Technology is Always Changing
When we started building websites in the early 2000's, the normal website for small business was a set of static pages created individually. Each page was hand coded and any change to menus or logos had to be manually changed on each page. Today, most websites are built dynamically with a combination of programming code and databases. This, combined with advances in standards and Internet browser capabilities, has created a versatility to create some extraordinary websites that are easily changed and updated.
At Hookset Media, we have been involved with this evolution and understand not just how to build a website, but why things are done. We continually update our processes and design features to implement the latest in website technology.
Website Design Norms and Protocols Are Always Changing
Just as the technology of building websites has evolved, so have design norms. Fads have come and gone, such as using Flash to deliver graphics and content or creating a one size layout to fit the most common computer screen.
Today, more than half of the visitors to most websites are using mobile devices such as tablets and cell phones. A website must be able to adapt itself to the device the visitor is using. Graphic sizes, text size and even the flow of the content should be altered to give the website visitor the best possible experience and keep the most important aspect of the web page in the spotlight.
Website Design and Search Engine Optimization Go Hand In Hand
For most websites to be successful, they must correctly convey information to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. While this can be done through proper writing of content to emphasize key terms in a logical flow, many more elements of website design must be done correctly to optimize the website for maximum exposure.
For instance, simply having an attractive website, with well written content that displays poorly on mobile devices will actually be penalized by the search engines. In addition, search engines are scouring sites, looking at how quickly the website loads on devices, looking for quality links, penalizing for broken links or links to malicious websites or content. They are also looking for proper architecture and structure. While the search engine algorithms are secret and complex, they always use an underlying goal. They want sites that produce good information and provide a quality browsing experience for their visitors across all types of devices.
Proper website design with a focus on valuable original content and current design criteria and technology will ensure the best possible foundation for good search engine optimization and results.
Websites Are Always Under Attack
There are a lot of bad players in the World Wide Web. Hackers from all over the world use programs called bots to try to penetrate the programming code and databases that produce websites. Their motivation is as varied as their attacks.
Some are trying to access your email form and server to use it to send spam to large lists so it looks like it is coming from your website. When successful, they will send out spam emails until your website domain and ip address gets black listed as a malicious site. This will have horrific consequences on your sites ability to be seen in search engines and will get any emails accounts you have from your domain sent to junk mail folders or blocked altogether.
Other hackers are trying to take over your website so they can bypass your site and display their site instead. Essentially, making your site invisible and showing a malicious site that will redirect visitors to another site or try to infect their computers with a virus.
A final group of hackers, just want to lock up your site. You will recognize them if you have every gone to a site and a strange page appears that the site has been hijacked. They will try to extort a payment from the website owner to remove their malicious page and restore the original website.
All of these attackers take advantage of something called vulnerabilities. Website generating programs and their interactions with internet browsers are complex. This complexity occasionally creates unintended consequences that allow a sort of back door for unauthorized users to access data that was intended to remain private. We see it all the time in the news when Corporation X has a data breach.
The average small business does not have the resources that a Corporation X does to prevent such attacks, yet hackers pursue them with equal vengeance. This is why having a website built on a secure platform is vital. That will minimize the possibility of successful attacks. It is also very important that the platform is regularly updated to close any door that is discovered by future vulnerabilities.
Design Firms Must Understand All Aspects of Website Design and Security.
As you can see from this article, website design is a lot more than just putting together a flashy design. At Hookset Media, we understand what is needed to create a successful and secure website that not only conveys your message, but can be upgraded and maintained over time to resist malicious attacks and meet future business needs.