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How to Ensure Your Website is Future-Friendly

4th January 2013

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Future friendly websites is a term that many marketers, creatives and web designers use to describe the practical longevity of a website.

Your website is likely to represent a significant component of your long term marketing investment. It should provide a sound platform around which you build your brand and campaign communications. However, as all brands evolve – ensuring that your website can evolve with you, develop, adapt and to continue to support your proposition whilst integrating with your other marketing, CRM and PR activities should underpin this investment.

This is not about the quality and dynamic of the website creative but rather it is a philosophy underpinning the value of the website as we move into the future.

Ten years ago, many companies were only considering having a website created because their competitor had one. At that time no-one truly knew how their website would be used let alone the way in which they were searched for, viewed or interacted with.

Dial up speeds were very slow and web users were few. As such, web pages were highly simplistic in terms of design, information and usability. Ten years ago, we didn’t know just how fast the web would or could change and of course we were not in the position to anticipate any major changes.

Today, however, we are all web users and are so much more aware of how fast things can change. Fashions, programming codes, marketing requirements, security risks, etc.

Not only do we know that things can change but we should expect that they will continue to change. As such, web designers must now acknowledge and embrace unpredictability when building websites. And, because of this, web designers know they have to build future friendly websites.

Before Design Inc move forward with the creation of any new website, we work with our clients to understand their business and their market. We need to understand the client’s plans for their own future business growth so that we can design a website with these objectives in mind.

It is also important to understand accessibility. In recent years, the most obvious advancement has been the adoption of mobile devices and, in order for companies to market to this audience, their websites must be built to be both viewable and useable on smart phones and tablets too.

And, whilst the smart phone and tablet user may open up a new, remote audience, they do have their limitations too. Take the iPhone or iPad for example. Very popular amongst young professionals. Yet, as Flash is not fully supported on these, any company with a website built in Flash may just be missing an important and influential audience.

Of course, being ‘future friendly’ is not just about being aware of the limitations of certain code, but the web designer also needs to be aware of changes in trends, for example:

  • SEO – how will web searches be carried out
  • Useability – smart phone, touch screen technology will filter through to laptops and PCs
  • Content Management – open source CMS solutions such as WordPress are becoming more prevalent
  • Customer Communication – social media interaction is growing at a rapid rate
  • Storage – cloud solutions will enable much larger files to be accessed
  • Access Speed – as files become larger, solutions such as 4G, 5G, 6G will come into play
  • Security – stronger security may be required due to the increase in spam, hacks, viruses, attacks
  • Website Personalisation – targeted advertising are enabling web views to become more personal to the viewer

Of course, whilst we may not be able to accurately predict the future we can at least plan for it. By knowing that things will change we are better prepared than ever before to face those changes when they come.

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To discuss your future friendly website requirements with one of our web specialists, call us now on 01784 410380