An outdated website is something you obviously do not want, but when you look at the website you designed or someone else designed five or eight years ago, it might still look pretty good. As such, you might think it does not need updating. However, although you and your customers might think the graphic design aspect of your site is timeless, the technology is not. Websites have changed considerably in the last decade. Consequently, there are eight components that must be updated for today’s online market. Some of these components are technical, requiring a knowledgeable digital agency, such as UX Design Agency. Some are a blend of aesthetics and functionality. However, others are becoming legal considerations.
Ten years ago, most people accessed the internet via a personal computer with an enormous monitor. Other people did not access it at all. A growing minority accessed it with their phones. This user pattern has changed. Most people now use their smartphones. Only gamers and people with production needs still use a personal computer. Consequently, your website must look as good on a tiny 3-inch screen as it does on a 44-inch, wrap-around monitor. However, many people also use tablets, so your website must look good on any device. To do this, your website must detect the device being used to it and adjust its shape according to the needs of that device. This capability to adjust is called responsiveness.
Search engine optimization is something you should be updating on an annual basis. Think of it as an oil change to keep your website performing well in search engine rankings. Before updating your website, consult with an SEO agency to ensure it includes short-tailed and long-tailed keywords as well as appropriately placed H1, H2, and H3 tags. Finally, you should make a concerted effort to upgrade both the quality and quantity of your incoming links. Other components of SEO include the following.
– keyword-rich metadata
– product images
– links to social media
– local and regional SEO for local leads
Gone are the days of websites with nearly 600 menu tabs. Instead, many sites accommodate users with what is called an endless-loading website, otherwise known as the one-page website.
One-page websites are designed to provide lots of content to users by allowing them to simply scroll down the page. These content pages are easy to maneuver because all they require a user to do is swipe to scroll and tap to open an article.
Of course, one-page hybrids work well, but the menu items must lead to genuinely different pages. Otherwise, the menu item is just an unnecessary click. In an era of users with shortening attention spans, additional clicks are only warranted if it leads to genuinely new and different content.
In the early days of the internet, designers crafted content to be read, largely, left to right, much like some sort of digital book or brochure. However, heat-mapping software is able to scan a website and identify the most popular, hottest content of a particular page. Quality web designers, such as UX Design Agency now know that users scan and click primarily on the left side of a page. Users largely ignore things on the right. Additionally, unless an advertisement above the fold is particularly relevant, users have learned to ignore big banner ads.
In terms of mobile content, right and left have little meaning because the page is so small. As such, content and calls to action should be as close to the top of the opening landing page. This placement is borrowed from the newspaper days when content was above the fold of a newspaper folded in half. Understandably, content near the top of the page is called above the fold.
Additionally, in terms of page scrolling, you only have approximately four to eight swipes before people lose interest. Furthermore, those last few swipes are begrudging–at best. Consequently, one-page websites are good, but they need to be brief.
Because so many types of technology handle web data differently, pages must be designed to load quickly. For this to work, your page needs to be optimized for speed. Perhaps you will need to use a page-cache plugin to load previously loaded elements instead of always loading everything. In terms of speed, try to attain a 250 to 750 ms load time. Finally, you might need to change your web host because many hosts have slow servers. When changing your web host, look for a consistent page-load speed shorter than 500 ms.
Generally, your website is designed to promote a product, service, or form. As such, you need to actually invite people to complete the action. For instance, you need to have a specific request that people buy, subscribe to, or complete the respective product, service, or form. If you do not ask or instruct people to complete the action, many will not, and you will lose out on significant revenue or leads.
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In terms of customers, the ability to translate your site’s primary language is now fairly easy. As such, you should invest in a plugin or menu option that allows the site to be translated into as many languages as your customers use. Again, this type of upgrade is easy, inclusive, and potentially profitable.
Related to the need to be inclusive is the fact that many visually impaired people use the internet, and these people have a difficult time determining what images are depicting and what ad banners are promoting. As such, the behind-the-code image descriptions, called “text” must be updated. Once they are updated, text-to-speech software reads aloud the alt text, informing people who are visually impaired the overall meaning of the image or banner ad.
Of course, this type of upgrade is becoming important because everyone should be included. The world is becoming more inclusive and more understanding that everyone has particular needs. If you do not care much about being more inclusive, consider that discrimination lawsuits are arising as a result of the visually impaired not having the same access as a traditional sighted person. Keeping ahead of this will win you more customers and keep you out of court.
Of course, these are only the top eight components. Other upgrades your new website should include are as follows.
Thank you for sharing a bunch of website designing tips.