I was recently asked for feedback on a business website. They had their website redesigned and were preparing to launch it. This put me in an awkward position:
- I do website development
- I know the business and owner
- I know the agency that developed their new site
So, I chose not to respond. But I wish I had. There were issues with the new site:
- The site was not responsive (not easily viewable on tablets and smartphones)
- The site did not play well with Internet Explorer
- The slides were “dated” meaning specific to launch and would need to be updated immediately after launch
So my thoughts? I am not sure why anyone would develop a business website today that is not responsive and easily viewable from a tablet and/or smartphone. The statistics are staggering. Smartphones are used by 58% of the American public and tablet users are expected to more than double from 51 million to 106 million in 2013. Why would you not want to ensure that your website is easily navigated on this technology? And why would your web developer do this? Oh, well that one’s easy – hire them to redo your site to be responsive!
If you are a business that frequently attends conferences, trade shows or other events where most people would access your website on a smartphone or tablet first before they even get to a laptop or desktop, you may have already lost their interest. Especially if your business is about technology! And if you are a business where most of your customers use Internet Explorer as their browser of choice (yes, I know the statistics show that Internet Explorer is losing users), you may have also lost customer interest.
Businesses should definitely be considering redoing their websites, but they should also have a checklist ready:
- Responsive website
- Works in all browsers, including Internet Explorer (IE7+)
- Offers links to social media
- Includes a Call To Action on home page
While every business has different requirements, the above issues are typically common for all businesses.