7 Helpful Steps to Building a Future-Proof Website
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Technology is never static. It is always on the move. Industry standards for online platforms seem to change every other month and online interactions with clients are entirely different from previous standards.
You may find that the ideal social media and digital marketing strategies from the previous year may not be applicable today, and the responsive website design you consider a luxury may now be a necessity. Think of that responsive design as an investment in creating a future-proof website.
All of that paints a picture of today’s online environment, where ensuring that your website and web design offers some level of longevity appears almost impossible.
The implication, in this case, is that your website needs to be flexible to adjust to new standards, devices, and technologies. For that reason, you need a future-proof website to succeed in the online world as an entrepreneur.
Why a Future-Proof Website is Worth Considering.
1. It Impacts Your Brand’s Familiarity and Identity
First and foremost, understand that you can cause long-lasting damage to your brand identity when you make significant changes on your business site periodically.
Doing so suggests that your business is not sure about itself, and that can affect your brand cohesion and identity.
If you want your customers to become familiar with your business, you should avoid changing your website layout and design, among other things, within a short period.
2. Yields a Return on Investment
A complete overhaul of your website every time a new technology becomes available is expensive. On the other hand, frequent technology updates require you to adapt if you want your enterprise to thrive.
That is a dilemma right there.
Yet, it is something you cannot afford to ignore because it has a direct impact on your operations.
You do not need a complete website overhaul when something changes if your site has a future-proof, responsive design and foundation.
Such a web design can evolve with time to keep up with the best standards for a user-friendly site design. Eventually, that cuts unnecessary expenses and yields ROI.
3. Improves User Experience
You will deal user experience a blow if you are constantly changing different aspects of your business website.
Note that your customers and those visiting your site tend to grow comfortable with your website design. They get used to a particular layout of your online platform. Taking away the visuals that they are familiar with can push them away and sever any connection they have with your brand.
A future-proof website will come in handy in this case because it can enhance user experience in one way or another.
How to Make a Future-Proof Website
If you do not want to completely re-imagine your website every time there are changes in technology, here are a few tips on how you can future-proof it.
1. Focus on Evergreen Content
Anyone visiting your website should draw value from the content therein. If one fails to realize that, they will check other sites that provide the information they need. For that reason, you should ensure that your website has evergreen content to remain relevant and offer the value that your audience is seeking.
That means that you should refresh the content on your site often. Also, keeping in touch with industry trends and addressing customer pain points with the right content is the other way to ensure that your site has evergreen content throughout the year.
2. Use WordPress as Your CMS
As one of the most popular platforms worldwide, WordPress is an ideal Content Management System (CMS) that is versatile enough to help you build a range of digital experiences.
Additionally, WordPress allows users to work with their online content without the need for extensive or even any coding knowledge.
Indeed, entrepreneurs need a system by which they can create, post, and update their online content, and that is what WordPress affords them. In that case, using WordPress as a CMS will not only reduce your expenses, but it also allows you to manage your content from a single platform.
As such, you will not need to invest in several content management systems when you opt for WordPress, and that can act as a future-proof strategy.
3. Prioritize User Experience & Speed
Capturing your audience’s and clients’ attention and encouraging them to take action whenever they visit your website is a priority. Unfortunately, that is not achievable if your business site is not user-friendly.
You also need to appreciate that all of Google’s algorithmic evolutions focus on giving users the best experience possible.
That implies that any updates or changes you make on your website should prioritize users. Indeed, users are the reason behind making such an investment.
For example, most individuals use their mobile devices to access various websites today. So, if your site does not have a responsive design, it will affect the user experience.
The solution here is to ensure that your website is compatible with mobile devices by adopting a responsive design.
On the other hand, if your site is slow, users will probably opt out after a short time. In that case, sacrificing bells and whistles for speed may be a wise idea because it will ultimately improve the user experience.
You should also consider creating an intuitive hierarchal flow to your website for easy navigation.
Think of your site as a filing cabinet, and design the hierarchy accordingly.
This allows for easy additions to your website without having to redesign the entire site and URL structures – a tedious and expensive proposition.
To that end, adding a site map to your website is required to promote easy navigation as part of your enhanced user experience initiatives.
Implementing either or all of these approaches will, in turn, help your future-proof website thrive.
4. Simplify Design and Coding
The ability to make quick updates is paramount if you want your business site to be future-proof.
When you overcomplicate your codebase, responding to your clients’ changing demands within the shortest time possible becomes a challenge. Cracking code that is hard to understand takes time, and if you cannot provide prompt solutions, you may lose clients to competitors.
Additionally, having lean code and plugins will help with the load speed of the site as well. – An obvious benefit to your site users.
It is worth mentioning that using personal shortcuts and shorthand when coding and creating your website is not an option. Also, hiring other designers and coders may be necessary as your enterprise expands. In that case, using clean code to allow straightforward interpretation by those who come after you, even as they add to what is already set up, is prudent.
Simplifying your web design will also facilitate quick changes and updates when making necessary website adjustments. Clean code and a simple website design will go a long way towards making your business site future-proof.
5. Consider Investing in Premium Hosting
In today’s world, speed is of the essence for any business using an online platform. Unfortunately, you can unintentionally lose your customers to competitors if your site is slow. No individuals will be willing to visit your website, let alone stay on the platform if speed is an issue.
The solution here is opting for a premium hosting service.
That way, your website will be fast enough to improve users’ experience, and it can turn visitors into customers as well. Increasing your website’s speed is an approach that can help you attract and retain traffic.
6. Invest in SEO
Any business worth its salt needs a steady flow of relevant traffic to its website.
Ideally, this is accomplished by ranking high in search engine result pages for the keyword terms, goods, and services associated with your business.
To accomplish this you need to make sure your site is optimized for SEO.
However, it’s important to realize that Search Engine Optimization or SEO is not a set-and-forget proposition.
Foundationally, your site should be built optimized for SEO with the tips we mentioned above, such as lean coding, intuitive design, and site architecture, etc.
SEO and User Experience (UX) go hand in hand.
But it’s just as important to constantly be adding valuable content to your site that has been optimized for SEO as well. On-page optimization techniques will help this new content get found and rank well by the search engines.
By doing so, you raise the probability that your content will be shared and earn valuable backlinks to your website.
Speaking of backlinks, as a business, you should always be trying to improve and build your website’s backlink profile.
Links are the fuel that powers your website, therefore link building should be a core of your business interactions.
Here is an article of mine discussing some effective link-building strategies you can begin with.
And here’s a compilation of over 30 link-building ideas from over 80 experts you can employ on little to no budget.
Ongoing SEO initiatives such as these, to grow your relevant website traffic, are one of the best and economical ways to create a future-proof website for your business.
7. Budget for Changes and Updates
Sometimes, you need to make prompt decisions as an entrepreneur, depending on the situation at hand.
However, when making critical decisions about your business operations, you need to take time to consider various factors before deciding on the best course of action.
For instance, if you intend to conduct an overhaul of your website, ensure your budget allows room for future updates and changes.
Such a budget should focus on long-term aspects rather than short-term goals. Otherwise, you may end up spending more than necessary when you discover that there are new updates you need to factor in as soon as possible that did not feature in your previous budget.
Additionally, budgeting allows you to spend a particular allocation on website changes and updates to ensure that you do not eat into the company resources you should direct elsewhere.
Allowing room for site improvements in your long-term budget can help you make and implement decisions that will future-proof your website.
Change is inevitable in the technology arena. Since you cannot tell when you can expect new developments affecting online platforms, the solution is to ensure that you have a future-proof website by adopting the tips above.
If you need more information or help to make your site future-proof, contact us today!