How to Prepare Your Website Now for the Future

There are many that struggle with the never-ending changes when it comes to technology. Some may ask, “What’s the point of updating my website when the latest and greatest thing is bound to come out soon?” New features and layouts included on websites could possibly come out tomorrow for all we know, but that doesn’t mean we should be pushing off updating our own websites. Instead of dealing with a constant battle when it comes to changes, we all must learn to adapt to them, and the sooner the better since we will rely more and more on the web as time goes by.

You can prepare your website now for any future changes that take place by having a solid foundation that includes five key elements:

  1. Simple
  2. Fast
  3. Useful and/or interesting
  4. Portable
  5. Human

1. Keep it simple

Simplicity is always the way to go. Users that come to websites typically go looking for an answer to a question. Make your user’s experience a pleasant one by allowing them to find their answer as quickly as possible.

To help make your user experience enjoyable, determine these key factors when preparing your website for the future:

  • Determine your organization’s essential offering
  • Test your website to determine if users are impressed by your website design
  • Conduct a website audit to determine the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your own site and how the not-so-good parts can turn into oh-so-good parts
  • Keep track of your analytics to find where you are losing visitors

2. The need for speed – make it fast

If there’s one known fact about browsing the web, it’s this: People hate waiting. Infact, MunchWeb found that 40% of web users abandon a page after 3 seconds of loading. Those 3 seconds can make or break your company.

There are many benefits when you take the necessary steps in order to get your site to load as quickly as possible. Also, simple sites load faster. This has proven to be even more true when it comes to mobile websites.

In order to get your site up-to-speed for the future:

3. Your website better be useful and/or interesting

People love a good, engaging story. 60% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content as opposed to ads, and therefore are more likely to buy from that company. This means quality content can live forever on your website and never become obsolete. A Facebook post or Tweet usually only drive interest for a few hours, whereas a valuable blog post on your website can last for years.

It’s a good idea to start generating content that captivates your audience, since the future of websites is, without a doubt, storytelling.

For your website to have valuable content for the future:

  • Determine your target audiences wants and needs
  • Figure out unique ways to produce captivating content through research
  • Produce content that will intrigue your visitors to want to learn more about what you have to offer that others don’t

4. Your website should be portable

By 2015, 48% of all U.S. citizens will be browsing the mobile web, and nearly 150 million people will own smartphones. But the web isn’t just going to be big on mobile devices. It will be visible on any type of screen that has access to the internet. This includes tablets, kiosks, digital signage, and types of screens we haven’t even thought of yet. Never has it been more important to make your website portable by creating responsive and mobile versions of it.

To prepare your website to be portable-ready for the future:

  • Brainstorm ways to simplify your navigation menu and site content
  • Discontinue Flash elements on your website and focus more on HTML or JavaScript
  • Focus on mobile-friendly first, then start thinking about developing an app

5. Human interaction will never get old

Social media is a great way to get people to interact with your company. However, it’s important to interact with your visitors in the same way you would if you were sharing something face-to-face with them. Showing the human side of your company is a way to evoke emotion. For instance, an A/B split test was conducted during the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund donation drive to see which form was more effective and generating donations. One form had a photo from Haiti, the other did not. The one with the photo – the human element – was 10% more successful and resulted in $1 million more donations.

The human side of your company can be shown anywhere you have content. This includes email subscriptions, newsletters, error messages and many other areas.

Since social media doesn’t look like it will ever go away, here’s how you can prepare to take it to the next level for the future:

In Conclusion

By building a website with these 5 key elements, you’ll be prepared to integrate the latest trends in the future with ease. If you’re not sure where you should start to get your website where it needs to be in today’s competitive world, Digital Trike is here to guide you in the direction you want to go. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.