If you don’t keep up with the current web design trends your website may no longer attract visitors and/or the search engines. For example I haven’t redesigned one of my static html websites for at least a decade. Even though I still get new clients and some pages still rank well in the search engines I’ve experienced a drop in traffic.
Because the website still displays an old design, is not regularly updated and no new backlinks have been added. My suggestion is not to procrastinate redesigning your website if you’re not converting visitors into paying customers.
7 Web Design Trends To Watch For In 2012
1. Website speed
Visitors lose patience if your website doesn’t load within a few seconds. Search engines also factor in website speed as part of their ranking formula.
- Avoid placing large graphics, flash or video on your web pages
- Reduce the size of your graphics
- Make sure your HTML validates correctly
- Use CSS and XHTML instead of tables
2. HTML5 & CSS3 Standards
Over the past few years I’ve used XHTML and CSS to code websites however there’s been a push for HTML5 & CSS3 as more browsers begin to support it. Some of the benefits include creating drop shadows and rounded corners plus replacing flash which Apple products don’t support.
Begin learning HTML5 & CSS3 by implementing elements of it in your current designs. Only include the elements which are supported by current browsers.
3. Mobile design
Smart Phone users will outnumber computer users when accessing the web over the next few years. For instance I recently bought an iPhone and use it more often than my computer to surf the web because it’s portable. Not only can I quickly search for information but also check my email and update my blog.
Make sure your website and/or blog is mobile friendly. If you’re already using WordPress either install a theme that is mobile friendly or use a plugin. Delaying this process means you’ll be missing out on a lot of visitors who may be trying to access your website with their smart phone.
4. QR Codes (Quick Response codes)
These bar code-like black squares work in a similar way to scanning food items at the grocery store. When the QR code is scanned by a cell phone it instantly provides all the details for that specific business.
Add the QR code to your business card and website.
5. Static to Content Management System (CMS)
Static websites are usually not updated regularly with new content. Visitors and search engines are attracted to websites that constantly offer new content and integrate social media sites into their design. A CMS type site stores the content in a database, separates design from content and can easily be updated.
Convert your static website to a Content Management System such as WordPress or Joomla so you can easily add new content from a backend administration panel.
6. Web Fonts & Typography
With CSS3 and the availability of web font licenses, you can use free and subscription-based font libraries (such as Google Fonts and Typekit) to change the topography of your website.
Add some new web fonts and styling to your website to compliment the branding and styling of your web copy.
One of the main ranking factors is how long visitors stay on your web page. Adding video engages visitors because they can see and hear your voice as well as read your content. This helps get people to know, like and trust you before purchasing your products and/or services.
Create videos that showcase your content and use YouTube to help market your products and services.
Many more web design trends will emerge in 2012 but these 7 will help you stay ahead of your competitors who may remain stuck in the past.
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7 habits of Highly Effective Traffic Generation