Keeping up is hard to do. Online, things change in a flash, and within what seems like a span of months your website has not only lost its new-car smell but taken on the scent of that mystery item that’s been congealing under the seat. It’s not as if a site can’t enjoy a long and productive life these days—you just need a web design company that can help you steer clear of fads and toward long-term success.
Even the best examples of website design and development eventually succumb to the ravages of age, which is why foresight and planning are so critical to longevity online. Flash websites, for example, grew as a way to immerse users in a much more interactive and entertaining environment. But today flash design is widely regarded, at least by the industry, as a dinosaur. Search engine crawlers are unable to index flash-based content, making it a wasted opportunity to attract visitors and putting added strain on other search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. As a drain on resources, flash design slows page-loading times, which, while hurting user-friendliness, is increasingly causing search engines to downgrade the site in their rankings.
Adapt or fade away
It’s impossible to discuss the Internet today without touching on the plethora of devices used to access it. Responsive web design has become a dominant topic in the field, as the user experience becomes more and more diverse. Depending on the nature of your content and your audience, a responsive website could help reinvigorate your online presence.
Although this form of website design and development does entail a lot of work—more creative screen designs, more coding, more QA testing—it also ensures your new site can adapt to any scenario to deliver a positive experience. You’ll need only a single site, as opposed to a separate version for mobile and desktop. This can also reduce loading times and make it easier for search engines to index your content.
Of course, there are cases when a mobile site makes the most sense, as when you want to provide a very streamlined version of your site on the go, but these are the kinds of conversations you should be having upfront with a web design company. If your current site is completely ignoring the mobile experience—by all accounts growing rapidly and soon to overtake desktop use—it’s definitely time to retool.
Conversion rates above all else
There was a time when websites merely served up information, a nice feature that complemented work done in the real world. Now more than ever websites are asked to do the heavy lifting for businesses, and it’s the same in every industry, for companies of all shapes and sizes. The difference between poor and good website design is visible in the number of leads converted into sales; in other words, conversion is king. But boosting a conversion rate requires more than adding a few pretty buttons and calls to action—a site geared to convert starts at the drawing board, where every detail can be planned out and every competitive advantage examined.
Redesigns are a fact of life online, so don’t worry if your website has outlived its usefulness after making a strong run. Instead, seek out a web design company that considers the big picture, that looks ahead as opposed to exploiting short-lived gains to close a deal. The future of your online presence depends on it.