Specify Your Website Properly

If there is one bit of advice we would give to anybody thinking of embarking upon any website development it would be to ‘Ensure your objectives are clear, and that you have sufficiently planned and documented your requirements before you even start to look for suitable suppliers.’

We believe that investing the time to properly plan and specify your website development will not only ensure that it actually delivers on your objectives, but it actually saves you money on the design and build.

The process of building a website takes careful planning. When we embark on a project with a customer our first step is to undertake a focus meeting. Its at this point that we go through a list of questions to extract information in order to put a website specification together.

The specification document is then used to provide a clear understanding of what the finished website should look like, and the steps required to achieve that goal.

Is your site mobile friendly and compliant with Google’s update

Google has announced that on the 21st April 2015 they will be rolling out an update where they will look at how mobile friendly your website is and rank it accordingly. They have clearly said that it will have a significant impact on search results, so its something we really should be taking very seriously.

For some businesses this isn’t going to be a problem as their site may already be responsive or considered mobile friendly as they have a specific built mobile site, however for many small businesses it could be a concern.

So, how do you know if your website is mobile friendly in Google’s eyes?

To test your website there is a Mobile-Friendly Test. All you need to do is enter your website into the box, click on analyse and you will see whether your site is considered mobile friendly or not.

If your site doesn’t pass the test, there will be a list of reasons why this is the case. You will also see an image of how Googlebot sees your page and whether anything is being blocked.

So, how do you make your website mobile friendly?

Depending on how your website is built, depends on how straight forward you can make it mobile friendly. If built using WordPress it may just be a matter of making some updates to WordPress and your chosen theme. It could however mean changing your theme completely. There are some great themes available at the moment with fully responsive themes. If you want to know our favourites, give us a call!

Google have provided a useful guide which you may want to read if you have a WordPress website.

If your site is built using another CMS or you had the site built by a developer, its likely that you may need external help to make it mobile friendly.

 

Responsive Design – Do it now!

responsive-blog

It’s rare that something comes along that is a ‘one size fits all’ situation but I can honestly say that every website out there would benefit from being transformed into a responsive design. Responsive design really is a one size fits all situation!

A great example of this is the latest Microsoft website – www.microsoft.com Take a look at the site in your web browser on a computer / laptop – and drag the bottom right hand corner of the browser to see the images and site layout resize to suit the changing screen resolution. You can look at the site on an iphone or on a desktop – it will take up your whole browser and be easily usable still.

This neat trick ensures that your site renders perfectly whatever size of device screen it’s shown on.

With the majority of websites these days receiving between 15% and 40% of their traffic via mobile devices, website owners can’t afford to ignore the importance of their website rendering properly across many different devices.

My advice is to get your website into a responsive design as quickly as possible.  See an example of a website we’ve recently converted: www.intouchaccounting.com

G20 web economy set to double by 2016 new Google survey shows

A new report commissioned by Google produces some interesting insights. Read Tim Webbers article on BBC here and you’ll learn about how as many as 80% of the zones internet users will access the web via a mobile device, and how the internet will go more social – allowing customers and businesses to engage with each other more freely.

I think that there are 3 key aspects that businesses can take from this research:

  • All businesses should be trading online where possible – How? By considering your business model and integrating with digital / the internet as much as possible.
  • Your website should serve up a mobile version of the site to users of hand held devices – How? It’s time to add a mobile site to your website (if you’ve not already got one).
  • Customers and businesses are already engaging online. Be sure that your business is encouraging reviews, comments and feedback where possible – How? By blogging (allowing comments & feedback) and encouraging customers to review your performance (via Google reviews and the many other niche review websites now available).

All 3 of these actions are easily achievable for your business today and will prepare you well for the exciting future ahead for forward thinking businesses.