Fifteen years ago today I was sitting in front of my dual-monitored Macintosh PowerTower Pro and working on an ambitious website redesign for Denver International Airport. I say ambitious, because this site was well over 150 pages, all hand-coded. There were no visual HTML editors at the time. I’d work by displaying the site with a web browser on one screen and making edits in the other. My internet connection was a whopping 128kb ISDN. My studio was state-of-the-art.
We were redesigning the site after just two and a half years because HTML had advanced rapidly from the humble twenty-one hypertext tags of 1994. The old site had served its purpose. Denver International Airport was the first major airport to open with a website. Now it was time for a website as modern as the airport it represented.
Apple Computer sent one of their guys out with me to shoot 360° panoramas so we could make QuickTime VR movies of each terminal. For the uninitiated, VR stood for Virtual Reality. It was like you were standing in one spot and spinning around inside the terminal. You could look up at the ceiling and down at the floor, move closer to things and back again. You had to design for a 640×480 pixel screen, which was the standard at the time. It’s humorous to think that those sites would probably look and function just fine on today’s smart phones.
The reason for bringing all of this up is because the lifespan of a website is relatively short. It was then, and it still is today. If a website has not been changed in three years, then something is certainly missing. It might be a connection to social media, a way of easily updating content, or a capability for delivering a great mobile web experience. If you haven’t touched your site in 3 years, it’s probably time you did.
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