Having a modern website is important for how visitors view your company and brand. In fact, a Stanford study found that 75% of web users admit making judgments about the credibility of an organization based on the design of its web site. An outdated website makes your company seem less professional and trustworthy.
Wondering if your website is looking outdated? Web trends move quickly but not so quickly that it’s impossible to keep up. Here are a few design trends that will age your website.
Bad stock images
Stock images have been a staple of websites for a long time because, well, people love visuals. Although this statement is totally true, it does have limits. People love visuals that are REALISTIC. Not all stock images are created equal and some are so generic and impractical that they can make your website and company seem insincere. To avoid this, spend the time to find or create images that are not overused or cliché.
Ambiguous people in business attire smiling directly at the camera are generally good to avoid. Instead try taking pictures of your team members while working or look for stock images of the services your company provides or people at work that aren’t clearly staged models in unrealistic situations.
Fixed page widths
In the early days, websites were viewed on a limited range of screens that were all very similar sized. Because of this, the content was all boxed in the middle of the page. Tables were used with fixed website’s page widths – 600px to begin with and then up to 800px, 960px, exc.
Today’s websites need to accommodate widescreen monitors (1920px) all the way down to phone screen sizes. To accommodate this they need to be built with responsive design. A responsive website’s layout and content will adjust to the different screen widths on a wide range of devices. The boxed look will make your website appear outdated, instead choose full width page styles with images that stretch to fit the entire screen.
Outdated fonts and style elements
This is the most common outdated trend that shows a websites age, but luckily it is really easy to fix. Design techniques like using bevel, drop shadows, and emboss on titles or buttons is a dead giveaway that your website has some catching up to do.
These techniques peaked in the late 90s and early 2000s so if your website is still featuring them it is a red flag that your website has not been updated in the past decade. Replacing this text with a more modern flat look is the fastest way to instantly give your website a new fresh feel.