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Keep your website looking fresh

Have you ever come across a website that is obviously out dated? What do you think of it when you do?

I recently came across two extreme examples of this…

  • under the heading of ‘latest investment news’ was a link to some reports with the most recent dated April 2008!
  • an online shop had banners and text stating ‘new version to be released mid 2009’

Those sites didn’t impress me at all!

While adding content regularly is good practice for a website, there are also some ways to avoid your content being obviously old:

  • avoid ‘page last updated’ foot notes – even if it is perfectly reasonable to not update contact details for example, it looks wrong to say that page is 5 years old! Add a date to the content itself if it needs the date for context
  • avoid adding a date to copyright symbols. Although your copyright applies from when you created the page, a date ages the page and it is easy to miss updating it each January
  • if you are unsure of when something will happen, be vague rather than specific. So ‘new version underway’ or ‘give us your details and we’ll contact you when the new version is available’ are better than ‘new version launched 1 July’
  • do a search of your site for ‘2008’, ‘2007’ and so on then make sure you update as appropriate
  • be careful of what tense you write in. For example, ‘from 1 July we will sell whatsits’ will be dated in August whereas ‘whatsits on sale from 1 July’ can be used in June and August. Adding a year to either sentence will date it if you leave the text for more than a few months, of course!

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