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Tips for Designing Smarter Websites

Posted on September 18, 2014

An effective online presence should go beyond listing contact details and products or services. Your site needs to keep pace with how customers are using websites today, both at home and on the go. To boost engagement – and sales – keep these savvy yet simple strategies in mind.

Integrate web applications to easily improve your website. For businesses of all sizes, it makes sense to leverage popular services like Skype, Amazon, and Paypal on your website.  This can be easily done using web apps which improve the functionality and capability of your website to create a more usable platform for visitors.

Some web hosts offer web apps directly within their Web hosting or website builder packages. With hundreds of options, business owners are sure to find exactly what type of integration they need. Whether they wish to leverage communication, social media, or multimedia capabilities, it can all be easily done with a click of a button.

Reach all potential customers with responsive web design. In 2010, the concept of “responsive design” was created by Ethan Marcotte as a reaction to the constantly shifting digital landscape. By leveraging a responsive design within a website, automatic adjustments are made to text, images, media and other elements to keep its layout and functionality intact, no matter the device used for viewing. When a user visits a site from one device (like a smartphone), then another (like a PC), and another (like a tablet), the site should automatically adapt quickly and seamlessly.

Limit Flash to ensure your content is presented correctly. Though it can be attractive and help engage visitors, Flash video and animations can also deter potential customers from your website. If it helps to visually explain or introduce the business, make sure your solution does not slow site-loading time or negatively affect accessibility via smartphones and tablets. When an animated user experience is crucial for online strategy, an alternative to Flash is HTML 5. HTML 5 offers much of the functionality of Flash without the slow loading times or accessibility issues.

Ensure reliability on your website. While a website’s front-end will attract visitors, the technology behind it is what will help deliver a valuable experience, so make sure outages are rare. Geo-redundant hosting is one method in which Web hosts can remain working and available. With this solution, user data is stored on two servers simultaneously in two geographically separate data centers. Should the first location be unexpectedly interrupted, the site will continue to run in the second location without any data loss.

Having a successful website is all about delivering a positive experience to the end-user and converting them into one of your customers. By leveraging reputable and convenient third-party applications, embracing mobile devices, and properly managing multimedia on a reliable platform, you can set the stage so your products and services tell your story.