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Want a winning website in 2020? Just say no to these outdated website features

The past decade has brought about some of the greatest changes in technology. From the rise of streaming services and improved social media algorithms to ‘smart everything’ and artificial intelligence, 2010 is barely recognizable by today’s technology standards. Yet, sometimes we still run across websites that make us feel like we’ve gone way back in time. Back to a time when Tom was your MySpace friend, dialup internet was acceptable, and spending 12 hours downloading a free music album was just part of the Napster experience. 

Get out of 2002 and into 2020

If you’re ready to bring your website into 2020, there are some things you need to keep in mind. We’ve prepared a list of ‘Just Say No’ tips outlining what not to do to your website. In our next blog, we’ll cover a list of ‘Website Must-haves.’ Follow these guidelines and your website will help take you to new and exciting places.

Just Say No 

If you are working with a web team that recommends any of the following for your site, find another team! These tactics are outdated and will often do more harm than good to your website.

  1. Adobe Flash – Considering Adobe is discontinuing support for Flash by the end of this year, you should definitely walk away from this soon-to-be-obsolete technology.
  2. Videos on your server – Videos on your site are a must, but please don’t host them on your server. Leverage a video hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo to embed links to the video content. This allows your site page to load faster, improving user experience (UX). 
  3. Automated music and videos – Have you ever been on a conference call and you’re multitasking, of course, and you’re all the sudden blasted with music? Does a customer video start without warning? One surefire way to disrupt the UX is to jar the user with an unanticipated song or video. Even worse are players located below the fold where a user must hunt to find the mute or pause button.
  4. Image sliders or carousels – This is more of a ‘proceed with caution.’ Ask 100 web designers, and you’ll get mixed feelings about sliders. It’s a love-hate relationship, so be sure to consider your motivation for using sliders – “Because I think they are cool” is not a reason! Read more about the slider debate here.
  5. Limit redirects – Redirects used throughout a website are useful, but they can also slow down how the site loads. That’s because it can take the server some time to find and retrieve the original document, where it’s redirected from. Redirects can annoy site visitors and increase your bounce rate. 

Making the leap 

If your current website features some of these ‘hard no’ elements right now, not all is lost. Check out the Wayback Machine to see how far we’ve all come in terms of website standards. The site archives popular websites from 1990s and 2000s. You can type in URLs of major brands and see snapshots of the site from ‘back in the day’ (I’m looking at you Food Network of 1998!). Whew, so crazy what worked back then. 

If you want help pairing the great things you did ‘back in the day’ with what works for websites in the 2020s, talk to Cave Digital! We blend the best of traditional website best practices with modern techniques for responsive, mobile-first sites that are functional and innovative. Onward! 

 

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