Why You Should Update Your Old WordPress Theme and Plugins
I recently corresponded with a new client seeking to upgrade an existing WordPress website to include e-commerce features. However, her existing website was nearly ten years old. While she was using the latest version of WordPress to power her website, her design was based on a theme that had not been supported or updated in ten years. Also, it was not Mobile friendly (as you might well imagine from its age). Here is the gist of the answer I provided with my recommendations. If you are the owner of an older WordPress based website, you may find this of value:
Dear New Customer: I understand your concern and can see why you are attached to the present design of your website. There are a couple of issues that make me very cautious about using the current the existing theme you have for your website.
WordPress Security Concerns
First of all, your current design is based on an open-source WordPress theme (Kubrick) that has not been updated or supported by WordPress since 2006. That leaves the potential that it may have some security flaws that can easily be hacked (in spite of the fact that it does work with the latest upgrade of WordPress). I would never use a theme that old and unsupported for an e-commerce website. Because it is no longer supported or updated, it is a security risk. Online hackers love to attack WordPress websites that have outdated plugins and themes with security flaws. I only use current WordPress themes and plugins that are well supported and frequently updated.
The Importance of Being Mobile Friendly
Secondly, your present website is not Mobile Friendly. It will not look or function properly on smartphones and iPhones. More than half of the people visiting your website in 2016 will be viewing it on smartphones and iPhones. Your website will be difficult to navigate because it cannot adapt to Mobile devices as a properly designed modern website must do. A 'responsive' web design (what Google recommends and I build) adapts to any screen size automatically.
If you website is not Mobile friendly, it may also start to lose search ranking in Google. More than half of all people who use Google for search worldwide do so on a smartphone, and Google has to keep those people happy. Follow this link for a timely article to read on this issue. As you will see, Google is requiring that all websites now be smartphone compatible if they want to rank well in search results. If you keep your current non-mobile compatible design you will start losing search engine traffic as a result.
I'm sure you can find a web designer that will use your existing website theme and add the features you want. However, it is not a good idea. You don't want to take that risk on a website that is e-commerce enabled. This is why I cannot work with the present design. I can keep your current logo and use your existing color palette. The website will have the same overall look but the design will have to work on everything from tiny smartphone screens to desktop computers. Therefore, some changes in the design are inevitable.
The Internet has changed a lot in the decade or so when your website was last designed, and if you plan to update your website it should have all of the current features needed to meet customer needs. I hope I have explained matters clearly so that you can make an informed decision no matter who you decide to work with.