • Reduce image size by compressing and choosing the right format
  • Host videos elsewhere, like YouTubeTM or VimeoTM, and embed the video on your site using the host’s native embed code. 
  • Make sure you’ve got the correct website hosting plan for your platform. 

Now you have the tools and the insight to maintain your website,
keep it secure, trustworthy, optimized, and relevant. This proactive approach not only saves your business time and money, but also contributes to a seamless and enjoyable online experience for your visitors which will keep them coming back time after time. 

If you’re still unsure how to optimize and update your website, reach out to a professional or check out our #DLRMarketingTips to learn more. 

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