Every company should strive to have an evergreen website – a website that continues to drive traffic year after year, and has content that remains relevant long after it’s been published. However, not all companies can have an evergreen website. In fact, websites can commit a multitude of sins and still be better than no website at all. If a site is confusing, overloaded, plagued by typos or just plain ugly, we might make fun of it but we wouldn’t say the site owner should take it down.

Yet there is one sin so egregious it should be deadly. It is the Sin of Past Dates. The sin is committed daily by Slothful website owners who fail to heed the 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not make it obvious to visitors that you are too lazy or indifferent to update your website.”

Sloths are running rampant on the web. Homepages tout July 4th sales in September. “Coming Events” pages are devoted to 2015 fundraisers. Announcements state new store hours will take effect January 1, 2013.

The Sin of Past Dates negates the credibility of everything else on your website. It makes visitors question your seriousness, your reliability, your professionalism. Some will assume you’re no longer in business and move on to a competitor’s site.

  • Do check your website for timeliness at least once a month. If you can’t do it yourself, pay someone else to do it.
  • Don’t make references to upcoming dates if you are unwilling or unable to keep your site current. Stick to “evergreen” content.
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