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Web Design: Businesses Need A New Breed Of Webmasters

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James Helliwell
July 15, 2016

James Helliwell
James Helliwell has written 12 articles for WebKnowHow.
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Websites are the only engines of commerce these days. They are a key part of the whole business operation for some; and the entire operation for online businesses.

Businesses are necessarily obsessed with competing for the very small visible space online; a mere 11%. of the web. Solutions like SEO and internet marketing continue to gain popularity because businesses want to make sure Google, Bing and Yahoo give them priority, and send them visitors.

While these are very important, it is time for businesses and web developers to understand that websites are no longer just a virtual shop window.

Web design should no longer be delegated to the web developer to come up with a website that will wow and woo. The behavior, needs and capabilities of users have greatly evolved, and traditional websites as we know them are fast losing relevance in today’s world.

A website today can be created using some freely available, sophisticated templates (enter WordPress) and automated website builders. In some cases, all that’s needed are a few code tweaks and your website is as cute as any other out there.

For a serious business, however, it is not that simple. Below, we take a look at what web design must entail for competitive businesses today, and why.

User Experience: Google keeps shouting about the importance of user experience in web design today. Web owners and SEO firms that are still focused on traffic and link building are soon left behind in the wake of the emergence of the prioritization of user experience.

How relevant is the information on your website to the services you offer? What is the content structure on your website? How quickly can users find the information they want? Are users inundated with information and links that make them just click away? Is navigation easy?

Websites must account for user experience in every stage of development. Web developers must be more than coders; they must become users themselves.

Web Accessibility: You will hardly find a web master that broaches this subject with you in consultations. It’s challenging, and they don’t necessarily think it’s important.

As a business, it is a subject you don’t want to ignore. About 1 billion people in the world today have one form of disability or the other. Most people with a disability take advantage of the opportunity offered by the internet to do things like shopping, education, communication, etc.

And with many governments – including the UK government – demanding compliance, it is no longer a choice, but a necessity.

Run a test on your website using one of the web accessibility evaluation solutions and you are likely to find you are not fully compliant. No doubt Google will notice.

Mobile Device Optimization: Most people access the internet today using mobile devices. The reason is simple: they’re mobile. From simple web surfing to online shopping, people access sites on the go and they need to do it fast.

This may seem obvious, but how many websites are truly adapted for mobile device use? Content structure, content layout, content rendition and script running are some key factors that determine how mobile users experience your website.

This article highlights some key considerations for website mobile adaptation.

Mobile Apps: The majority of serious companies today are making apps for their business.

Why? Because, mobile users will not go typing in URLs and making google searches all the time. The more mobile we are, the more impatient we become. Users want to have quick and easy access to services and apps are doing that for them.

Mobile apps boost client engagement and repeat visits. They also allow you to push advertisements to users and open up a wide range of transactions and interaction.

People are now pooling information from different apps to get information they need for a particular purpose. Apps for information on weather conditions, traffic conditions, directions and reviews can easily give a user all they want to find and get to a business.

Now, having a mobile app may not be ideal for every business, and so businesses must work with webmasters to determine just what is best to move the business forward into today’s changing world.

Sean at Manchester based web design house Red-Fern says, “The role of the webmaster today is no longer that of a mere administrator. Today’s webmaster must not only evolve with changing trends, but also work with clients to develop business strategies that take full advantage of these trends”.

In summary, web design and management is no longer just about building a robust and attractive website and paying a firm to get it on Google’s first page. It has become a multi-faceted, cutting edge role that is crucial to the success of most businesses.

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