9 Features That Every Great Website Has
While there is no surefire ten-point plan that can help you get a great website, there are some really crucial...
Gone are the days when opting for a business website was considered to be a waste of money. Today, every business, irrespective of their size either has a website or is planning to get one. A business website can give your business the exposure it desperately needs. Business websites have helped blur geographic boundaries. Businesses that were content with serving local customers can now dare to dream big and target an international audience.
Moreover, your website helps establish your authenticity and credibility and can be a place where you can showcase your ideas. Your business website helps you talk to your customers, which is a must to build rapport. A professional website helps create a business’s persona. When you humanize your brand, your target audience is able to relate with the business, which is the key to a healthy conversion rate.
Having just any website, however, is not enough to woo your target audience. Consumers are now more demanding than ever before. The modern consumer expects to be delighted, not just satisfied. When an individual comes to your website, they expect you to provide actionable information in a clutter-free and consumable format.
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Consumers today don’t compromise on user experience, which is the reason why cluttered, poorly designed websites have high bounce rates. Gone are the days when consumers had limited options. The modern consumer has the luxury to choose from around 2 billion websites (and counting).
The modern consumer hates to wait for pages to load and less than optimal website navigation. To improve your user experience, ensure that your website is clutter-free and features a responsive design. Make sure it behaves consistently across major browsers. Use well-planned information architecture and format content in a way that it is easy to scan.
Modern businesses realize the importance of having a user-friendly and clutter-free website and are constantly working in the direction of making their website more responsive.
Having a user-friendly website sure helps, however, you would need more than just a website that is easy to navigate to woo your target audience. The question to ask here is what you can do to make your website stand out from the crowd? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out the answer to this question.
Like every field, website development witnesses new trends every year.
Following web development trends helps create a future-ready website. By adopting best practices, you would give your target audience reasons to choose your website over the competition. Web development is a dynamic field. Practices and trends that proved to be the game-changers in a particular year can fall out of favor the very next year.
To ensure your website does not fall out of favor, you need to stay on top of current trends. You should not just watch industry developments closely but must also keep a close eye on your competition, analyzing their every move. So what are the trends for 2019? Let’s take a look.
The problem with using human customer support executives is that they are prone to making mistakes. Plus, many times a human being may take more time than usual to respond to a query or address a concern. When customers don’t get a timely resolution to their problems, they start looking for other options.
To address this problem, many websites have started using artificial intelligence powered chatbots. Also known as intelligent agents, chatbots are specially designed to communicate the same way as a human.
Unlike humans, chatbots don’t need rest and can function round the clock. Equipped with intelligent response capabilities, chatbots can do more than just answering customer questions, and can guide users through services and offers.
It is estimated that using chatbots can help businesses save up to $23 billion (collectively) in the customer service sector. Studies suggest that around 50 percent of consumers prefer talking to a chatbot. With an improvement in technology, this percentage is expected to increase.
Organizations are working to create emotionally intelligent chatbots that would be able to express a range of human emotions such as empathy, helping improve the user experience.
2018 saw the rise of progressive web apps. In 2019, more businesses will start using PWA. Progressive web apps mimic the design of a conventional webpage, but that is where the similarity ends. PWA has a high level of functionality and can load instantly irrespective of the browser you are using and your network choice.
PWAs are user-friendly and easy to install. According to a study, more than 50 percent of the buyers who use their mobiles for browsing abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. PWA promises to solve this problem by combining the best of the web and native apps, which helps improve the user experience. The best part: Users don’t have to install an app.
Many renowned brands such as Alibaba, Forbes, and Twitter are already reaping the benefits of technology. While Forbes reported a 10 percent increase in its impressions per visit, Alibaba claims that its PWA helped increase mobile conversions by 76 percent. Twitter says since it started using its PWA, the bounce rate has decreased by 20 percent.
Using PWA is a win-win situation for the user and publisher. To help improve user experience, PWA uses push notifications. You are in the driver’s seat at all times and can decide what and when you want to push to your users. PWA provides you the freedom to share content with the apps you want.
Additionally, PWA provides a full-screen experience, which helps improve your brand visibility. And the best part is that you can use all these functionalities even when you are offline or have a poor connection.
Some popular examples of SPAs are GitHub, Facebook, and Gmail. SPAs are user-friendly and, as the name suggests, include a long webpage. They run on mobile and desktop and feature a simple architecture, making navigation a breeze. As more users demand that businesses take steps to improve user experience, the popularity of SPAs is bound to increase in the coming years.
Push notifications are becoming more popular with every passing day. Push notifications prompt the user to take action. Modern businesses prefer having push notifications both for their websites and mobile sites.
Push notifications are similar to popups, with the only difference being the way they operate. Unlike pop-ups that appear on your screen only when you are on a particular website, push notifications appear on your screen even when you are not on that website.
When users are on the website, push notifications notify them about any new content that has been published on the site. A push notification appears as a tiny dialogue boxes on the top left or top right side of a webpage.
Push notifications help businesses engage their target audience, giving them an edge in web competition. Additionally, using push notifications can improve your clicking rates, without having to invest a sizeable amount.
There are two ways to go about setting push notifications for your website. You can either get a dedicated push notification platform from a developer or opt for a plugin for sending push notifications. When choosing between the two options, remember to compare the pros and cons of using them.
Over the years, the share of mobile website traffic has increased exponentially. In 2018, mobile traffic accounted for around 52 percent of the total website traffic generated worldwide. It is expected that around 63 percent of mobile users will use their smartphones to access the Internet. Further, by 2020, the number of smartphone users is expected to grow to around 2.9 billion.
These figures show that the future belongs to smartphones. Businesses have realized this and have already started developing mobile-friendly versions of their websites. Google has already rolled out its mobile-first index, which creates and ranks listings on the basis of the mobile version of the content.
There are more benefits to having a mobile friendly website than you could imagine. Not only will a mobile-friendly website help improve your user experience but will also result in substantial savings, as they are easier to manage.
You can take several steps to make your website mobile friendly. Opt for a responsive design that includes flexible layouts and images. To ensure your content is scaled properly, remember to include a viewpoint tag. Make sure your font size and button size are at least 12px and 44px respectively. To improve your user experience, use high-resolution images and upload YouTube videos.
In 2019, the stress will be on developing websites and apps with a high degree of adaptability. The coming years will witness the rise of apps that would work even without an Internet connection.
As the number of people who use their smartphones to browse the Internet increases, more businesses will launch a mobile-friendly version of their websites.
A website’s design has a significant impact on user experience. Slowly but steadily, businesses have started realizing the importance of having a website design that is consistent with their image and brand persona. To grab eyeballs, more businesses than ever before are willing to experiment with different website designs.
The past few years have witnessed the birth of different website designs that feature grid and asymmetrical layouts, retro design aesthetic, and overlapping design elements. In 2019, businesses will get bolder and start experimenting with more designs.
Further businesses will start experimenting with different typographies. To improve the look of their content, many businesses will start using new fonts. When choosing a font, the single most important factor to consider is legibility. Make sure your main font is larger than the others. Avoid using similar fonts. Instead, look for fonts that complement each other.
The future belongs to the bold. In 2019, businesses that dare to experiment with new design ideas such as using more white space, opting for larger navigations, and using monochromatic color scheme or not using any color at all will have upper hand over companies that stick to conventional methods.
To convey their business’s message more effectively, developers will continue using illustrations, designer fonts and forms. The focus of developers will be to keep the website design as simple as possible, while incorporating new patterns and design elements in their designs to grab eyeballs.
In 2019, the stress of designers will be on using more vibrant designs and include more images, shapes and animation in the final design. To say more with fewer words, developers will use graphic content that can not only help save space but will also help with customer engagement.
What good is a website that does not provide information in an easily consumable format?
No matter how attractive a website looks, if it does not have a simple interface, users will abandon it sooner or later. More businesses have started realizing this and are using motion UI that helps keep things simple, without flashy commercials.
Adding UI elements enhances site usability, helping improve user engagement. The technology offers a number of options to developers to make their ideas come to life. There are, for instance, a number of animation and graphics options that developers can use to tell a story more effectively.
Since 2008, the number of people using voice search has been increasing at an exponential rate. It is expected that by 2020, around 50 percent of search queries will be voice-based. Around 40 percent of people consider voice-activated devices as essential to their lives.
Clearly, voice search is the technology of the future. This means two things for web developers. First, they need to make their website mobile friendly (given the fact that 1 in every five mobile search is voice search).
Second, as the takers of the technology increase, and start using it to browse the Internet, you can integrate voice search internally into your website. You can accomplish this task by adding a voice search recognition API to your site.
The good news is that major browsers such as Firefox and Chrome support the technology, which means your users will have the freedom to decide their search method (voice or text) when searching your domain.
Before adding a voice search recognition API to your website, you need to optimize it for voice search. Some steps that you can take to optimize your website are:
The blockchain is the technology of the future and is specially designed to address some of the most pressing problems such as high costs, high frequency of transaction settlements, and poor cash flow that businesses face. Featuring a secure design, modified-resistance blocks, and decentralized consensus, blockchain technology promises to make business transactions easier and more secure.
Blockchain technology is based on a peer-to-peer network of computers. Because this network uses a distributed ledger, there are no chances of your data getting compromised. Over the years, the popularity of blockchain technology has increased exponentially. Applications of the technology are used in different industries.
In the coming years, businesses will start using technology to develop powerful solutions. Renowned brands such as IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft are already working on projects to develop their own blockchain platforms.
A web app is a goldmine for cybercriminals. The more information your app processes, the higher its chances of getting targeted by hackers. Over the years, data breaches have rattled several industries. The developer community realizes the threat and is helping businesses in its own way to counter security issues.
In 2019, cybersecurity will remain a major issue. It is expected that cyber attacks will increase in 2019. Organizations are responding to this threat by developing more secure websites. Developers from around the world are adopting the practice of conducting security tests during the development phase itself.
In 2019, more organizations will start using website monitoring tools such as intelligent algorithms that detect current and potential threats and notify the website administrators about risks in a timely manner. Businesses are more cautious than ever before when choosing third-party services. Many companies conduct thorough background checks before joining hands with service providers.
Also, encrypting sensitive data has become a popular practice and can help avoid data theft even if a cybercriminal gets to a business’s database.
In 2019, more organizations will start using AI-powered robots to monitor their websites. It is expected that businesses will spend around $2.5 billion from 2016-2025 on research that focuses to find ways to use AI for cybersecurity. In the near future, bots and not humans would be in charge of the security of websites.
And it makes sense! Unlike humans, bots don’t need any financial incentives to work. They can work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and don’t demand any retirement benefits. A team at MIT has already developed a system that detects 85 percent of the attacks before they happen. In 2019, we can expect more such initiatives directed towards beefing up the security of websites.
Low code development platforms provide environments that developers can use to create application software. Unlike conventional platforms, these platforms allow developers to use graphical user interfaces and configuration. Developers are not required to use traditional and complex computer programming, which helps save time and efforts.
Around the world, low code development platforms are helping developers create excellent websites swiftly and effectively. Some benefits of low code include cost savings, lesser bugs, and improved accessibility. It is expected that low code development platforms are the future of app development.
Further, you don’t have to be a proficient developer to use low code development platforms. Thanks to the many benefits of using these platforms, more web development companies than ever before prefer low code development over conventional web design and development processes.
Static websites are delivered to users in the exact format in which they are stored. Dynamic webpages, on the other hand, are generated by web applications. While static webpages display the same information for every user, in a server-side dynamic webpage an application server processes server-side script.
Though dynamic websites are becoming more popular with every passing year, static websites are not going anywhere and are still loved by developers due to their simplicity and fast loading time. Static webpages do not include complex and multi-navigation navigation nor do they have more text than necessary.
Additionally, static webpages are secure and inexpensive to create. To go through the content on your website, all your users need to do is scroll down. Thanks to the benefits of static webpages, they are highly successful in delivering a better user experience and are not going to fall out of favor anytime soon.
Accelerated mobile pages or AMPs adopt a minimalistic approach. The technology ignores fancy elements, displaying only essential information including images and texts, ensuring that the page loads faster. The median loading time for accelerated mobile pages is 0.7 seconds, which is considerably lower than the loading time for non-AMPs (22 seconds).
Though AMPs are difficult to customize, thanks to their fast loading speed, their popularity is not taking a dip anytime soon. In 2019, businesses looking to improve customer engagement and user experience will prefer using AMPs over non-AMPs. AMPs work only for static content. In the coming years, more blogs and news publishing websites will start using AMPs.
Static website generators are used to create static websites that include simple texts and architecture. Developers rely on static website generators to create robust, simple, and secure websites. One of the major drawbacks of websites generated through static website generators is that they are not user-friendly and are less interactive. In 2019, as technology evolves, we can expect that these problems will be addressed.
From ordering pizza to conducting important financial transactions, we depend heavily on the Internet. Individuals, governments, and businesses are using the Internet to enhance their reach. More users than ever before are using their smartphones, laptops, and desktops to browse the Internet.
According to a study, there will be more than 30 billion connected devices by 2020. Smartphones, laptops, and desktops are not the only devices that connect to the Internet. If you look carefully, you will find that we are surrounded by IoT backed smart devices such as smart watches, smart refrigerators, and smart speakers.
Equipped with a screen, these devices enable us to accomplish a range of tasks. In 2019, IoT is all set to change the way developers view the web development process. To track user behavior, more businesses will start using wireless and sensor technology. Buyers too would start using IoT to avail personalized web development services.
Currently, very few websites have an IoT integration, however, as the number of connected devices increase in 2019 and beyond. more businesses would start considering adding features supporting IoT to their websites. In 2019, we can expect more businesses to adopt web applications for small screens.
AR and VR are emerging technologies that have the potential to change the way buyers interact with businesses. Many websites have started using AR and VR to provide their users with an immersive experience. Some of the most renowned VR devices are Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and HTC Vive.
In 2019, developers will focus on creating apps and websites with AR and VR technologies. AR and VR powered apps promise to provide a more immersive experience, and can prove to be the game-changers when it comes to boosting the conversion rate.
Webpages can be classified into two major types, multi-page affairs and single page setups. Most businesses prefer creating multiple webpages, with each page containing specific content dedicated to that particular page. More businesses, however, are breaking conventions and are willing to experiment with their page layouts.
The need to improve user experience is more than ever before. A single page website can help achieve this objective. Single page websites are easy to use and can be used on different devices including smartphones. Moreover, single page websites are relatively inexpensive and simple to develop and host. In 2019, more businesses will opt for single page websites.
Browser extensions are software specially designed to customize their web browsers. Browsers have a number of extensions for different tasks such as blocking ads, cookie management, and improving the user interface. In 2019, browser extensions will be in demand.
That said, businesses need to realize the risk of using browser extensions. Many critics of browser extensions write them off because they have access to sensitive user information such as browsing history. When coming up with a browser extension in 2019 or beyond, remember to address these issues.
The need to study and predict consumer behavior is at an all-time high. As businesses realize the importance of understanding their customers better, they will integrate user behavior tracking in their sites. In 2019, web development companies are expected to come up with tools and processes to study a number of clicks, mouse movements on their clients’ websites.
With the need to track user behavior at an all-time high, 2019 can very well be the year that witnesses the rise of Google Analytics Events, a tool that helps measure new website designs.
The RAIL (Response Animation Idle Load) concept works by laying out a structure to measure performance. The idea behind the concept is to enable developers to target tasks that have the largest impact on user experience. As more developers realize the need to improve user experience, the concept is expected to gain popularity.
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