Security Speed & Design

Is your website 2020 ready?

In News by Azmin

Is your website working for you?

A lot has changed in the last few years when it comes to search engines and the way they rank your website.
If you've had the same website for over 5 years, it might be worth reviewing how well it's actually performing for you and whether your website company/designer has kept your site up to date with the things that matter to the search engines.

So here’s a little checklist for your website.

These basic 3 checks that you can do without any technical knowledge in less than 5 minutes will determine whether your website is optimised for modern search engines and is giving you the best advantage in being found by new customers.

padlock icon Is your website secure?

Google prioritises secure sites over non secure ones. The search engines are there to give users the best and most secure experience available and having a site that uses the https protocol will win favour with your rankings.

How can you tell?
Look at your site in a web browser and make sure that the address in the search bar at the top displays a padlock and begins with https. Like this one...Creative Mushroom URL in search BarIf it doesn't have the padlock it means that your site is not regarded as secure by Google. That's bad news for getting found in the search engines and if your competitors have secured an SSL certificate for their domain, they'll be more visible in the search engines than your business.

P.s. Getting an SSL certificate is free. If your host is charging you for a security certificate, change hosts.

smartphone icon Is it responsive?

In April 2015, Google started to prioritise websites that were designed to work effectively on any size screen. This was a massive change that effected a lot of major website's rankings.
More than 50% of the traffic viewing your website will be on mobile devices and tablets now so having a site which is responsive to that is imperative. It's easy to determine whether your site is responsive (or mobile friendly).

You should be able to answer yes to all of the following 3 questions.

  1. Can you open your website on a smartphone and read the text without the need to "pinch & zoom" the screen?
  2. Does the contact form on your website fill the screen of your smartphone making it easy to fill in for your potential customers?
  3. Does the website stay locked inside the frame of the smartphone?
    (As opposed to moving from side to side)

These are 3 fundamental indicators of a responsive website. If you need to zoom into any elements of your site, then your website hasn't been built for  the majority of your customers' devices.
This means that people viewing your site will probably leave very quickly and you could lose potential customers.

rocket icon Is it quick to load?

There are two main reasons that a slow website is bad.

  1. Potential customers who are browsing the web will get bored of waiting for your page to load and click away.
  2. Search engines penalise slow loading sites. It's their job to provide a good experience for users and so won't rank your site very well if it takes more than a couple of seconds (at worst) to load.

Most conscientious web developers will be determined to make sure that your website loads as quick as possible This is because speed is a big ranking factor in scoring favour with the search engines.

Your website should load in under 2 seconds.

The majority of websites out there will load under this time thanks to modern server and cloud technology but the quicker the better. Website speed is one of several ranking factors. If you have a very basic website with just text, it will naturally load a lot quicker than one with a slideshow, and numerous images. However, your users will probably not stay long as it still needs to entice them.

It's all about getting a good compromise and optimising the performance of your site by using minimal sized compressed images, minified code and preferably using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
(Of course, it is dependent on you having a good network connection.)

Want to test your website speed?

There are tools that measure the performance of your website available online.

My preferred choice is Pingdom Tools.

If you wish to test your own site, select Europe - United Kingdom - London from the location drop down on the right and put your website address in on the left.

Pingdom Tools Website Speed Test

It will give you an overview of the time your site takes to load and a performance grade of how search engines rate your site. It will also tell you how big your page size is. A huge factor in quick page loads. This is of course subjective but anything over 2Mb and you probably want to start thinking about investigating the design.

Don’t panic. You’ll still be found in Google.

You'll always be found in the search engines somewhere. (Unless you actively don't wish to be found) If you have a well established domain that has been around for a long time, then that will always help your rankings.

Having these 3 factors in place will certainly give your site a boost if they're not in place already. The search engines are wanting to give people a quick, easy and secure experience on all sizes of viewing devices.

All of the above comes as standard at Creative Mushroom

If you feel that your business could benefit from an upgrade to your website to help increase your traffic and customers, why not get in touch?

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