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Why now is a good time to update your website

Posted by: Absolute Design

Is your website holding your business back? 

We work hard to stay on top of the latest developments and let our clients know about them so that they can stay on top of new technologies. So, although the internet doesn'’t stand still for long and there’s always something new, a range of recent major changes mean it’s now an ideal time to review your website and seize the opportunity to update it. Here'’s why:

Can your website be accessed on mobile devices?

More and more people are using mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones to access the web and shop on ecommerce sites. If they can’t easily read or navigate your website on a small screen they are more likely to leave your website without going any further. This ‘bounce’ rate can have a significant negative impact on your search results.

Acknowledging this Google recently updated their algorithm to account for mobile friendly websites. Since 21st April if your website isn'’t mobile friendly then Google is less likely to feature it in searches performed on mobile devices. Meaning you can be missing out on business or failing to reach your wider audience.

We make every new website responsive as standard so it will work just as well on mobile devices as it does on desktop computers. Find out if your current website is mobile friendly with this handy online tool.

Is your website secure enough?

Security is always a concern and we always react quickly to address any vulnerabilities whenever they’re identified. WordPress is the open source blogging platform that is used to build many content websites, accounting for 19% of all sites on the web, which makes it a big target for hackers. Only recently it was threatened by a significant vulnerability which affected many of the most popular WordPress plug-ins.
We do support WordPress and offer additional help to prevent attacks such as restricting the IP address for log-ins or blocking those IP addresses that fail to log in after a number of attempts. We can also ‘disguise’ the fact that a website is a WordPress build to less intelligent bots.
However, for our SME clients we have started moving away from WordPress in favour of more secure open source platforms that are both flexible to develop on and well within reach of modest budgets, such as Concrete 5 and Expression Engine.

Does your website use the most appropriate platform?

Keeping your platform up-to-date is essential. However, it is also important to consider whether you are using the most appropriate platform for your business. We’re now recommending that SMEs develop their new websites using Concrete 5 or Expression Engine. These platforms are stable, flexible, secure and affordable, and can offer functionality that’s more suited to their needs.
- an open source content management system that is both robust and flexible, featuring innovative ‘on-page’ editing. Because it has a well established library of plugins that add specific functionality it can be a very cost effective platform to develop on.
- we recommend this if security is at the forefront of your requirements. There’s a reason why it was used for Barack Obama’s campaign site and, while it isn’'t open source, a lifetime license only costs about £299. It also has a range of exisiting modules that can be added at little expense.

Is your website fully search engine optimised?

Every year Google drops at least one significant algorithm change designed to deliver high quality search for its users and can impact on everything from website structure to content. Although the changes you may need to make can often be small ones they can all add up to giving your SEO a boost. Here are just some of the recent factors that we'’ve seen negatively impact your website’s SEO:
- How quickly your pages load is a major factor. If your competitors are faster then they'’ll have the edge over you. Introducing techniques like page caching and code consolidation will help reduce your load times.
- Installing an SSL encrypts the connection between the user and the server making it more secure. Google announced last year that it gives a very small ranking boost to sites with https over those that don'’t.
 - If your website has pages deliberately targeting search but don'’t actually fit naturally into your website’s structure there’s a danger that Google will consider them as Doorway pages and penalise your website.