It isn't only large corporate sites that can change with the times
At a time where every penny counts, it pays a business to have an online presence that is not only wide ranging, but also flexible enough to react to changes.
Technology and trends in the real world are always changing, and the web sites that keep up and adapt can grab the largest share of the market when it comes to visitors and therefore sales.
Probably the biggest example of technology shifts has got to be the advent of fast mobile devices.
As if the many different smartphones weren't enough to consider, now mobile tablet devices, such as Samsung's Galaxy, and of course the iPad, are adding a whole new level of browsing potential customers.
Furthermore, big players like Google and Nokia are also throwing their hats into the tablet ring for 2011.
This is where the site needs to be 'wide ranging' and compatible.
Many businesses think that a web site is just a web site, and so everyone will see it no matter where and how they are browsing. This could not be further from the truth.
For example, the iPad, while the commercials show it browsing sites happily, cannot see Adobe Flash elements, such as animated site intros, Flash video players, or worst of all, Flash based site navigation.
Sites which are completely Flash based, or use Flash for navigation, simply will not function on iPhones and iPads.
Alone, iPhones sell around nine million a month, and iPads will sell an estimated seven million by the end of 2010.
The fastest way to confirm how others see your site is to visit it on some mobile devices. If you don't have access to these devices, next time you are at the local electronics store, check your site out on the displays.
Connection speed is also a major consideration for any devices which connect through a wireless provider. Very graphically intensive sites will take much longer to load, and risk losing impatient visitors.
The ability to keep your content proactive and competitive is also imperative online.
For example, this 'Black Friday' I saw business e-commerce sites which had no special sales happening at all, even though they were selling consumer items such as clothing and electronics, which many other online stores had reduced.
This is extremely ironic in the cases where companies are using pay-per-click means to bring people to their sites, as that money is pretty much totally wasted.
This is similar to having a store in a strip mall, where several other stores sell exactly the same as you. If nearby stores are marking down their prices for any reason, you know that you need to match or undercut their prices, or visitors will not shop with you.
Our WebUpdate e-commerce sites are created in such a way that a store owner can bulk reduce entire ranges of products in minutes, to keep our clients on the leading edge.
It is not only e-commerce sites that need to be competitive, however, as any informational site can still benefit from announcing price reductions or events of any kind, which will make it appealing to potential future clients.
If you are ready to grow your business in 2011, now is the time to look into new web technologies such as our WebUpdate systems, which employ many advanced features designed to give businesses the best competitive edge online.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design,
the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.
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