11 Website Design and Development Best Practices for 2018

Aim higher to delight customers with amazing website performance.

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Website Design and Development Guidelines for 2018

In today’s global marketplace, having a digital presence is not enough. To capitalize on opportunities and captivate real, living and human readers, an optimized, functional and interactive website is essential. Unfortunately, the internet is teeming with mediocre website designs that lack both technique and content. Worse still, customers and developers continually contribute to the current epidemic of design flaws in equal measure.

It’s time to put an end to bad websites once and for all. Let’s take a look at how customers and developers are perpetuating this trend of shoddy websites and identify new design and development standards in 2018 that will help end this vicious circle of “all surfaces with no substance” sites.

Clients

A client’s unrealistic expectations can doom a website before the design process even begins.

Unfortunately, many customers have limited knowledge of what a website should be and, more importantly, what a functional and intentional website can deliver. They underestimate the value of going beyond aesthetics with their sites, assuming that building success relies solely on an attractive interface. Customers believe that as long as their site “looks good” it will float in cyberspace, effectively extending brand reach while magically attracting millions of interested users and converting them into customers.

The truth is, that’s not how website magic works.

To deliver digital results, a website must provide an engaging and dynamic user experience. Yes, graphics are essential to the design process. However, to optimize success, your site must provide more than compelling graphics. Your developer works, or at least should work hard behind the scenes for you, creating a sophisticated infrastructure of site and SEO functionality that needs to be developed and tested before it goes live. This is where the website magic really begins.

A client’s budget expectations can also play a major role in launching an inferior website. When it comes to promoting your brand, it’s important to remember that you ultimately get what you pay for. Designing effective and intuitive websites is complicated. But the return is well worth the investment. So, customers, invest already. And trust the insight, talent, and experience of your developer as you navigate the process to a final design that not only looks good, but also meets all of your critical online marketing goals.

Developers

Of course, customers aren’t the only ones who perpetuate bad websites. Developers themselves can also contribute to the multitude of poorly designed and ineffective sites that plague the Internet. How? ‘Or’ What? This often starts with treating must-have digital marketing features as “extras” when offering site packages to clients.

Not cool, developers. Uncool.

Developers, 2018 is the year you up your game and raise the bar on acceptable industry standards. Gone are the static, one-dimensional tactics that turn a site into a mere Powerpoint presentation (i.e. a deluge of static, boring data). In the future, refuse to work on a design that is not multi-dimensional and fully functional. Every project you take on should have all the necessary digital marketing features to enhance the owner and user experience.

Yes, some of your customers will be a little shocked by the stickers. Stand firm. Rather than watering down the design features, enlighten them on the many benefits that a highly functional website offers. If they insist on a cheap, crummy website? Don’t jump into the project. It’s far better to turn down a customer than to lose countless leads who notice that you have a knack for making shoddy products.

Website Features Checklist 2018

Ready to put an action plan in place to redefine the new standard for 2018 venues? Here are nine non-negotiable standards (and two bonus tips) to implement on your site:

1. Fast charging — No one wants to wait (and wait and wait) for your site to load. Design sites with fast loading times for all users on all devices (even those with slower internet connections). You can use Pingdom or Google’s Pagespeed Insights to check your website speed and see how you can improve.

2. Mobile-ready — Virtually everyone uses smart devices on a daily basis. Create an engaging, mobile-friendly design that your audience can access anytime, anywhere.

3. Tracking enabled — Analytics is important – it’s the best way to determine if your website is actually doing its job. The final design should include features to measure key metrics like traffic, goals, and conversions.

4. SEO Expert — Don’t underestimate the power of optimizing your site for browsers and humans. Develop attractive and readable content for your subscribers. For search engines, always include all important on-page SEO tags and elements, including XML schemas and sitemaps.

5.CMS Enabled — We are not yet done with the power of the written word. Consistently posting fresh, original content not only captivates your audience, but can also provide invaluable long-term digital marketing momentum. Include a back-end content management system in the design so customers can publish and edit content as needed.

6. Optimized Conversion — Got a conversion-focused customer? Implement tools to create campaign landing pages in your design. These designated pages can allow your readers to browse your site and invite them to book an appointment, request a product demo, and even make a purchase.

7. Email Marketing — Yes, email marketing is still a thing – and a very effective thing at that. A site’s email capture forms should sync with the client’s email marketing system for seamless access and login.

8. Social Media — Never miss an opportunity to leverage the power of social media. Integrate all relevant social media platforms into your design. Allowing users to quickly access social media pages from the website instantly expands a brand’s reach and helps increase visibility and traffic.

9. Enhanced Security — Never compromise on-site security. Every design should include fundamental security and privacy protocols, such as basic security controls, to protect customer and user data.

This concludes the non-negotiable part of our 2018 website design guidelines. However, there are two bonus tips to consider when creating a site:

10. Progressive Web Apps — Savvy web designers, intrigued by the impact of apps on mobile media platforms, have managed to combine the best web and app features into a hybrid known as Progressive Web Apps. Expect to see Progressive Web Apps release in full force throughout 2018. As a developer, consider including various features in your design, such as splash screens, push notifications, and animated page transitions to improve the overall user experience.

11. Machine learning and artificial intelligence — Yes really. Artificial intelligence is no longer a futuristic, high-tech term and has managed to find its way into our everyday vernacular and online experience. You do not believe me ? Have you ever asked Siri or Alexa a question? I put down my file. Adobe’s Sensei provides AI tools to various web design platforms around the world, making it a more accessible and available resource.

Is your brand website up to 2018 standards?

If not, it’s time for an immediate online renovation. Remember, this isn’t about grand gestures and revisions. On the contrary, 2018 will focus on a move towards simple, functional and futuristic designs. Implementing these (relatively painless) standards as a non-negotiable design foundation can have a significant impact on how we do business and connect with potential customers online for optimal ROI with every engagement. of the user.

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Denis Pinsky worked as Director of Digital Marketing and Analytics at Forbes (2010-2019). Denis offers 17 years of experience in e-commerce, technical growth marketing, product development, business intelligence, data science and website performance optimization. Currently, he is building and developing SavvyHerb CBD Marketplace. SavvyHerb (savvyherb.com) curates essential CBD information and brings the community together.

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