What are the most important aspects for building a website that you should include regardless of the platform that your site is build on? We build websites in order to promote our content whether it is personal or business related. What are the most important elements to promote site traffic?
Since Google Search Engine created the mobile first index, websites that are not responsive can only be found on the desktop index.
A site that loads within 2 seconds is essential so that users stay on your page instead of moving onto the next search result on the page. One of the elements that can speed up a site is caching. Caching allows you to serve compressed and cached files to your visitors. This reduces the load on your server and your website becomes faster. Another is Image Optimization.
Having software on the site that protects it is insufficient if you don’t read the warnings.
Either have backups created regularly by your hosting service or install a plugin or have both.
A disaster recovery plan should be in place defining how to restore the site when, not if it gets deleted.
–Eve Land – Engineer for Sucuri Plugin.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a new standard that should be applied to all websites and changes the url from http to https. It adds encryption between the site’s web server and the user’s browser. This ensures that any data that passes between them is secure. SSL is particularly relevant for online forms. Since it is a new standard and a ranking factor (Google gives preference to SSL sites), it should be included with every site. (Note that on WordPress sites changing from a site that does not have SSL to one that has means that the database needs to be changed. There should be a redirect directing users from the previous http pages to the new https pages.)
Images should be loaded on the page close to the size that they will appear on the production site. If the image loaded is very large and the image viewed online is very small, it takes time for the page to resize that. Images may also be compressed unless you have a photography site where quality is important.
Search Engine Optimization will give your site a better chance on being found when a query is entered into a search box. An XML site map makes it easier for search engine robots to crawl your site and locate the results. Before paying for advertising, make your site easy to navigate for humans and robots. Contact me for an organic Search Engine Optimization audit report.
Social media pages should be linked to your site. Make sure that you publish your content on your site/blog and share on social media. When you blog directly onto the social media sites, the content belongs to the micro-site, like Facebook or LinkedIn. Displaying the content is their decision. Keep your audience entertained and interested in order to encourage them to view and share.
We all need more users to visit our site. By tracking the data, such as Google Analytics, we can fine tune our performance to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for.
In May 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in the European Union. The concept is to provide greater transparency and protect users’ privacy. Even is your site is a local site outside of the EU, if someone from the EU visits the site, you can be charged if you do not state how you will use data collected. This data may not necessarily be personal data, it can be tracking data used by Search Engines, cookies to speed up your site, etc. In order to avoid stiff penalties, I recommend that every site owner add GDPR requirements to their site.