Do you believe it’s 2010? Time really flies when you’re busy building a business. Seriously, it seems like just yesterday, we were celebrating the new millennium. If you haven’t updated your website design in the past several years, it’s probably time to take a look at the design to see if you should incorporate 2010 techniques and strategies into the design.
Just for fun I took a visit to the Wayback Machine to see how my business website has morphed over the past 10 years. Here are 3 samplings–the first from 2001, the second from 2005 and the latest version from 2009.
Notice the excess of white space on the 2001 version. That’s because back in 2001 the most commonly used screen resolution was 800 x 600. Now the most common size is above 1024 x 768 so on a modern monitor the 2001 version looks like a postage stamp. The 2005 version took up a little more screen space and incorporated a animated Flash header. The 2009 version incorporates social network links and RSS feeds from relevant blogs. It also is built using a custom WordPress design.
What’s changed in the last 10 years? Specifically, what’s changed that affects the online marketer and website design? Here are a few things that are now commonplace now, which 10 years ago were a rarity online (if around at all) :
- Higher resolution monitors. It’s obvious viewing the samples above how screen resolution has changed over the last 10 years. A well-designed site will make good use of screen space.
- Online video: Expanded broadband usage along with more personal computing power has allowed the usage of online video on websites to become the norm when only 10 years ago it would have been painfully slow on the majority of home computer systems. In addition the cost and quality of digital video cameras in the past few years has made video far less cost prohibitive for savvy online marketers. And of course YouTube might have had an effect too.
- Social networks: Forums and discussion boards have been around since the internet began, but the widespread popularity of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and others as well as the use of blogging have changed how marketers communicate and network in the last few years. The savvy business person is incorporating social networks into their marketing strategy and is expanding their network worldwide.
- Smartphones: As more people access the web via their smartphone, the savvy business person will make their web presence more usable on the smartphone screen and will make sure they show up in Smartphone search results by getting listed in directories such as Google Local.
- Google power: Is there anything Google can’t do now? Google’s been around for at least ten years, but they continue to develop tools for webmasters and site owners that are essential for managing and monitoring your website strategies. Not just Google Search, but Google Local, Google Analytics, Google Checkout, IGoogle — these are just a few of the Google tools I use on a regular basis and there’s many more. Go to Google and search webmaster tools and see what they have to offer.
If you’re contemplating how to freshen your website for 2010, take a good look at the design and make sure the look is not dated. Consider adding video. Expand your online network through the social networking sites and make your presence there known on your website. Consider how your website looks on a smartphone and if your’re found when someone searches for your type of business on their smartphone. And finally, check out the Google tools and suggestions for managing your website.