17 March 2015
We expect the typical website of a high-end interiors or lifestyle brand to last three to five years.
There are three reasons we’ve settled on the three-to-five-year timeframe, and all of them have to do with the pace of change.
Five years ago, the iPad didn’t exist, nor did any of its competing Android or Windows tablets. The iPad was only released in April of 2010. The iPhone was still the only smartphone in widespread use with a decent web browser.
A couple of years ago, we couldn’t have predicted responsive design; today, it’s fundamental to current best practices. Back then our analytics told us that less than 1% of web traffic was coming from mobile devices. We’re now seeing some sites that have a quarter to a half of their traffic coming from mobile. In the next three years, how much will this change?
We can’t tell you what will change, but what we can tell you for sure is that change will happen. By the five-year mark, you can bet that you’ll be ready to rebuild so you can take advantage of the latest web and digital marketing technology.
There’s no getting around it: the site you launch today will almost certainly look outdated in three to five years. That’s true even if you aren’t jumping on the latest trend-of-the-day bandwagon, like Flash or parallax.
The trendier your site design is, the more quickly this will become a problem. But again, even sites that don’t use ultra-trendy elements like parallax start to look a little long in the tooth after a few years.
Eventually, that will start to reflect poorly on your brand, so design for the bleeding edge—because in three years, it won’t be. In or next article on this topic we will benchmark a number of sites, to show how often they refresh their design.
If your business is healthy its going to change. Some companies need to rebrand and their website will form part of this holistic brand evolution.
Where you fall within this three to five year timeframe will depend not only on your own business’s needs but also the industry you serve, keeping on trend within the high-end interiors industry means you are more likely to be closer to a three year turnover of your design than five.
At some point the changes in technology, web design, and your own business will mean that your current site is no longer a fair and strong representation of your company. Once that happens, rebuilding will always be the best option.