There are many factors that contribute to a quality, attractive and effective website. Oftentimes, people assume that if their website looks good, that's good enough. While appearance is certainly important, there is much more to consider when evaluating whether your website is up to par. In today's world, everyone is a "website developer" and we all know someone who can put together an attractive website on a lazy Saturday afternoon. This trend has arisen due to the ease of websites such as Wordpress, Squarespace, Wix, etc, where one can simply select a template, change the branding, content, and images, and have a trendy website up in no time. While there are certainly cases where this is helpful, fast and easy is not always best. To accomplish the simplicity that is found on these types of drag and drop builder websites, many of them are comprised of multiple plugins, external scripts, and outdated coding practices that can render your site slow and undesirable to search engines. These template-based websites oftentimes include potential issues such as:
Slow load times and poor scores on Google's Page Speed Insights test.
A common reason for this is the exorbitant amount of render-blocking scripts in the head of the site (generally a result of the numerous plugins that make the template approach possible)
Bloated code and lack of, or improper use of, HTML5 semantic tags.
Google loves semantic tags (such as <header>, <footer>, <section>, etc). These tags are unnoticed to the website visitor; however, they are the road map that informs search engines on what the page is comprised of and provides the order of significance that lets Google know what to do with each part of the website. A site that utilizes these tags incorrectly will confuse search engines, and can mistakenly place more or less importance on the wrong areas of your website. In addition, HTML5 semantic tags are utilized by screen readers and are a vital part of ensuring your digital accessibility.
Potential for disaster.
Websites utilizing multiple plugins and external resources to render the site correctly have a much greater potential for crashing. These scripts and plugins are often written by different people and are not intended to work hand-in-hand. As a result, updating one plugin can impact other plugins and start a chain reaction of destruction that no one wants.
So what's the answer? At FieldRoutes, we have found that by utilizing a team of experts that specialize in different areas, we are capable of handling the entire website process. This means we are not relying upon a 3rd party plugin that may or may not be a ticking time bomb with the potential to unleash devastation. Instead, our design experts will design your website with best practices in mind. Once the design reaches perfection, the files hit the programming department where the design begins to come to life. Our team of developers writes all code in-house, so we can rest assured knowing that the website will function exactly as we expect and that it is completely adhering to all best practices. When the site is fully functioning and looking awesome, the SEO wizards jump in and start adding content, images and applying the secret sauce that makes Google love it.
The end result is a one-of-a-kind, amazing website that appeals to the consumer, functions properly, passes page speed tests with flying colors, adheres to modern coding practices, and is attractive to Google and other search engines. If you're afraid your website may fall into the "looks good but..." category, contact FieldRoutes today. We can do an audit of your site, make recommendations and let you know how we can help.
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