Is the web platform you’re choosing to build a website on future-proof?
When considering which platform to use, have these four things in mind to make sure the website you’re creating is not only effective today but also easy to manage and future-proof.
One: How responsive is your Responsive Design?
Yes, everyone’s talking about. And every platform knows its websites need to be viewed across any mobile device.
But have you looked into whether the template that you’re applying is going to automatically update the next time something new is available?
Look at WIX, which used to support websites built using Flash. When Flash pretty much became redundant, many websites were left in the dark ages unless someone was willing to take spend the time and effort to start all over again.
So how future-proof is the responsive design template you’re thinking of applying?
It’s OK if you’re paying someone a retainer to watch what’s happening, or if you’re in turn being paid to do so because most platforms require you to know when the site needs to be updated. But what if you’re not?
Our advice: Look for a platform which automatically updates itself with the latest technology - making sure that all sites sitting on it are also updated with no effort from you required.
(Smart Little Web does this).
Two: Content needs to be king
Of course, we all know that content is the most important part of a website build. A website that’s beautiful but doesn’t have the right content won’t perform well on search engines and visitors will quickly realise there’s no value to be had in spending time on it.
But design can often take the lead on many platforms, and you might find yourself trying to retrospectively fit your most important message into a space just not big enough. Or have to work with text boxes that without careful attention and coding experience, will stop the website looking as professional as you deserve it to. Needing to go back and change it each time you do the slightest tweak with the design isn’t going to be fun.
Our advice: When looking for a platform, make sure that it’s easy to make content the primary focus. Will you be able to easily update your copy when you need to? And in doing so that it won’t affect the design of the site?
(Smart Little Web lets you do this).
Three: There’s SEO and then there’s automatic SEO
You want your website to perform well in the search rankings, and you may have even already worked out what target search terms you want to include to make sure that it does.
But do you have the time and knowledge to make sure you’re including the right ones?
And when you have included all the keywords and metadata required to make the website perform well today, are you confident that the investment you’ve made on the SEO capability will match what’s required in the future?
Our advice: Look for a platform that supports its websites to perform well without the need for manual updates and checks on what the search engines are looking for. There may be a whole host of plug-ins you can download today that will help it perform well, but who’s going to manage these and make sure they’re doing their job in the future? If a platform follows the latest search requirements and enables you to input search terms without the need for code, a plug-in or specialist support, you’re on the right tracks.
(Smart Little Web does this)
Four: See if you can influence the platform’s development team
Yes, there are plug-ins and apps constantly being developed by very clever people, but what if the plug-in doesn’t do exactly what you need? Or causes your site problems when you try to update it? It’s worth thinking about the long-term time or cost investment that might be required to make sure your site continues to perform with the same perfection as it does when it goes live.
Our advice: Look into whether you can have access to the platform’s development team. It should be in their interests to gain your input so that the platform can continue to evolve and be the best it can be. Influencing how it performs can be invaluable - and ensures your site is never left behind that of the competition.
(Smart Little Web gives you access)
Ultimately, all platforms can provide something that works depending on what you're looking for. But don't forget to think about the future. Once a website is created it's just the beginning, not the end.