The Most Important Piece of Your Web Design Strategy (That You Probably Haven’t Considered)
by Josette MIllar
Your website is ready. You’ve got a well planned content strategy, your social media presence is engaging, and your customer base is well defined. But something’s wrong. The demand is there but your website just isn’t performing well. It frequently crashes or your customers leave before viewing a single page. The website isn’t viewable. Before launching a flawed web design strategy, consider the technical side of website design.
Know Your Tech Specs
When business owners start developing a web design strategy, they often focus on SEO, company message, or branding. What they don’t consider is whether the technical specifications will meet their needs. Web design strategy isn’t just about great branding or a sleek look. Part of that strategy is ensuring that your servers can handle your traffic. Not just your steady stream of visitors either. What if a post goes viral? Or a sale takes off? A down website prevents sales and cripples business. Making sure your website is prepared to handle heavy traffic as if it were a trickle is an important addition to a great web design strategy.
Need for Speed
Whether it’s loading on a cell phone or checking from a laptop, customers that need to wait for your website to load will find their way onto a competitor’s site. Ensuring that fast loading times are had on all platforms will increase click-through’s and prevent five second (or less) visitors. Load times as short as four seconds will increase page abandonment by 25 percent. With that in mind, it’s important to develop a web design strategy that focuses on fast page loads. A video on auto load or a detailed background may look great but if no one sticks around to see it, what’s the point?
More Screens? More Problems.
The proliferation of second-screen technology on cell phones and tablets has resulted in web site designers struggling to keep up with the variety of ways to access a webpage. A standard html template may have worked for websites in the past but today, business owners are finding that static pages simply aren’t viewable on most screens. Developing a website with responsive design, or at least a mobile url, is practically required. In fact, forgoing a mobile-friendly web design strategy is shunning the 25 percent of Americans that use only their mobile devices to access the Internet. Factoring a responsive design into your website strategy is a technical consideration that mustn’t be missed in the planning stages.
Test, Test, Then Test Again
There are few things more frustrating than loading what looks like a great page and finding that certain buttons don’t work or that highlighted links are dead. Rather than search for needed information, most customers will simply navigate to another page, often a competitor. Before pressing “Publish” on your first blog post, you need to try to break your site. In the world of video game development, testers spend hours to assure the boundaries of the game-play level can’t be breached. Like them take the time to click each link and each button. Ensure that this send users to the right place.This is imperative to presenting your customer base with a professional and functional website.
Considering technical specifications when creating a web design strategy is essential to your message being properly received. While the day-to-day information gained through social media and blog posts have value, they may become valueless if the technical specifications of your site don’t match up. Before forging ahead on your path to market dominance through a solid web design strategy, ensure that you are taking time to considering the technical considerations first.