Web News

Are Websites Eternal? The Longevity of a Website

November 7, 2023
November 15, 2023
Episode Number:

When you deploy a website how long do you think it'll last before it needs some maintenance, or a design refresh? Will it keep running as long as the hosting bill is paid? This week, Matt and Mike discussed the longevity of a website and whether or not its realistic to assume that they'll run forever - eternally, if you will. Even though they're pieces of software, websites are susceptible to problems that require maintenance, and some websites need regular preventative maintenance to keep things running smoothly. Not to mention the need, or rather want, for design refreshes in order to keep up with the modern standard and competing websites. When clients ask for a website, but don't think they'll need to maintain it after deployment, are they running themselves into a risky situation? How do we keep website maintenance budget friendly?


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Who’s in This Episode?

Show Notes

What you'll learn in this episode

  • The longevity of a website - is it realistic to assume they'll run forever without maintenance
  • Complexity and its part in helping or hurting a site's longevity
  • Budget-friendly maintenance practices
  • The dangers of using easy-to-use features from service providers (SaaS) and tangling multiple together

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The Problem

  • When you're making a website you're effectively making something similar to an "IT system"
  • IT systems are appliances that the company uses to function (ie email server, VPN)
  • These systems are usually more form over function as they need to:
    - Be available 24/7
    - Easily maintained
    - Quick to troubleshoot and fix
    - Easy to monitor (ie monitoring for problems with a bot)
  • Whenever a system fails to reach one of these requirements it can spell trouble for whomever is maintaining it
  • Most common systems that don't make the cut are:
    - Overly complex 
    - Too expensive 
    - Extremely proprietary (can't monitor with your own software, must use their subscription software)
  • When it comes to a website/web app that is customer facing the similarities are:
    - Available 24/7
    - Easy to maintain
    - Quick to troubleshoot and fix
    - Easily monitored
  • But because it's customer-facing the desire to go overly:
    - flashy design
    - using tools that are fast to use over functional
    - Tools that have no longevity (discontinued quickly)
  • IT systems are typically boring though which doesn't lend itself to customer sales in a lot of cases so the demand for flashy is high - push and pull
  • What type of longevity should you expect from your website?

The Considerations

  • You have to pay a developer and designer
  • Developers:
    - Build the designer's vision
    - Setup and maintain technical systems
    - Monitor and fix problems
  • Designers
    - Create layouts based on requirements and modern trends
    - Trends change over time quite quickly (for the cutting edge)
    - Make and maintain brand identity 
  • Budgets
  • Future-proofing (ie new website every refresh or renovating existing systems)
  • Old systems work but look boring, not updating frequently may make you look like you're falling behind depending on your competitors in your niche 
  • Does your platform of choice get updates? To what extent? Security? Features? Both?
  • Taking risks with new tools (ie frameworks) can give you cutting-edge features and methodologies, but can have support dropped quickly

The Solutions

  • Research tools that have been tried-and-true through the ages for a cost effective solution that is still relevant today (ie WordPress)
    - The risk is that you may look like everyone else 
  • Keep things modular where you can (ie is your content exportable into a CSV or other friendly format?)
  • LTS versions of software (ie Ubuntu LTS)
  • Disposable tech - quick to setup, fast to get old and be replaced (budget beware)


  • Michael LaRocca
    - Author of the Self-Taught the X Generation blog, at