Having a web site is kind of like having children. When you first got it, it was shiny, new, perfect and you still see it that way. Unfortunately, it might have developed some bad habits that you’re blind to and is now obnoxious or simply outdated. Are you guilty of clinging to old web design trends that date your company? Are you all about the aesthetics and totally ignoring the search engine optimization (or lack thereof) and analytics of your site? Just how fast is that site loading? The odds are your site could be better, because almost all can. It’s time to whip that site into shape.

Maybe you don’t think your business needs to be on top of the trends, but some of your customers think otherwise. Your web site is your virtual first impression. Web design pricing can fit into any budget and if it’s been a few years, you’re probably due for a makeover. Plus, today with platforms like Wix, even non-techies are able to build SEO-friendly, gorgeous sites and blogs.

Stuck in the past? Check out these tired trends that you might still be using.

Bevel Means Classy

Beveling and embossing of fonts was all the rage in Y2K. Fortunately, nowadays a more minimalistic approach is the trend and has helped to make web sites seem fresh. Not even the stuffiest law firms can get away with beveling anymore. It simply screams late 90s just as much as a loose-fitting flannel shirt.

Instead, go for a simple design with no effects beyond a killer font. Subtle shadowing is (somewhat) acceptable if you just can’t give up those eclectic special effects. This quick fix is a mini-makeover that will instantly update your online presence. Don’t forget to also update your business cards.

The safest font choice is always one that’s been around awhile and boasts a sans-serif approach. It’s timeless, classic, and easy on the eyes. Traditionally, designers are taught that serif-fueled fonts are better for the eyes for longer texts—but in most cases, there’s no place for “longer texts” on websites anymore. We have short attention spans and skim over text blocks. Bullet points, short and punchy paragraphs, and lists are your friend.

Shiny Doesn’t Belong Anywhere

The early aughts saw a movement away from bevels but not before one last hurrah. The uber-gloss made everything from banners to buttons appear like they were alive. This seemed like a high-tech way to start the new millennium, but it has lost speed. However, this one is harder to kill off than the beveling.

Shine doesn’t belong on your forehead or on your website. Commit to subtle simplicity for a timeless look. The new look is a slight gradient for buttons, so leave the PhotoShop for your snapshots. It’s expected that the trend of minimalism will continue.

A Burst of Cursive

Big blocks of cursive text just aren’t going away, but they aren’t doing you any favors. They’re overplayed and difficult to read (especially for older folks). This goes hand in hand with the burst which harkens back to the earliest days of online marketing. The burst usually has a big discount percentage or other obnoxious, spammy material in it.

In lieu of cursive, opt for simple fonts and a sprinkling of cursive if you just can’t let it go. However, the burst needs to be completely wiped from your web site. It’s an obvious marketing ploy and simply ugly. You’ll be much better off with a neutral theme that is appealing (not assaulting) to the reader’s eye. Images are great, as are short videos, because “content” doesn’t just mean text. Make your point fast and easy to digest.

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This content is written by: Stephanie F