Four web technology issues that business websites need to consider

 

Four web technology issues that business websites need to consider

Posted on June 29, 2016

 

Web technology has changed considerably in the last decade. There are four areas that, until recently, many websites consistently ignored. If a website addresses these issues, then the result could well lead to more visitors and more conversions.

1. Speed

People used to think that if a website loaded in ten seconds or less then its speed was fine. Young people, in particular, have a short attention span and want websites to load faster. Each extra second that a website loads decreases customer satisfaction and can adversely affect conversion rates.

An example where increased speed helped a website is Virgin America’s site. The site was re-engineered to load in two seconds. This resulted in a 10% increase in conversions.

Don’t think about all the fancy bells and whistles you can add to a web design, think about how fast the website loads in browsers and, in particular, mobiles.

2. Privacy

Privacy is a hot topic in the media. The recent case of the FBI trying to force Apple to unlock an iPhone highlighted the issue in the minds of the public.

Many sites have added HTTPS encryption to increase privacy and security. Sites that use cookies to track visitors, under European Union law, must obtain consent by users. You’ll have seen this displayed in the ‘accept cookie’ buttons you often get asked to press before you use a retail website.

Sites that use tracking technology to personalise adverts or web pages may be less effective in the future. Browsers have privacy settings where users can switch off tracking, as well as other privacy settings. People concerned about privacy will use these options to protect themselves, or use something like the Tor browser, which features anonymous web browsing.

Eventually using personalised ads or web pages to raise revenue and conversions could be difficult.

However, if visitors are assured that visiting your site is a private operation between them and your company, and not open to third parties, they will trust your business. This will make them more liable to become customers.

3. Security

Even if people are happy for sites to use cookies and tracking, they certainly do not want any personal information to be stolen by cyber criminals. The high profile hacks of large companies like Sony and TalkTalk have made many people mistrustful.

Hacking incidents are also expensive. TalkTalk lost thousands of their customers after it became known that their network was hacked.

Obviously sites that sell goods or services need ways to gather and store contact and credit card details, but users need reassurance that their information is secure. Security and privacy policies need to be implemented and sites thoroughly tested by security experts to find potential security leaks. Visitors need to be informed of what security measures the site incorporates.

children-using-internet

4. Accessibility

It is estimated there are over 1.3 billion people in the world with disabilities. Making sites accessible for people with disabilities, such as poor eyesight or hearing difficulties, is important for many businesses.

Accessibility is being taken seriously by the United States government. All US government agencies have made their websites accessible for people with visual impairments.

Designing a website that limits potential users is not good business. It is not difficult to check accessibility. Technology such as AChecker and JAWS scanning software can be used to check for how a site performs for the visually impaired who use audio readers. Videos can have captions added for people with poor hearing.

Speed, security, privacy and accessibility are four areas of web development that are increasingly becoming important. A business website needs to address these four areas. If your website has solution for all the four elements, then this is good business sense. A high speed accessible site that is trusted by visitors will result in higher conversions, and higher revenue.

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 20 years’ experience in these fields.
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