Why does my website look like crap?

Clint Parr

Sometimes technology solves problems. Sometimes technology creates chaos and frustration. How many times have you wanted to throw your smartphone across the room or take a sledgehammer to your laptop? C'mon, be honest.

Too frequently, mobile and tablet devices don't provide the same website experience you expect on a desktop.

If you are looking to minimize the chaos and frustration and upgrade your website design, there are three areas of introspection before you begin spending money.

Browsers, browsers everywhere

There are more than 75 different browsers in the market today. If you check your website's analytics, you will probably see some you don't even recognize.

But the bigger problem is the browser developers change the versions of their product so rapidly. For example, Mozilla Firefox was updating their browser on almost a daily basis recently. So, because of this variety and dynamic versioning, older websites can begin to look and behave less optimally than originally designed.

Age matters

The average lifespan of a website design is around four years. Many companies delay a redesign until it is absolutely necessary, but to the detriment of their users and Google search results. For instance, Google will rank your website higher if more modern designs are used - those that increase download speeds and are adaptive to a wide range of browsers, including mobile browsers. In fact, Google changed its search algorithm recently in order to reward mobile-friendly websites.

If your website is now hard to find on Google while searching from a smartphone, you might want to follow these steps for further evaluation.

Responsive design is the answer

Browsers and search engines love responsive websites, which adjust graphics and text for the best user experience on any browser, on any device. But adapting to the screen is only the first frontier of responsive design. Today, users expect online experiences that also respond to their location, time of day, what they've already read and events happening in real time. Current responsive design is a combination of technology, art form and philosophy. For more background on this, check out this Fast Company article or visit some of these case studies.

About the tech translator

Clint Parr has lived in the digital communications industry for more than 20 years as a tech CEO, COO, marketer, salesman, consultant and entrepreneur. He currently is a Partner and CMO at liquidfish, a leading digital marketing and custom development company. He recognizes that technology can be overwhelmingly complicated, especially in the website and mobile applications industry, and someone needs to simplify it for decision makers.