As a business owner, you are likely busy and forced to wear multiple hats simultaneously. Your success depends on your ability to set goals, meet those goals, and then move onto the next thing.
This is the approach that many take when designing their business website. Once the website has been designed and it’s up and running, they move on to the next project or goal. They don’t think about their website anymore outside of telling clients to visit it.
This approach works for the first few months or maybe even a year or more. However, website technology is improving at a phenomenal rate. If you leave your website unattended, the technology used to design it becomes outdated.
It doesn’t matter if your website checks all the boxes for user experience and user design or if you had your site designed by a premier designer. Eventually, it will become outdated. An outdated website hurts your business. It drives away potential clients. In the worst-case scenario, a website run on outdated software, outdated hardware, and antiquated hosting could get you sued.
Your customers, regardless of the field you are in, are more tech savvy than customers you interacted with just 10 or 15 years ago. They know what an up-to-date site looks like. If your site looks and feels outdated, your customers will have a negative impression of you and your business.
What a Website Run on Outdated Hardware and Software Says about You
Research shows you have 50 ms to make a good impression with your website.
If your website runs on outdated software or outdated hardware, your business may face some of the following unintended consequences.
1. People Will Think That You Just Don’t Care
When your website looks dated or uses a glitchy software, it sends a message to your client that you don’t care about what they really want. When your clients visit your website, they want you to give them solutions. The last thing they want is their visit to your website to cause them problems. If you neglect something as essential to the success of your business as your website, visitors may rightly conclude that you neglect other areas of your business.
2. Your Business Offers Questionable Goods or Services
When a cold prospect visits your website, your website is all they have to go on when deciding whether they will pull the trigger and set up an appointment, make a phone call, or ask for a quote for an online purchase.
Your website is what they will use to judge you, your company, and the products you offer. When it’s clear that years have passed since you have invested resources into your website, clients might assume that you invest little in people or the systems that are required to deliver your product or service. All these things may be untrue, but an outdated website shapes your client’s perceptions of the quality and the value of the services offered.
3. Your Outdated Website Makes Your Competition Look Better
When a visitor comes to your page and it does not establish you as a modern and credible source to fulfill their needs, what do you think their next step will be? Nine times out of 10 they will go back to Google and search for your competition.
If your competition’s website looks better, runs smoother, and runs faster because it’s using up-to-date software and hardware, you just lost a potential lifelong customer to your competitor. If you are wondering if your website is out of date, look at your competition. Do their pages load faster and cleaner? They are beating you on the web.
The Negative Impact of Outdated Hosting Servers
Your web hosting company and the technology they use can have a major impact on the speed with which your website loads for visitors. If your hosting company is using slow and antiquated hardware that does not provide enough resources on the server, things slow down for everyone.
This problem is frequently seen by companies using low-cost shared hosting for their website. Because the hosting is so inexpensive, the company that manages the server may not have the resources or the motivation to keep their technology up-to-date.
Poor website performance has a measurable effect on conversion rates. There are several studies that have shown that a fast loading website will cause better conversion rates. A web page that can load in 2.4 seconds or less on average will have a 1.9 percent conversion rate.
However, a website that takes 5.7 seconds or longer to load will have less than 0.6 percent conversion rate. The difference in these numbers might seem insignificant. But the larger the business is, the more significant these numbers become.
For example, if you have an e-commerce site that produces $10 million in sales each year and you can increase your conversion rate by two percent by improving load times, we are talking about a $200,000 increase in revenue.
Nathan Finch from Aussie Hosting advises you to check if your hosting provider has an SSL certificate to authenticate your domain. In a 12 month study of popular hosting companies he found that SSL issues caused the majority of downtime issues. Potential issues like expired Lets Encrypt free SSL certs caused numerous problems. Make sure to keep the auto renew function on for any free SSL certificates!
The Security Risks of Outdated Software
A survey was done in 2016 that showed that over 50 percent of WordPress websites that were hacked were compromised because of vulnerabilities in their plug-ins. Out of date plug-ins give hackers everything that they need to gain access to your site. Some plug-ins update automatically. However, many plug-ins require you to manually update them.
Here is the takeaway. Even if you choose the right plug-ins from the beginning, if you don’t keep your plug-ins up to date, you are facing a potential security risk. One way that you can do this is to enable automatic updates for all or some of your plug-ins.
Plug-ins are awesome. They do amazing things for your WordPress site. If they are out of date, they can open your website to security risks, which might leave you liable for damage caused to your customers.
As a business owner, you wear several hats and have multiple responsibilities. Still, keeping the hardware and the software used to run your website up to date must be a priority. The look and feel of your website impacts the way the world views your business. The loading speed of your website will affect your conversion rates. Keeping plug-ins and other software up to date will help to keep your website and the customers who visit your site secure.