4 important questions to ask your web developer
If you’re in the process of building your new website or re-designing an existing website, then this post should be helpful to you. I will mostly be sticking to user experience and website speed in this post as both factor highly in achieving good quality search traffic to your website.
“Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience” – Google
Responsive Mobile Ready Website
Is my site optimized ‘correctly’ for mobile?
Website Page Speed is a big ranking factor for Google, faster websites make for a better user experience and with the rise of mobile viewing, site speed comes into play now more than ever before.
Google will, in fact penalize your website in mobile searches if it isn’t optimised correctly for mobile viewing to the point of not showing in mobile searches completely.
Creating a separate version of your website for mobile is one option but not really widely used. Most companies opt for the better responsive website option. A responsive website is built with a fluid layout that adapts the content to whatever screen size it is being viewed with.
File Caching & Compression
Will my new website have a cache system & file compression?
Cache systems work well by caching the files on your site to help serve it up quicker to the user, if the user revisits then they don’t have to download these files again. The trick here is to ‘leverage your browser cache’ which essentially means applying ‘suitable’ expiry dates against the different file types from your website that the cache system handles, this is a big plus for Google mobile browsing parameters!
Leveraging your browser cache requires your websites server to have mod rewrite enabled, for the most part, this isn’t available on the standard shared server hosting packages, you may have to switch to Cloud Hosting to achieve this, I’ve covered server types in the next question & answers.
Compression is basically a system that compresses your site files for faster loading times for the user, GZip compression is a decent compression system and one that is widely used. Some Cloud Hosting packages come with further advanced file compression systems to reduce your page load times even further.
What server options are available for hosting my new website?
Most websites on-line today are hosted on the standard shared server hosting type where multiple sites share the same server, each getting a share of the systems resources. The main issue I have come across with this hosting type is that your resources are essentially capped and you don’t have access to some of the more advanced SEO options you really need for your site to perform at its best.
On the other hand, Cloud Hosting has scalable resources, it gives you all of the advanced SEO options required & usually comes with further site speed and caching options. The overall infrastructure of Cloud Hosting means your site will be much more secure from threats versus Shared Hosting.
You can see a better breakdown of options between both server types on our hosting & support page.
Will my new website come with a traffic monitoring and analytic system?
This really is an easy option to apply to any website and one that in my opinion ALL developer should include with a new website build as standard. An issue we run into continuously with website redesigns is that there would be no historical traffic data available to compare because the previous developer did not add an analytic system to collect and monitor this data.
With all new builds, we apply this as standard, there are various options available, some hosting types have inbuilt systems for this.
Google Analytics is a free system with lots of options to collect and analyse your data. Options include advanced filtering systems to filter your data in different ways, it provides a conversion system to set and monitor your conversion rates, provides information on each users page visits including time spent on each page, information on bounce rates & many more options