eightbittech The Internet

What to improve on your website in 2019.

It’s a brand new year, with new opportunities, new thinking, new everything! But we’re still stuck in the same old 2018, oh my god look at that website rut. I’ve ticked off a few things that as a website owner, you should be thinking about ditching this year if you still use them.

Remove Adobe Flash elements from your content, immediately.

Oh dear, where have you been?! Flash, created by Adobe, has been slowly kicked off browsers for years now and it’s not been widely used for a while (even in 2018, my advice was to get rid of it). There are so many security flaws with this thing, that if you are still using it, then you need to get shot of it as soon as possible.

Everything you could do with Flash is now available in HTML and CSS, from natively running videos to animation and gaming (Google is very good at showing this off)

Think about your usability: get rid of full page models or pop ups.

I get it, GDPR is important and you really want people to subscribe to your newsletter. But you don’t need to intrude into everyone’s browsing session to get consent, or make them sign up to your newsletter. I’ve found that the more open and honest you are about what you want, then the more likely you are to get people to sign up.

The most convertable place I’ve put a sign up box is on the bottom of one of my employers website and it worked really well. It was at the end of the page, so as soon as someone had finished reading what they wanted, they could sign up for more details.

Advertising is good, but better when it’s non-intrusive.

I visited so many news websites last year where it seemed like advertisers were held in a higher regard to the visitors. The websites were sluggish and the adverts stopped you viewing content, which is never a good move.

Another annoying advertising trend that doesn’t seem to want to go away is auto playing videos, especially annoying on a mobile which uses up data and makes the website lag.

Sometimes though adverts are unavoidable and if you do need them to help keep your website running, then here are my recommendations:

Vet them and make sure they fit your website, make sure they don’t stop the flow of content, and don’t let them hinder the performance of your website.

Here I would recommend reading the new standards from the Coalition for Better Ads, an excellent initiative from the key Silicon Valley players and other industry partners.

Image carousels are so last year – highlighted content is in.

Image carousels were great and everyone had them. Posts, latest news, events, all sorts of things. But they got old incredibly quickly, I’ve already written about these and why they’re not needed anymore so I am not sure I need to go into that any further.

There are now much better ways to highlight your important content, without running a javascript that is a large distraction to your viewers.

This is a small selection of things, but more can be done.

This small selection of updates are easy fixes to make your website more user friendly in the new year, but there are many outdated practices that people still use on their website to this day.

If you are wondering what you should change, then my advice would be to use your own website as a visitor and see what annoys you. Once you understand that you can fix the problems.

You are more likely to convert interested visitors if your website is distraction free.