If you’ve been using the Internet for more than 10 years, you can remember those cool little movie clips or interactive portions of websites that used Flash. Well, since that time, the Internet has come a long way, and due to modern programming languages, Flash is no longer necessary. Not only is it no longer necessary, it is being killed off by all modern browsers with Google leading the way with their Chrome Browser.
Adobe (the company that owns Flash) – has announced that even they are going to stop supporting it in 2020. What does this mean for you as a person or a business who has a website? Well, as time goes on between now and then, you will see that Flash elements on a website are not working anymore. Does this mean no more fancy movie clips and no more interaction between clients and your website? No, it’s actually quite the contrary.
Nowadays, how many businesses don’t have some form of website? Even small businesses know the importance of having an online presence so people can find them. However, many of those websites are years behind the curve in how they were built and even in the information that they contain. While having any online presence is certainly better than having none, having a modern website that follows current industry standards will do significantly more for you and your business than will a website that’s a couple of years old.
It wasn’t too long ago that your website only required you to think about how it would display on desktop computers. In today’s world, if you aren’t thinking about mobile and tablet devices, as well, you are likely ignoring the majority of your visitors’ preferred method of interacting with your web content. That’s because as many as 60% of all internet searches now take place on mobile devices.
So, now is the time to start thinking about your website from a mobile-first view rather than the desktop-first mentality of yesterday. Simply put, thinking mobile-first means placing the emphasis on user experience on mobile devices, rather than having it be an afterthought to the desktop design.
With the ever-growing rate of mobile sites, it has become increasingly important to also improve the usability of the site. One of the large factors in this is that of page loading speed being as quick as possible, to not slow users down as they use your website. Along with this, Google and other search engines have realized the importance of this, and as such, they emphasize and prioritize sites that are well optimized for this in their search results. This is because they recognize the reality of how users interact with your site, and the experience they have if it loads slowly. In fact, Google has found that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
From our computers to our phones, and even to custom computer devices, apps are used everywhere as a part of our daily lives. Whether it be for entertainment, convenience, or for a work-related need, these applications we use make what we do simpler and more efficient. If talk of apps and what all the thought-process that goes into them is too much stress and hard to understand, contact us now and we can help you to better understand your options, otherwise, read on…
Apps are most recognized today through their use on mobile devices, but that is truly just a name for something that has been used long before on desktop computers as well. Fast forward to today, and while mobile phones are taking off in the amount of usage and popularity, desktops still remain as a steady tool, especially among the working world. The desktop app is not dead, in fact, there have been, in recent years, new technologies intended at making applications made for the computer easier and more streamlined to create, which also allows for greater innovations and faster build times. What is this method? In conjunction with using Node.js and Electron, we can help to deliver a fully custom app, with all the features you could expect. This technology builds on top of a variation of chrome, so everything that you love and gain out of Chrome’s usage, can also then be applied to that app. This would include its speed, responsiveness, up-to-date HTML/CSS, and more. We can even help to set up automated updates to your application to ensure users are always on the newest version of your great application tools.
A mobile-first mindset is a must when developing websites in today’s world. With the majority of mobile searches now taking place on mobile devices, it only benefits you to cater to your customers’ preferred way of accessing your website.
Search engines have already adapted to the change by promoting things like Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and Google is even offering a Mobile Sites certification for developers to earn recognition as an expert in mobile site optimization.
Sometimes the most subtle design decisions can vastly improve or hurt the overall user experience in the world of web design. In a field constantly subject to new visual design trends, user expectations, and form factor changes, it can be tough to keep up with the most effective solutions for seemingly simple pieces of functionality like a website’s navigation menu. Some tried and true methods tend to stick around, but that doesn’t mean that they’re always the best for your current users.
On mobile devices, especially, the requirements are constantly evolving. Navigations need to look great and work well on a 10” tablet, a 6” “phablet”, or a 4” phone. Let’s take a look at some reliable navigation options that focus on ease of use while still complementing your website design across a multitude of mobile devices.
A very popular option right now is what’s known as the hamburger menu, referred to as such due to the icon with three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other. This icon has become synonymous with mobile navigations and is sometimes utilized on full desktop sites. It provides an easy way to access a site’s menu without obstructing the design in a largely universally recognized way. Hamburger menus have been in use for several years now but have exploded in popularity recently with the advent of responsive websites.
By now, if you’ve ever spent any time searching for solutions to update content on your website, you are sure to have come across WordPress. WordPress is one of the largest content management systems (CMS) out there, and it is also completely Open Source, which means that it’s 100% free to use!
Those features are nice, but you want to know how it can benefit your company. With a new setup, it is very clean, simple, and easy to use. The interface is streamlined to get you to what you need in as few steps as possible, and the organization of sections is clear as well. WordPress is primarily a blogging tool, which gives it a high focus on content, the ability to edit that content, and control over how that content is displayed, which is one of the main reasons many companies choose to move to a WordPress-based system. Past the blogging side though, WordPress offers you the ability to create pages with additional content, as well as control over the navigation of the site, so you can really customize which pages show up where, and under what main sections. This takes it away from being just a blog, but lets your WordPress site become a website for whatever solution you need.
For those who look at this and wonder, what a Progressive Web App (PWA) is, here is the definition from Google:
Progressive Web Apps are experiences that combine the best of the web and the best of apps. They are useful to users from the very first visit in a browser tab, no install required. As the user progressively builds a relationship with the App over time, it becomes more and more powerful. It loads quickly, even on flaky networks, sends relevant push notifications, has an icon on the home screen and loads as top-level, full screen experience.
Before we look at this any further, let quick go over the layer of technology behind this called a “Service Worker” that works at the network level. Unlike traditional web code, a service worker will continue to run even when you are no longer on the website, waiting for either a command from your phone/computer, or a command from your network connection. This command will then trigger the service worker to run the relevant feature that is enabled on that Progressive Web App.
With more and more website visits coming from mobile devices, speed becomes a vital piece of your website’s efficiency, even more so than with a desktop computer. Google has recognized this need for speed as mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches, and mobile usage continues to grow at a rapid rate.
That’s why popularity is building for a new web technology known as Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP HTML. Google announced the new initiative back in early October and has championed it heavily as we close out 2015 and head into 2016.
Google has recognized this fact as mobile searches surpassed desktop searches, and mobile usage continues to grow at a rapid rate. With more and more visits coming from mobile devices, speed becomes a vital piece of your website even more so than with a desktop computer.
The growing use of mobile devices led Google to implement changes to their algorithm on April 21st, 2015 to use mobile-friendliness criteria as a ranking signal, and those who’ve made their website a positive experience for mobile visitors were awarded a “mobile-friendly” label in the search results. Bing followed shortly afterwards with their own “mobile-friendly” label, and this focus on mobile for both major search engines remains true today.