- 16 November 2015
Ghosts, some say, are not real. They are a figment of our imaginations, a way for the human mind to rationalise strange events. Once you’re dead, they say, you stay dead.
But others aren’t so sure. Others will tell you that some things linger after death; some things, some people never truly move on. According to many, ghosts are very real. The people are gone, of course. They are remembered. But they also linger. And oddly enough, the same is true of websites.
Bad Website Design
Like an untimely demise, a bad web design can haunt your business long after it’s gone. Its shadowy spirit lingers in in the Wayback Machine—an online archive of days gone by—which is curiously frightening. Nothing on the internet, you see, really ever goes away. But what is perhaps more troublesome than an online historical record documenting your childhood MySpace page is the other side of the coin: the effects of a bad website that you cannot see. Like the ghost around the corner that you never saw coming, those are the ones that get you.
It takes time to recover from a bad web design. Its memory lingers in your customer base, tarnishing your brand image until eventually, like all deaths, time heals the wounds of that gaudy, out-of-date layout. But a bad website’s memory doesn’t just haunt your customers—it can also haunt your search engine rankings. Remember, Google knows. It always knows.
By some estimates, nearly 60% of web traffic in 2015 is generated by bots, some of them bad, most of them good. The good ones are sent out by search engines as tools called Spiders. They are seekers. And they are looking for the content on your website. Their job is to decipher it, then evaluate its quality before placing you in a ranking among peers. But with over 1 billion websites on the internet, the bots aren’t always up-to-date.
This is why it’s so important to keep your website modern. Avoid bad web design at all costs! Earlier this year, Google announced a policy that places emphasis on responsive, mobile-friendly web design. Its bots know when your website looks good on a mobile device (mobile devices also accounts for over half of web traffic now), and its bots know when your website doesn’t. The sooner yours is up-to-snuff, the better.
That old, stagnant web design? It could still be hurting your search engine results. Even though its gone, its ghost can still linger.
But there’s good news for victims of an internet haunting. Ghosts, online, are certainly not real. A bad web design may have a residual presence for a while, but it will eventually fade out—except, of course, on the Wayback Machine. New websites also come with tools to help expedite the process. With the proper team behind your new website, the ghost of bad design can be vanquished in weeks rather than months.
Is a developer at EA Technologies and member of #TeamEA in Tema. He has many years of experience designing and developing websites and web applications. You can find his work on our scripts page.