One of the hardest things that businesses struggle with online is how fast internet technologies change affecting their web sites' visitors, performance, and rankings.
Many people expect that once a web site has been created, it will always be the same, always show up on the searches, and always look fine regardless of what the visitor is viewing it on.
Unfortunately, the internet is always changing, with new computers and devices appearing and evolving almost daily.
Just because your site looked normal and was doing well six months ago doesn't mean you can assume that is the case now on newer equipment.
Often, when web designers create a site for a client, they design the site to work on their favorite browser and device, such as Firefox on a PC, and don't think much beyond that.
This is dangerous, as their clients are the ones who pay for lost visitors if the site doesn't work on their version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, or the many other browsers out there.
Tablet visitors are increasingly common. Many people on-the-go use tablets more than laptops just because they are portable, and start up quicker.
As a web developer, I probably spot more things on sites that seem to ignore the device I'm using.
Firstly, screen size differences. Phones show a smaller screen area than a tablet, which has a smaller screen area than PC or Mac. So, ideally, your site should adapt to at least 3 main screen versions.
Secondly, unless they are connected via wi-fi, mobile devices use cell data, which is slower. This loads the page slower, and costs the visitor money. Simple effects like slideshows can really slow a site down on mobile, and Flash is not supported on most devices. If your menu is Flash based, it will not show at all.
Navigation is one of the biggest issues with sites. Most web designers create menus which expand as a mouse passes over them. However, tablets and phones are not mouse based, they are touch based. So if you click an item to try to expand a popout menu, the click activates the link, loading the wrong page.
If you're lucky the page may load with the popouts expanded. If not, the visitor will never be able to reach your popout pages.
The bottom line; Any of the issues above will cause you to lose valuable visitors if you don't keep up with them.
If you have concerns with your web presence reaching your widest customer base, now is the perfect time to look into our WebUpdate system sites, which take advantage of advanced SEO, social, and responsive features to give your business 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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