If there’s one part of your business’s online presence that likely needs an overhaul, it’s the website. Unfortunately, web design is one of the fastest moving and changeable sectors in the world. New templates, plugins, and demands mean that even the best-designed website can be out of date nearly as soon as it’s live.
#1 Avoid free themes
It almost goes without saying, but if your company uses a free theme (or free hosting platform), it’s time to take a step up. Free themes are great for individuals or even fledgling companies that need to get online fast, but that’s about all they’re good for.
Free web themes lag well behind their paid counterparts, and if you’re using a free hosting platform, you’ll probably have an extension like .wordpress or .weebly. Nothing screams amateur more than a secondary domain name. Making the switch to paid hosting with paid templates pays dividends in the long run.
#2 Choose a responsive theme
Mobile traffic accounts for a vast portion of all website visits, yet many sites aren’t optimized to handle being viewed on a phone or tablet. This leads to broken formatting, glitches, and incredibly long loading times.
Your business needs to take advantage of the mobile boom, and the best way to do that is via a responsive theme. These themes know when they’re being viewed on mobile and adapt accordingly to give users a fully optimized experience.
#3 Look at your hosting plan
As mentioned above, free hosting plans are generally a bad idea, but even paid ones should be reassessed periodically. Compare prices from different providers and look at storage space and optional extras like how many email addresses you can attach to the domain.
Security is another area of interest, so look at your hosting platform’s firewall and malware protection tools. Finally, switching hosts is much simpler than it sounds and not the monumental task that it used to be.
#4 Consider outsourcing
Even if you’ve designed the perfect website, upkeep and maintenance remain an issue. Outsourcing your business’s entire IT network to a full-service management company can seem like a big step, but it’s often essential as a company grows. A management company will handle everything from web security to cloud services, keeping your website running smoothly and dealing with any problems as they develop. They’ll even handle cybersecurity. This, of course, gives you more time to concentrate on other areas of the business.
#5 Update your security
In most cases, a website can be made more secure simply by upgrading to HTTPS rather than the traditional HTTP. An SSL certificate also gives users peace of mind and is close to essential if you’re handling sensitive data like credit card details.
It’s also worth removing outdated code and plugins (these can be vulnerable to exploitation) and, of course, ensure that your website is backed up. This means that, if the worst does happen, you’ll always be able to get back online quickly.