The business landscape has drastically changed with the onset of high Internet penetration rates across the world. Websites have become an integral part of doing business and statistics show that consumers start their search for products and service online then contact the business to make the purchase. There are over a billion websites in the world, and website developers need to stay abreast of the trends and tactics that attract and retain visitors. Here are few important things to consider when building a website for yourself or clients.
1) Collaboration between Designers and Developers
It is better to be in liaison with the website’s designer, to deliver the best results to your client. Statistics show that website design has become prominent in shaping a business’s online presence. Web developers who collaborate with designers will deliver better results than those who do not. It will also improve the development-to-design workflows.
2) Unique Layouts
In the years past, there has been a trend where website development has maintained a consistent type of layout, and it has become boring to many users. It is crucial to consider unique designs when developing a website for your clients. This does not call for you to overhaul your layouts, but to move icons and items on the website that looks fresh and unique, with an appropriate call to action phrases.
3) Static site generators
These create a better and easier way to develop websites since they remove the need of having a database, instead, with a static site generator, your web pages can run on your client’s host servers. This decreases the development time it takes for the website to load, improve site security and ease of deployment of the site.
4) Chatbots for Better Customer Support
Internet users are increasingly interacting with businesses through websites, and it counts to consider including a chatbox when developing a website. Technological advances have made the old way of offering customer support through email exchanges obsolete, and chatboxes are the future of customer support. Chatbox uses bots and statistics show that they are increasing online sales, and they provide help in solving customer problems.
5) Content Management System (CMS)
There are many CMS platforms available, and you should be wary of the one that you chose. WordPress is the best and most popular platform, and at least 75 million websites used it as at the Q4 of 2016, which is at least 27% of all the websites created. Using WordPress puts you ahead especially when it comes to on-page SEO, and creating search engine friendly pages using HTML. It also makes it easier to use title tags, headings, permalinks, et al. There’s also tons of tutorials on how to optimize your WordPress website so you won’t get stuck when developing your website.
6) Color Scheme
Different colors have the ability to evoke emotions such as happiness, frustration, et al. in the site visitor, which influence the purchasing decision. Despite this, many clients do not realize the importance of having a color scheme, so it is upon you to understand your client’s target audience, business niche, branding as well as the elements of color theory. For example, red captures the audience’s attention; blue portrays the business as honest, and trustworthy, green shows balance as well as reflecting nature, yellow is fun and cheerful, turquoise presents the business as one that communicates best with clarity of thought, et al.
This is arguably the most crucial thing to consider when developing a website in the literal sense. Check that there are no broken links, page-loading issues, adequacy of the site’s security features, et al. Issues with the functionality of the website will prompt users to leave the site, and statistics shows that they less likely visit again. The best way to gauge a site’s functionality is by viewing it from the user’s perspective.
8) Hosting Platform
If the site you are developing is difficult to navigate and has a confusing layout, customers will abandon the site and will not return, even after fixing the navigation issues. Carry out in-depth site reviews as though you are a new visitor and you will identify the issues you need to rectify before deploying. It will also help to identify the navigation streams that make sense and those that add no value to the intended user. Include a site map to help visitors in navigating the website.
Streamlining the site’s navigation by removing underperforming pages will reduce the site’s loading time and improve the quality of your client’s online presence.
10) Loading Time
Slow loading times are one of the biggest turn offs for visitors looking for information on a website. Before you deploy the website, test the site’s loading time and for every page on the website. Remember that if a visitor does not get the information from the site you develop, they will get if from a competitor.
So ensure that the website has a short load time as well as for all the pages on the site. This will form a positive user experience, and it will increase customer retention for your client’s business.
11) Search Engine Optimization
By now, you know that ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs) is a major factor of having a strong online presence. It is crucial that you have a clean and SEO-friendly code to increase the chances of search engine spiders to find the website.
CMSs such as WordPress have plugins that help in cleaning up your SEO-code. Eventually, the site you build with clean SEO code will be an invaluable resource for driving traffic to the site and maintaining a strong online presence.
12) Browser Compatibility
It is a hard task trying to keep up with the number of browsers available today. You should ensure that the websites you develop are compatible with popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Bing, Yahoo, et al. It should load with ease on multiple browsers even on their older versions.
You cannot assume that users will only use the popular browsers, and this will lock out a significant percentage of traffic to the site.
13) Website Responsiveness
Statistics show that the number of users accessing the internet through the desktop is declining at a fast rate. It is important that the website you are developing be responsive in such a way that it is accessible from various devices without compromising design quality.
All sites you build today and in the future need to go hand in hand with the latest trends. Smartphones are increasingly becoming the choicest option of accessing the internet, and so your websites need to be responsive to any device. You should also integrate it with social media to help visitors to the site share posts from the website to their social media pages. These and more items will assist you in developing a one of a kind website.