Website development, like the internet itself, is a fluid environment that should be consistently evolving and getting better. Evolving website development means better, faster features, ease of use, and dynamic content. This article will discuss 5 website development trends that were once incredibly popular, but that website developers need to let go of.
Website Development with Adobe Flash
Although website development will always incorporate some Flash elements for video usage on websites, rich content using Flash needs to go!
Not only is Flash incredibly difficult to create and edit, it can be detrimental to the overall usability of a website and to the ranking a websites gets in search engines. Websites that were built entirely on Flash typically only have one page created that changes depending on the buttons and tabs clicked. Not having separate pages for different services and features is bad for ranking in search engines and bad for usability; people can only ever start at the beginning of your website, they can’t enter on a specific page.
Google and other search engines have made some massive strides this year to let all website development projects know that mobile devices are the wave of the future and that website designers better get on board. Mobile devices today, for the most part, do not support Flash; visitors are met with a blank screen or a notification to install Flash, which they can’t.
Website Development with Opening or Intro Pages
It used to be standard practice to have an “Opening Page” on all website development projects; the purpose was to introduce a visitor to the website, typically with a quote or a company motto.
Today’s pace is much faster than it used to be; users do not want to be required to click through an unnecessary page in order to get to find the information they are looking for. It has been prove by many different case studies that the less time/clicks needed for a user to find what they are looking for, the better.
Another reason why Intro pages have no place in today’s website development is because of the negative impact they can have on a website’s search engine optimization (seo). These pages often have little to no SEO value and are seen as the homepage of the website. Removing this page and adding real content will drastically improve the seo value. (Websites with these pages often have a terrible bounce rate for mobile devices as the Intro page does not account for mobile screens and, in some cases, cannot be bypassed because the button to enter the website is not visible.)
Website Development with Boring, Small Font Size & Styles
It is true that the standard font for documents in size 12; however, more and more, websites are increasing the size of their fonts to make it easier for everyone to read their content. Much of the rich content produced today is in larger, bolder fonts. The creative license for website developers with typography, color, and font has increased dramatically over the past few years.
Attention grabbing fonts and colors seem to be the norm to capture people in a world where you only have seconds to grab your viewer’s attention.
Website Development Not Featuring Responsive Website Designs
In the past few years we have seen a surge in the number and quality of smart, mobile devices available on the market. Between smartphones and tablets with mobile-data capabilities, Google and other big data and search engines have grown increasingly aware of how people are utilizing these devices more than standard desktop and laptop computers in their day to day lives.
Seeing this trend, Google and others have stated that smart devices must not be ignored and that they are an integral part of providing an exceptional user experience to internet surfers. Thusly, they have stated that all websites must have a mobile friendly website design or risk being, at best, demoted with the possibility of being “not shown as a result at all” in mobile searches.
Most users would rather have a responsive mobile website experience compared to being sent to a separate domain with a mobile website on it, or a website that is not prepared for mobile devices at all.
Website Development Not Focused on Viewers & Value, But Search Engines
The best advice ever given on search engine optimization is, “while search engine optimization is important to keep in mind, it should not be the driving factor behind your layout, design, or content.” Of course any savvy company knowns how important it is to rank well for pertinent keywords on search engine like Google, Yahoo, & Bing, it is more important to make sure that when a viewer does visit a website, there is actual value to be found.
There will always been a need for getting backlinks, comments, visits & form submissions on any website, however it is important to note that taking shortcuts (even if they work today) will probably hurt you in the future. Therefore, writing content only to satisfy search engines, developing pages strictly for the sake of creating pages, and keyword stuffing are search engine optimization actions of the past.
Solid rankings can be achieved through creating and posting original content on a consistent basis, engaging your target marketing on social media, and always keeping your image up to date via website development and search engine profiles.