Has it been a while since you’ve updated the look and feel of your personal or business website? Well, that’s okay because we have a few simple suggestions that can save your website from being considered “2000 and late.”
No matter the type of website you may own or manage, you’ll want to consider the following when evaluating what may need an update.
- Is your website responsive?
- Are your web pages/images slow to load?
- Does your website auto-play music/videos?
- How long has it been since you’re updated the content?
- Are there any broken scripts/plugins on your website?
1. Mobile Friendly is User Friendly
If you’re still having to pinch and drag your mobile screens to view the content on your website, it’s time to think “MOBILE”.
Having a responsive website should be a requirement these days. Users are more likely to leave a webpage that isn’t able to respond to their devices, which may lead to loss in sales or simply a loss in site visitors. There are an abundance of different options that may help you achieve a responsive website, which include implementing frameworks such as Twitter Bootstrap, ZURB Foundation, and Skeleton.
2. Speed Up Your Site
When you have to wait more than a few seconds for your website to load, you may need to consider a few things. Try testing out your website’s page speed from tools like the Google Developers PageSpeed Insights, which will give you a few insights on what may be slowing down the load time. You may also want to check if your images are optimized. If they’re being populated on the webpages at a snail’s pace, try using an optimizer online like Optimizilla or saving for web through an application like Adobe Photoshop.
3. Stop the Autoplay
The biggest issue with having auto-play multimedia on your website is that users may get distracted from the main focus of your site, the content. Of course, using striking video background will definitely catch your user’s eye, but try and stay away from any unnecessary sound playing in the background. If, and only if, you truly believe that auto-play is necessary, make sure that the clip is no longer than five seconds, provide users options to stop/pause the clip, and lastly make the user aware that there’s audio/multimedia playing with an indicator such as a sound icon or equalizer animation. In fact, I’d be wary of this tactic because Google Chrome has already taken steps to help the user avoid unexpected audio from blaring.
4. No One Likes Stale Content
It’s definitely easier to create and maintain fresh content on your website if you are a blogger who posts daily. However, if you own a business that hasn’t updated your website in more than a year, it’s time to break out the dusty typewriter (just kidding) and start composing some new copy.
Make sure any information regarding company statistics, accreditations, staffing, contact information, and other details of your business that may have changed over time remain updated to avoid providing users with false information. You can also consider presenting your outdated information in a more effective manner online by leveraging HTML5, CSS3, jQuery and other programming languages.
[Photo w/ caption… example of a broke Flash component on outdated websites]
5. You’re no Shakespeare, the Dangers of Outdated Scripts
Are there any Flash components on your website? Google Developers can help convert those components to HTML5 so that users aren’t presented with broken plugins. Be sure to check on any additional plugins and widgets throughout your website to ensure that your users are able to book appointments, make payments, and submit contact forms and more. Making sure these components are up-to-date may also help secure your site. Using an application such as LinkChecker may also help you pinpoint any webpages that are throwing errors that can be fixed as well.
How did your website fare? Is it time to update your site with technologies and approaches that weren’t available a few years ago? Share your thoughts on what some of the new web technologies that may help update your website down below in our comments!