Are Traditional Websites Poised to Die?
Since the dawn of the internet, websites have existed to provide information, community and solutions to those who find interest in them. For those who have been “online” since the beginning, observing just how much the digital landscape has changed can be startling when looking back at history.
Websites – along with many other internet-related inventions – have transformed substantially over this time, becoming more powerful and offering new functions and features in the process. With such major changes constantly occurring, it’s only a matter of time before some begin wondering: are websites themselves in danger of being replaced?
We’ll look at some data-points to determine whether the traditional website is on its way out.
Voice Search Is Changing the Game
In as little as three years, a majority of all searches will be conducted via voice search. This not only is occurring due to smartphones and mobile devices that provide more technology than ever, but also due to smart devices such as speakers (think Alexa) in the home.
Because these devices are very good at quickly fetching the required information without visual representation, many websites may suddenly find themselves without purpose. We’ve already seen search engines increasingly whittle away traffic from top-performing websites thanks to solutions such as Google’s Knowledge Graph. As voice continues to become more and more dominant, the place of a traditional website may wane enormously.
Immersive Technologies Aren’t Compatible with the Traditional Web Experience
With new technologies such as virtual reality becoming mainstream, the use of them to fetch information is growing. Much like with voice searches, VR and other immersive technologies are demanding new experiences from brands – and it’s hard to see how the traditional website remains relevant here.
By pinging servers with requests for information from complex devices such as VR headsets, the need – or desire – to manually navigate a standard website will no doubt decline. This is putting pressure on some of the biggest brands already, which do not want to be left behind as this disruptive technology continues to change the internet experience.
Social Media’s Role in Disruption
A significant portion of internet users report using social media more often than search, and receive more news and information through this platform than through standard websites or search engines. Even entities such as Google are feeling the pressure from social media outlets like Facebook and Snapchat, which provide a different experience for socializing, information gathering and news.
Many brands have already made the shift from a web-dominant presence to a social media-dominant one, pinging servers with contact information and ways to find their social media profiles rather than traditional websites. As such, even if technologies such as VR and voice search do not destroy the traditional website, social media is already chipping away at its integrity.
While the standard website we’ve known for ages won’t disappear tomorrow, you can look to the past for examples of why it is in danger. Substantial changes have occurred over the years in terms of how websites function and how we fetch information, entertainment and news from the web; it is certainly not a stretch to suggest that the standard website may be a relative relic given a decade’s time.