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10 Outdated Website Features You Need To Retire From Your Website

Contributed by Idea Collective Member:

Amy Pierquet

Amy Pierquet

Waterfront Graphic Design LLC

Are you tired of looking at your website and feeling like you've stepped into a time machine?

It’s time to say goodbye to some outdated website features that should have been left in the past. Websites have come a long way since the early days of the internet, websites have become more interactive, engaging and user-friendly. However, not all website features have stood the test of time.

Side note: Ever since the pandemic, I have been working on redesigning a lot of older sites, and I mean old. Believe it or not, I still see these features on many sites that are still actively being used.

A LACK OF MESSAGE BRANDING

In the past, it was acceptable for websites to lack a clear message or branding. However, in today’s digital age, having a strong message and consistent branding is crucial for attracting and retaining visitors. Your website should communicate what your business or organization does, and how it can help visitors. Clear messaging helps visitors quickly understand the purpose of your site, which can lead to increased engagement and conversions. Additionally, branding elements like logos, colors, and fonts can create a memorable impression and reinforce your message.

So, make sure that your website’s message and branding are clear and consistent across all pages, and effectively communicate what you have to offer.

MOBILE INACCESSIBILITY

Mobile inaccessibility was once a common problem on websites, but it’s now an outdated and unacceptable feature. With more and more visitors accessing websites on their mobile devices, it’s essential that your site is mobile-friendly.

Make sure that your site is responsive and adapts to different screen sizes and consider using a mobile-first design approach.

EXTERNAL LINKS OPENING IN THE SAME TAB

External links that open in the same tab were once a common feature, but they’re now an outdated and frustrating experience for visitors. When a visitor clicks on a link and it opens in the same tab, you are losing them off your site and in turn harming your SEO.

Make sure all external links open in a new tab so that visitors can easily return to your site.

TOO MANY WIDGETS

Moving right along, let’s talk about widgets. You know, those little boxes that display the weather, news headlines, and other bits of information on the side of the page. Back in the day, these widgets were considered cutting-edge technology, but now they just clutter up the page and distract from the actual content.

Instead, focus on providing a simple and intuitive user interface that’s easy to navigate.

CONFUSING NAVIGATION

Speaking of clutter, let’s talk about bad navigation. We’ve all been there – you’re trying to find something on a website, but the navigation is so convoluted that you give up. A good website should have clear and concise navigation that makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for.

If your website has more twists and turns than a corn maze, it’s time to simplify things.

LOTS OF PAGES ON YOUR SITE WITH LOW-QUALITY CONTENT

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But Amy, isn’t it better to have lots of pages than not enough?” Well, yes and no. Having a lot of pages can be helpful if you have a lot of content to organize, but if you have too many pages, it can become overwhelming for users. Plus, if the page is on the site just to be there, meaning it doesn’t have any good content, you are hurting your Google rankings. Low-quality content could potentially lead to a decrease in website rankings.

If you’ve recently added new pages to your site and have observed a sudden drop in rankings, it’s possible that the decline is attributable to the low quality of the content on those pages.

HIT COUNTERS

Next, the infamous hit counter. Remember those? Hit counters were a way to track website traffic and show off a website’s popularity. Most website analytics tools provide much more comprehensive and accurate data about website traffic, making hit counters an unnecessary feature. Not only do they take up valuable real estate on your website, but most visitors won’t care about your hit count anyway.

Instead, use analytics tools like Google Analytics to track your website traffic.

FLASH ANIMATIONS

Next up, we have flash animations. Ah, Flash – the bane of web developers everywhere. In the past, Flash animations were a commonly used method for adding visual flair to websites. However, they’re now an outdated technology that can slow down your site and make it difficult to use. Most modern web browsers don’t support Flash, and many visitors will have disabled it anyway. Then came the rise of mobile devices, and suddenly all those fancy animations became a hindrance rather than a help.

Flash is now officially dead and gone, so any website still using it is just asking for trouble or showing a big white area where the animation was.

AUTO PLAY ON AUDIO AND VIDEOS

Auto Play on audio and videos was once a popular way to engage visitors, but it’s now an outdated and intrusive feature that can drive visitors away. Most visitors don’t want to be bombarded with sound when they visit your site.

Instead, give visitors the option to play the audio or video manually, or provide a clear call-to-action that prompts them to play it.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION PAGES

Remember those “Under Construction” pages that used to pop up on websites? They were often accompanied by images of construction workers, road signs, and other clichéd symbols of construction. These pages were intended to signal to visitors that the website was still being built or updated. However, they quickly became a tacky and overused feature that did little to inspire confidence in the website.

Instead of using an under-construction page, consider launching your website when it is fully functional and ready for visitors.

As website design and development continue to evolve, certain features that were once popular can become outdated and unnecessary. Updating your site is something to consider every three to five years. This helps you stay on top of the curve before your site starts to look, and act, outdated. Create a more engaging, user-friendly website that meets the needs of today’s visitors.

Contributed by

Amy Pierquet

Waterfront Graphic Design LLC

Amy is passionate about plugging your business into the amp and helping you rock to the top charts. Amy masters both website design, print design, SEO, and customer service. She’ll take all the worry and stress off your mind, while your website results make all the noise. The awards rack up and she’ll insist it’s not about that. It’s about you. Whether you’ve just gotten your LLC or you’ve been in business for many years, she’ll listen to your needs, survey the situation, crank up the tunes and take your business success for a breath-taking power ride. You’ll love the view. In her experience, when she helps your business grow, you help others. With Amy, you Start a ripple and watch it grow.

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