5 Web Design Tips for the New Year

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Woohoo, it’s 2018! That’s something to be excited about, right? While it definitely is, if you’re looking to build a new website this year or improve an existing one, we’ve got 10 awesome web design tips to help you build the best site possible!

1) Speed Matters Now More Than Ever—Pay Attention to It!

This isn’t the 90’s where everyone is on a dial-up Internet connection and people are simply happy to have a website load, no matter how long it takes. No, this is the 2018, where nearly everyone walking down the street has a super-fast LTE connection in their pocket and expects websites to load without any types of strange delays.

On top of the expectations of general users, search engines like Google expect your website to load quickly too, and if this doesn’t happen, it’s possible that your site will be less visible in the search results and harder to find. There are a variety of tools you can use to check your website speed (the Dotcom-Tools speed test is one of our favorites). Bottom line—make sure your website loads in under 3 seconds or you could be facing some real usability problems.

2) Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Responsive—There Is No Other Way!

The biggest percentage of web users are now on mobile devices, and if your website is outdated and not mobile responsive, you could be facing some big problems when it comes to the usability of your site. Mobile users don’t want to zoom in anymore to view small text on non-responsive websites.

On top of that, the same problems exist with non-responsive sites as with sites that are slow. Search engines will not show non-mobile friendly sites to users as often, so it may mean that mobile users could have trouble finding your site. In addition to being hard to find, it’s just plain annoying to use a site on a smart phone that isn’t mobile-friendly, so make sure that your website is both responsive and optimized for mobile users.

3) HTTPS All the Things!

It’s no secret that installing an SSL certificate on your website can have a variety of benefits, including protecting your site from hackers, safeguarding your user’s data, and even helping your site to be more visible in search engines. You don’t have to be a network engineer or have a degree in network topology in order to install an SSL certificate either—it’s something that can often be done with the click of a button on many web hosts. And even if it’s not that simple with your hosting company, it’s typically something that support can do for you if you open a ticket.

With all the different benefits and the availability of free SSL certificates like Let’s Encrypt, there’s really no good reason not to install an SSL and make your site a better, more secure web property.

4) Make Sure Your WordPress Site is Secure

While we’re on the subject of security, let’s take a moment and talk about WordPress security. An overwhelming percentage of new sites on the web are using WordPress, which is great, but WordPress is also considerably less secure than a simple HTML-coded website. Because WordPress uses a database and runs PHP, it’s vulnerable to a variety of attacks that static HTML sites simply aren’t.

Because of these vulnerabilities, if you’re using WordPress, you need to be sure to take some extra steps to secure your WordPress website. This can be done using a variety of plugins, server configurations, and other steps that can help to keep hackers out and ensure that your site is more difficult to compromise.

5) Users (and Their Experience) Should Be Your #1 Priority

It’s easy to get caught up in web design, metrics, and other things and forget that the number one focus of your website should be providing a good users experience. After all, if your users aren’t enjoying their time on your site they won’t purchase if you have an eCommerce website, or they won’t convert if you have some other type of website, and they certainly won’t come back.

Because of this, it’s important to spend a lot of time making sure that you have good content, good functionality, and that your site performs well. If you take care of all of these things, it’ll go a long way to ensuring that your visitors have a good time on your website, and will become repeat visitors.

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