When working with a Columbus web design company, there's so much to think about when getting your new website built:
- The Design & Branding
- The Images to Use
- The Flow of the Navigation,
- The Hierarchy of Information, and
- How Quickly your Website Loads
(The image shows the Google PageSpeed ranking of a website we've recently built.)
Typically, when a company needs their website rebuilt, it's usually because their current site is either outdated, not easy to update, or the business itself has out grown their site. Below are 5 areas all web development companies should be aware of to create the best website for your company:
1. When too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
When working with a Columbus web design company, make sure they understand how important it is to keep your new website's loading time down.
Everyone, including the developers, can get excited about cool new effects—things sliding in, fading out, neat new functions and beautiful large images. But often, adding too much content on the homepage, or even primary inside pages, can slow load time down. And download speed is a Google ranking factor.
Certainly, all those things are great. We're not saying your site should be boring, so it will load fast: that would be counter-productive. However, just as dangerous is "Over-Cooking" your website, which is when you throw everything in the spice rack into the website casserole: effects, photos, slideshows, videos, animations, etc. When it comes to your website, too much of a good thing, can be a bad thing.
A good Columbus web design company will manage your expectations, and will know when to pull the reigns back. They’ll let you know when it's time to get a little more conservative.
One of the most important things any good Columbus web design company should be talking to you about is "Mobile First” coding.
2. Any good Columbus web design company should build "Mobile First.”
When done right, you should essentially have 3 variations of your website:
- one for mobile devices,
- one for tablets, and
- one for desktop computers.
When building Mobile First, the developers do exactly that: they start with designing (and coding) the mobile version of your site. Since the mobile version of your site is the most simplistic, and half of your visitors will be seeing your site on their phone (or tablet), that should be the base of your site.
You don’t want fancy effects or big images show up on your mobile site. Because when someone views your website on their phone, that big slideshow you have on desktop screens will most likely take way too long to load. That's because there’s a very good chance they won’t have that great internet connection they have at home or work.
Building Mobile First means your site should be coded to load smaller images and simpler content, which means less code for the browser to load. This helps browsers load your website at lightening speeds, because as you know by now, download speed is a Google ranking factor.
It's on top of this base code, the developers should then introduce desktop code. That way, when someone's device's screen gets larger, more complex code can be ushered in, and larger images, effects, videos, etc., can be loaded on the browser.
3. Different devices, different connections.
Typically, desktop computers are going to be running off a strong WiFi connection, or they might even be plugged right into the router with an Ethernet cable. However, the internet connection on someones' phone is unpredictable. Have you ever been in a restaurant or even a coffee shop and had way more trouble connecting than you expected?
Many times your potential customers aren't going to be getting that 20G LTE, they might be getting the old 2007 3G speed. And if your site can't load quickly, they're going to leave faster than you can say "white chocolate mocha.” And if your competition's site loads fast, then you've just lost a potential new client, customer, or subscriber.
4. Nex-Gen images and what they have to do with your SEO.
In addition to someone struggling to load your website on their phone, another potential issue is with your Google rankings. Quick load time is good for your search engine optimization. Other algorithms Google has had for quite a while now, are:
- Your website's speed and performance,
- How it's code structure is organized,
- How fast it loads, and
- How efficient it loads according to Google’s Mobile First guidelines.
If your website performs poorly on mobile, it could result in a drop in your Google rankings.
Another new factor that goes into the evaluation is what Google calls, Next-Gen images. These are images specifically made for mobile device browsers. They load faster than JPGs and PNGs, and are much more efficient in rendering on the page as well.
The list goes on and on for the amount of things to plan for on a new website—or the things that should be fixed on an established, older website.
5. What to do next? (Or first!)
Okay, so now you know the importance of having a fast-loading, mobile first website. If you're looking for Columbus website development companies, make sure they know up front, you want to get at least an 80 or higher on Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
But, what if your site is fairly new, and you have no interest in getting a new website built? How do you know if you site is slow or not? Very first thing, go to Google’s PageSpeed Insights, type in your website's URL, and click analyze.
It's usually takes 10-20 seconds for Google to scan your site. Then you should see something very similar to the example screenshot below.
If your score is anywhere between 0-69, then you have a failing grade. But don't worry... typically, the lower the grade, the easier it is to get it raised to a passing grade. It's when the grade is between 70-89. That's when it toughest to get that “A” score.