In April 2015, Google — the 400-pound gorilla of the search world — began penalizing sites that are not "responsive,"or in other words, designed to appear properly across multiple devices. But building a responsive site is just the start, says David A. Blacker, managing principal at website design firm Venerate Media Group.
Platform or plugin updates can cause usability issues. Twenty-five percent of all websites are now built on WordPress"themes," or templates.1 Browser, theme or operating system updates may affect how a site appears or performs. Do these three checks regularly:
Test your website on different devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers with large monitors. Responsive design should adapt easily to each format, Blacker says. If navigation buttons are too small or if the layout doesn't look quite right on a large browser, adjust your design.
If your site has an e-commerce function, periodically test it to ensure that it's loading quickly and functioning properly. If your checkout is slow, difficult to use, or otherwise not operating well, you could be losing at the last minute.
Test your site regularly to spot any problems before they affect your traffic and sales. "People don't really care how pretty your website is if it doesn't load in less than three seconds," Blacker says.
For more Small Tips for Small Business, check out the Optimum Business Resource Center.
1"WordPress Powers 25 percent of All Websites," W3Techs, November 2015
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