How secure and efficient is your website?
There are lot of reasons to update or renew a website, not least due to search engine algorithm updates which happen on a nearly daily basis, to new technology and design trend changes. By taking advantage of new developments in the market you can deliver a more efficient website for your business and consumers and ultimately improve business results and save money.
If you haven’t seriously looked at your site in the last 3 – 5 years then you can almost guarantee that you are missing out on optimal site performance. Below, I’ll cover some other factors that don’t necessarily get thought about, but relate to your site’s underlying hosting as well as some other recent technology changes you should consider taking advantage of.
Does your current hosting provider protect you from malware, viruses, DDoS attacks and more? The below image is taken from security firm Sucuri and covers the first quarter of 2016 as you can see if you are using WordPress you are 4 times more likely to be targeted than any of the other platforms listed. The report also found that most of the sites compromised had little to do with the base platform and more to do with improper deployment, configuration and ongoing maintenance.
Here at Generate UK, we partner with industry leaders in WordPress hosting which auto-apply core security updates and patches for real time security threat detection along with security audits and code reviews. All of which helps to ensure our customers have a ‘best in class’ experience.
Once your site has launched, it’s not the end of the journey. You need to think about whether or not you have the in-house capability to update and amend the site moving forward. Knowing that you have someone to turn to who can make these types of changes through a support and maintenance agreement, not only gives you peace of mind but ensures your website moves with times.
Sometimes finding your own hosting solution can look more cost effective, but again you need to check what type of backup solution you are getting. Having automated, redundant systems for your critical applications should be a key requirement.
With search engines having more and more of a focus on speed, particularly with the increase in mobile traffic, you cannot guarantee your visitors are on a fast connection. Knowing your website can take advantage of advanced caching technology which ensures your most requested resources are stored in a way that makes them load even faster, or the ability to use a content delivery network (CDN) which positions your content nearer to the end user thus reducing the time your site takes to load, all helps to improve the user experience of your site. With an average visitor expecting your site to load in less than a second it’s something you cannot ignore. Some simple things you can consider to help make immediate improvements are:
- Enabling server side compression.
- Enabling browser caching of resources.
- Optimising images.
Accelerated Mobile pages (AMP) and Instant Articles:
These are two competing technologies that website owners can take advantage of to display content to mobile consumers instantly. Both technologies aim to reduce the data a consumer needs to download to display an article which can lead to around a 20% increase in engagement as well as a significant reduction in abandonment rate. AMP are being used by Google mobile search, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, medium whereas Instant Articles are only currently valuable on Facebook.
Structured mark-up is away to provide more semantic meaning to a page which in turn allows a search engine to having a better understanding of the content on the page. You may well have seen examples of this in Google search results for things like Wikipedia, cinema, hotel and sporting listings. But did you know you can use structured mark-up for products, people, reviews and business locations plus many more types or properties. Why would you want to do this? Well, the better a search engine understands your content, the easier it is for them to surface this when a consumer is searching for your products and the more likely is they will click on your results. Below is an example showing a local business address:
This short-list shows only a few of things you could be considering when thinking about hosting your own website, or new technologies you could be making use of. The internet never sits still and neither should your website; working with a partner that understands the importance of both new and emerging internet technologies as well as ensuring your website is hosted on the best infrastructure ensures you can compete in your chosen market.