If there’s one thing that you can be certain about when it comes to your website – it’s change. Your website will never truly be ‘finished’ because web design and the way we browse the web is constantly changing.
If you think back to how websites used to look only 5 to 10 years ago, it’s amazing how much things have changed. As we get ever closer to the end of 2014, it’s time to start planning for 2015 – is your website ready?
Ready for any device
The days of logging onto the desktop to browse the internet are over – we’re now constantly connected through a huge variety of devices from smart phones to smart TVs.
A recent report by Ofcom found that UK smartphone take up is now nearly on a par with laptop ownership, and as a result mobile web browsing continues to increase, with 30.2 million unique viewers in Q1 of 2014.
Tablet usage also continues to grow at a rapid rate, with Ofcom finding household tablet ownership almost doubled over the last year. In addition more and more households are also starting to access the web on other devices, including games consoles, e-readers and smart TVs.
All of this means your website needs to adapt and be functional on as many different devices as possible – in other words, you need a responsive design. Websites that are designed to be responsive respond to their environment – so whether you’re viewing on a 22 inch desktop screen or a smartphone, the website will adjust itself to suit. This can be achieved in a number of ways depending on the website and the type of content.
Being responsive isn’t all you need to consider though – in order to be truly ready for multiple devices you also need to take into account different browsers, and your website also needs to load quickly over mobile internet.
Integrated with social media
Social media has been around for over a decade now and isn’t going anywhere – 74% of adults are now on social media. Social media has become completely integrated into our lives and web users are increasingly expecting social media to be integrated into websites too.
It’s no longer enough to add a link to your social channels on your homepage – you need other features too, such as easy social sharing, the ability to tweet any part of your content, integrated ‘cards’ and social logins. Prepare for 2015 and beyond by making sure your social media profiles are completely embedded into your website from the ground up.
Ready to adapt
As things are always changing online, a key way to prepare for 2015 is to be ready to adapt. We don’t know exactly how we will start browsing the web next – is the future browsing on your Google Glass or Oculus Rift, for example? But by being prepared for change and ready to update your website to change with the times, you have the best chance of staying ahead of the curve.