Web design is constantly advancing, but what are the core questions you need to ask about your new or existing website to make sure it's future-proof? Prodo's head of development Ed Yau reveals all here.
In marketing it’s quite easy for us to always get fixated by the very latest trends and what’s shiny, what’s new and for me, as a developer, I’m very excited by technology and we’re also in the same space.
So, I guess for you to consider ‘well, is my website future-proof?' you almost need to go back-to-basics and say: does it meet my current business objectives? Is it a good user experience for people when they come to the site? Is stuff easy to find? Is my website secure? Is the platform secure, is it constantly getting patched for security updates or have I had hacking incidents recently?
With data security, in particular, GDPR is coming next year and with that comes a whole load of penalties if you lose personal data – and that’s got people sitting up in their chairs thinking about how they protect that data and what policies and procedures that they take on board.
‘Is my site highly optimised for SEO?' If I search your site will it come first, second, third or will it be on page 14? If your site is not findable, it doesn’t matter how good it is, there’s almost no point in having it.
How’s the design look? Is it perfect for your brand, how does it look compared to your competitors' sites? Are they quite similar, what’s your differentiator as a company? Does your website show that?
Is the user experience good for you as a content editor? So does it take you hours and hours to update your website – or is it login and five minutes later you’ve got a new page? Is that time-efficient enough for you as a user within your company?
What about what your future needs might be, what about where the technology is taking us as a society and whether that plays back onto your consumer needs and your business needs?
Does your website know about social media, can people share pages easily or was it written in the 1990s where Facebook wasn’t even invented yet?
Is your website geo-aware, so if I look at it on my mobile and I’m standing outside Big Ben, will it know that that’s where I am? Will it know to adapt for my requirements because of where I am – show me different things, perhaps prompt me for promotions that aren’t available if I’m in Scotland using the same website?
Would you like to be able to push notifications to your users if they’re coming to you from mobile or are you quite happy with the flat experience that they get? They see the site, there’s the information on there, they digest it, then they walk away.
Is your website linked to a CRM system? Are you taking advantage of being able to track users throughout the funnel and nurture them on their journey and create a sale at the end of that pipeline? Away from web, are you aware of what chatbots are doing for the big brands in terms of their self-service requirements and having automated agents talking to their customers?
So these are all considerations that I think, as a technologist, and as a digital marketer, you should be thinking about in your next website.