This is a guest post by Chloe Henderson.
Website and internet technology are constantly evolving into more efficient and more robust platforms. It is important to incorporate new technologies in order to maintain a competitive and marketable internet presence. Redesigning a website should take a few basic factors into account: the platform used, the user experience for visitors, and website host.
There are various platforms that may be used to build a website and programming languages that may be used for the new design. These languages include PHP, static HTML, and content management systems that use a combination of PHP, CSS, Scripting Languages, and HTML to build a new site.
Static HTML websites were the standard for many years in site design. Static HTML requires each page to be built separately, and then get linked together. Changes made to the layout or graphics of a static HTML site must often be repeated on each page, which creates more work and more room for error when updating a website. If a website owner in considering updating a static HTML site, it may be a good time to consider updating the code to dynamic PHP or a content management system.
Dynamic PHP can incorporate a variety of changing elements into a website to maximize the user’s experience and increase functionality. Shopping carts, location based information, and interactivity are just a few of the excellent features a PHP based site can deliver. PHP based sites have risen in popularity over the last 5 years and are now considered the standard in website design.
One simple and effective way to incorporate a robust PHP system into a new site design is to utilize content management systems. Content management systems, commonly known as a CMS, is a pre-built website coding system that incorporates PHP functionality and an administration interface to make changes and updates to a site. Visit the many sites of each of these content management systems to explore the features they offer.
Most Content Management Systems are open source software, meaning they are completely free to install and use on any hosting server. They may also be used for both personal and commercial applications, making them a good choice for any type of website. The most popular Content Management Systems available are: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. If a content management system is chosen for the redesign, it will be necessary to hire a skilled designer to theme the website for a professional appearance that matches existing business marketing efforts.
The experience for site visitors is essential for success. A website redesign should seek to capitalize on what users liked from the previous site design, plus add new features to improve their experience.
A good place to start to gather data on about user experience is to analyze data from a previous site design. Most websites have some type of analytics or reporting tools installed that provide essential information about what pages users visited, what pages ended up in a conversion, and what content was not seen by visitors. It is relatively safe to assume content that received little traffic and no conversions was not an effective part of the site design.
Many site owners also seek out comments from customers and other professionals during the early stages of a site redesign. It is not uncommon to send out surveys to elicit responses about what visitors liked and did not like about the previous site design. Once this information is gathered, it can be used to drive the changes and updates that are to be made on the new site.
Increased functionality is important to build into a site redesign. If a redesign is using a content management system, there are a variety of plug-ins and modules that will easily and quickly add functionality to a site. This may include items such as contact forms, shopping carts, surveys, polls, and social media integration. Improving the functionality of a site will enhance the user experience and improve traffic over the long run.
Another key aspect of the user experience for a site is the ability to find a website. If a previous site design is already receiving search engine traffic, the site redesign must be focused on maintaining rankings in search engines. Maintaining search rankings during a site redesign should focus on 3 key elements: Content, Page Structures, and Link Structure. A new site should mimic these key elements to maintain current rankings.
Having a trusted website host is critical for success. A website hosting company should minimize downtime and provide a high level of customer service and technical support. A reliable website host provides enough server space to house the files the website needs and enough bandwidth for users to be able to effectively utilize the site. Bandwidth will depend on the size of files and how many visitors are received. Consult a designer to get an idea of how large the files are, and what the bandwidth requirements may be.
One of the effective hosting to choose is ASP hosting. This means the hosting company uses servers that run on the ASP.net platform from Microsoft. This allows a website to use server-side scripting (such and PHP) to dynamically present information to visitors. ASP hosting also allows websites to use MySQL databases to store and retrieve essential information for visitors, an essential service for any site.
Chloe Henderson is 23 year old media practitioner who engages herself in the world of social networking, blogging, gadgets and reading. She is also doing some free-lance writing on several web hosting companies, and is currently with webhostgear.com. She loves to write stuffs about anything that would interest her,and sharing it to the world wide web.