As the great Bob Dylan once said, “For the times they are a-changin’.” Who would have known that a song released in 1964 would be so applicable in today’s fast paced, technologically-driven world? Of course, one of the most influential tools introduced during the technological revolution was the website. It’s interesting to see how websites, which have radically affected how brands market to consumers, are now themselves being heavily influenced by external forces.
These forces, whether driven by various market factors or outside influences, are having a significant impact on how websites are being designed and catered to users. So, why does this matter for you, the business owner? Well, it’s important to ensure that your website, which is widely considered the heart of any digital marketing strategy, remain not only up-to-date, but relevant and user friendly…and trust us, the risks associated with not doing so cannot be understated, from losing clients to competitors to having your website even become unviewable. Having said that, here are key 3 website trends that you need to know about.
1. Website Security
Whether it’s digital updates over newspapers or a Netflix subscription over cable TV. Digital alternatives have become the norm for today’s modern consumer. Which is why website security has never been of greater importance. This has led to Google Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, announcing that as of July 2018 any website that doesn’t have an SSL Certificate will be viewed by the browser as “insecure.” While that doesn’t mean your site is necessarily vulnerable, it’s still a good idea to add one to your website. Especially considering that visitors to your website who use the browser will see a notice that your website may be unsafe and to continue with caution.
Wondering why it matters if just one browser is starting to implement this? Well, here’s some stats for you as of May 2018...
- 58% of Internet users worldwide use Google Chrome as their preferred browser
- 3.5 billion searches happen on Google’s search engine every day
- Over 600,000 websites use Google Analytics to track their users
Putting stats aside, it’s important to remember that when a market leader chooses to introduce something to the market, many of the others tend to follow suit. This means that competitors such as Safari or Firefox will more than likely add this requirement to their browsers in the near future.
When most people think of accessibility, they think of accessible buildings, movie captions or braille options. Making everyday items accessible is extremely important for those with disabilities who wish to live an independent life, but what about digital accessibility? Making online tools accessible has become of paramount importance for brands. Which is why making websites accessible has become a hot topic.
Thankfully, WCAG (web content accessibility guidelines) 2.0 clearly outlines the various levels of compliance (level A, AA, and AAA) and the dates that websites must comply by. The level of compliance that your website must meet depends on a variety of factors, but the biggest two are your number of employees and industry. However, regardless of these factors, all websites must be WCAG 2.0 compliant as of 2021 – that means that all text, design and functionality have to meet the requirements. Fear not though! You have 3 years to prepare, but it’s still a good idea to learn more about these massive changes so that you and your brand are prepared when the time comes.
Now for the creative side of things! Web design, like fashion, is constantly evolving. With such a rich history and continuous changes, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Don’t worry though, we’re here to simplify it! As a rule of thumb, websites should be revamped every 3-4 years to ensure that a website is maximizing its effectiveness. So where are we right now?
Currently, websites are going through a stage where captivating visuals and engaging content rules the roost. Whether it’s a powerful video, jaw-dropping photos or knock out writing – content that identifies with your consumers is priority number 1. Also, your website’s design should maximize screen space while complimenting your content and staying consistent with your brand. Do these things and your website will be firing on all cylinders!
While it’s true that “times they are a-changin,” that doesn’t mean you can’t change with them! Keep these 3 key website trends in mind when adapting your digital strategy and you’ll be in great shape. Need some help transitioning? That’s what we’re here for! Book a free consultation with our team below.