Building an effective website, either for a brand or for yourself, requires more than just strings of codes and programming languages. You also need to prioritize the ease at which your visitors can see and engage with the pages you developed.
Don’t take this as a bluff – most internet users will rather avoid your website if it doesn’t offer them the real comforting experience they expect. Moreover, every page visitor wants that “vroom” and “swoosh” feeling. Anything less than a fantasy will give them an excuse to use the exit button.
Now, this has nothing to do with the value of content on your webpages or the super useful products that are featured on your website. The main thing is user experience. From the first contextual paint to the full page load, your website must reflect some value strong enough to glue your visitors to their screen.
To help you gain quick traction, we have compiled some proven tips for effective web development in 2023. And here’s the first.
1. Go An Extra Mile For Mobile Responsiveness
Mobile responsiveness means building your websites for use on mobile devices just as they’re available on desktops and other non-mobile electronics.
According to the central blog from Google’s webmaster, responsiveness is now one of the publicly recognized ranking factors used for recommending pages to internet users.
That means irresponsive websites are at the losing end of SEO and will probably rank low regardless of what content they hold.
Some other statistics reflect the importance of mobile responsiveness:
- There are about 7.26 billion mobile phone users globally.
- 62.6% of internet traffic comes from mobile device users.
- Only about 42% of the global active internet users have a personal computer.
Per the records above, mobile responsiveness should be at the top of your priority list. And these are the things you should consider:
Grids: Pixels, Fluid, Or Adaptive?
Three grid frameworks include fixed pixel grids, fluid grids, and adaptive grids.
Pixel grids are also known as fixed grids since they are rigid and do not allow for responsiveness. This means a website you designed for desktop users will literally look the same but extremely small when viewed on screens with smaller sizes.
On the other hand, a fluid grid scales your website content accordingly with the screen size. Instead of making desktop content look so tiny on mobile devices, it breaks the grids into pieces while ensuring visitors can share the same experience across different screens.
In contrast to pixel and fluid grids, the adaptive strategy allows you to create different page layouts for different devices by using CSS’s media query. This method is more specific and effective.
Note that both fluid and adaptive grids allow for a responsive experience. However, fluid grids are often inflexible, while adaptive grids take much work.
On our end, we fully recommend adaptive grids for a scalable website. The adaptive strategy ensures your visitors have a page layout tailored to each of their devices without a break in experience.
Font Size: Pixels Or Percentage?
Font size determines the visibility of your text content. Too small, and visitors will have to strain their eyes. If it’s too big, that wouldn’t go well with your design. So font size needs an absolute balance.
Similar to grids, you can use pixel or percentage for assigning value to your font size. But it’s preferable you use percentage instead.
Let’s say you use 15px for the font size on a desktop screen. When people access your website on a mobile device, a 15px size will make your texts appear really small.
On the flip side, 15% font size means your texts will adjust to 15% the screen of whichever device is used. That’s why your font size should always be assigned in percentage for a flexible scalability.
Eliminate Sticky Headers
The approach of Sticky Headers is more or less a fanciful method. The header bar remains at the top regardless of the scrolling direction.
While this is interesting, perhaps for kid websites, it can easily irritate your page visitors. Mobile screens are small enough and there’s no need to take out more space with sticky headers.
2. Prioritize Dynamic Websites Over Static Pages
Static pages mainly show the same type of content to every viewer. The only time that there is a change is when the source files are modified. A perfect example of this is work portfolio.
On the other hand, dynamic pages show different types of content to different viewers based on their data and demographics.
One crucial difference between static and dynamic websites is that the former has a longer load time. But that’s a loophole easily minimized by employing some page optimization techniques previously listed.
In fact, giant tech websites like Netflix, Amazon, and Hubspot were developed as dynamic pages. While there’s much work that goes into building a dynamic website, the result is often worth it.
By redirecting your expertise into dynamic website development, you can offer your clients or brands something more personalized and evergreen.
3. Secure Your Web Development Project With A VPN
A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, helps secure your web development project by encrypting the data that is sent across the internet. This makes it difficult for malicious users to intercept the data and use it against you.
VPNs or Proxy Services Providers like Infatica.io also protect your IP address, making it harder for hackers to trace your online activity, they can also be used to access geo-restricted content and bypass firewalls that may be blocking some websites.VPNs are also useful when working remotely, by connecting to a VPN, you can guarantee that all of the data sent over Wi-Fi is secure and private.
Using a no log VPN can also help with staying secure and anonymous. This means that the VPN provider doesn’t keep any logs of your activity, which helps to protect your data from potential hackers or other malicious actors.
4. Fix Pagespeed Barriers
Pagespeed is how fast your website loads on click. And according to Portent, the recommended load time (how long it takes for your webpage to load) is 0 to 4 seconds. Beyond this, most website visitors lose the patience to stick around.
Statistics you should know:
- Bounce rate increases by 32% for every 2-seconds increase in load time.
- About 70% of online buyers say Pagespeed affects their purchase decision.
- More than half of 1000+ online shoppers will exit a website if it takes more than 6 seconds to load.
And that’s why If you are going to be building an effective website in 2023, pagespeed should be among your top priorities.
Here are some actionable tips for reducing your load time or increasing pagespeed:
Image Optimization Is A Must
Images are great for adding aesthetic value to your website. However, largely sized images can impact your load time.
You should optimize your images by reducing the file size. But be careful not to degrade the quality. Tools like Affinity and Adobe Photoshop are very effective for resizing your images while keeping the quality.
Additionally, use JPEGs and PNG file types since they retain their quality even after compression.
Let’s say you’re building a website on WordPress. Some free and premium plugins like Imagify make it possible for automatic compression of the uploaded images.
Comments, whitespaces, and tabs are all used to give JS codes some readability. But the problem is most browsers parse these elements as bytes. And that automatically impacts your load time or Pagespeed.
You should avoid using excessive JS comments and other unnecessary elements.
Another great way to make browsers render your site is by using an external JS file. Moreso, different pages can access the file at the same time.
Make Use Of Caching Plugins
If you’re working with CMS platforms like WordPress or Hubspot, you should employ the help of some prebuilt Caching Plugins. One good example of a WordPress caching plugin is WpRocket.
Of course, you can decide to build your own plugin from scratch but that’s time taking and not ideal.
With several thousands of websites launched daily, there’s bound to be a fiercer competition in the coming years. And that’s why you should utilize some of the problem-solving tips listed here for effective web development.
As you’re rolling out a desktop version of your website, make sure there’s a mobile layout in place. Importantly, don’t neglect the factors that affect your Pagespeed.
Lastly, gear your skills toward the development of dynamic pages, as that’s the new trend now. Static websites can also use a space whenever necessary.