Website Development

Website Development

Today, well-made websites face increasing challenges. Various browsers respond differently to the same code. To make it more complicated, different browser versions also have quirks. We’ve got desktop versions, tablets, phones, Mac’s, PC’s and Android devices interpreting code in their own ways. The list of devices is constantly growing, and coding is always evolving.

Yes, creating a website can be simple. But creating a site that incorporates the latest in coding developments and modern behaviors across multiple platforms requires experience, resourcefulness, and a technical creativity that leans more toward software engineering than simple HTML coding.

What are the qualities of a well-developed website?

Clean Code

Lightweight Javascript

Fast Page Speed

Responsive

Mobile Friendly

Custom Website Development

Ecommerce Development

Clean Code

Code is the language behind the scenes of a website. HTML, JavaScript, and PHP are types of code. Just as it wouldn’t be ideal to write America’s road signs in Mandarin Chinese, the code that directs a site’s activities must be clear, concise and easy for browsers and search robots to understand.

Code determines the roles and responsibilities of website elements and determines how they will interact with each other, if at all. It takes a great deal of knowledge to write code efficiently and effectively. When someone puts in the effort and attention to detail necessary to write clean code, it pays off with a smooth-running, efficient website. It also makes future work, revisions and additions much easier.

Lightweight Javascript

JavaScript is a programming language that adds important functionality to web pages. Among other things, JavaScript makes it easy to create an interactive web page with a responsive interface. It processes desired site behaviors and gives life to what would otherwise be a flat presentation.

JavaScript is built into all major web browsers. By running on a visitor’s web browser, it improves the time it takes to download a webpage. This is important because, with all its benefits, JavaScript can also be bulky, slow and hard to read. Well-written JavaScript is quick, nimble and lightweight.

Fast Page Speed

Elements such as clean code and lightweight JavaScript come together along with server performance to support web pages that download quickly. Page speed is not only important for the user experience; search engines also consider it when ranking sites. Page speed also benefits the crawl rate for Googlebot.

As more people use smartphones and tablets to access the internet, improving page speed on mobile devices is more important than ever. A study by DoubleClick (a Google company) found:

53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if they take longer than three seconds to load.
Sites that load within five seconds earn 70% longer average viewing sessions and 35% lower bounce rates.
Mobile sites that load within five seconds earn two times more mobile ad revenue.

Page speed has been a main focus of ours since our beginning. It grew to an obsession in 2015 as we experimented with how to best deliver video instead of static backgrounds on a client’s website. During this project, we developed proprietary processes that we continue to use today to dramatically improve page speed.

Are you looking to test your website’s page speed?

Visit the Google Page Speed Tool for desktop:

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

or visit the mobile friendly version:

https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly

Responsive

Screen sizes are constantly changing, and your website needs to adapt as well. Responsive web development programs a site’s layout to display correctly across the many different screens sizes on mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Text, images and videos must adjust no matter what device, resolution, or orientation is in use.

Google and other search engines consider whether a site’s design is responsive as they rank search results. Google specifically recommends using a responsive design because it:

  • makes it easier for others to share and link to your content with a single URL,
  • helps Google’s algorithms accurately index the page,
  • requires less engineering time to maintain multiple pages for the same content,
  • reduces load time and the potential for common errors, and
  • saves resources when Googlebot crawls your site.

Mobile Friendly

According to a recent report by Hitwise, 58% of search traffic now originates on mobile devices. While this is an average, many verticals are seeing mobile origination at over 70%:


Source: Hitwise

Smartphones and tablets are everywhere, and people rely on them more than ever to get news, shop, compare prices, find local businesses, and make purchases.

72% of smartphone shoppers and 66% of tablet shoppers research an item before buying
70% of smartphone shoppers and 57% of tablet shoppers check and compare prices
60% of smartphone shoppers and 31% of tablet shoppers and use a store locator to find a location to buy

The mobile revolution is well underway. While exciting for users, the new usability features and complexities that mobility presents require designers and programmers to continually refine the user experience.

Custom Website Development

Custom website development is one of the things we do best at Outside Communications. We build website themes from the ground up, customizing solutions along the way. We’ve never recommended out-of-the-box themes or proprietary services such as SquareSpace. Many of our clients have tried these routes before coming to us and know they aren’t ideal. While we support clients who arrive with out-of-the-box sites, we always desire a long-term solution by migrating to a custom site when the time is right.

We build custom websites using the latest technological and design innovations. Custom sites generally enjoy a longer shelf life because their aesthetics and coding are far superior to those of 99% of other websites. The sites we develop are also easier to maintain and supplement down the road. Do you need a new page template? No problem. Do you want to change the look and feel of your site with a new CSS skin? Easy stuff. In the long term, if modernizing is important to your brand, service or product, a custom website is the only way to go.

Today, we build most sites on WordPress. While we’ve built sites for Drupal and other CMS systems, WordPress is easily the most popular choice. As an open source framework, it’s a great place to build custom sites our clients can also easily access.

Ecommerce Development

Ecommerce sites include B2C and B2B companies selling products, services, downloads, subscriptions and more. While not relevant for all our clients, ecommerce has grown dramatically and shows no signs of slowing. Over half (53%) of global internet users made an online purchase in 2016 and, according to eMarketer, we can continue to expect 5% growth through 2020. Ecommerce websites process information about taxes, shipping rates, inventory, products, availability, payment options and more. Many ecommerce sites now also allow for appointment setting and automated follow-up for orders.

Customers need to perform many functions on ecommerce sites such as creating orders, searching inventory, checking order status, evaluating shipping options, paying by credit card, PayPal or other methods, and successfully enjoying promotions and discounts. And, of course, they want to do it all quickly and reliably while enjoying maximum security.

We are experienced with ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify. While these are not the only options, they are commonly used solutions that offer many customization options.

Here at Outside Communications, we get pretty excited about the nuts and bolts of website development. It’s technical, cutting-edge, limitless and crucial to the success of our clients. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you and help you envision your next website development project.

Call or drop us a note: info@outsidecommunications.com