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Four Website Upgrades You Need for 2022

Getting upgrades for your website is a no-brainer, and you need to keep up with the latest trends in the industry, as there are changes every year, for example, in search engine algorithms. Upgrading your website can be in different categories, such as design and functionality. They are the key pillars of your website’s existence, as the design makes it presentable so you can show it off to your clients. Functionality represents the usability of your website, for example, navigation, payment system, or shopping cart.  You need website upgrades for 2022, and as a web design agency in Chicago, we recommend the following upgrades:

Applying the upgrades will allow you to achieve your website ROI, and you can customize it further, for example, by adding the Sage WordPress theme. The following gives the four website upgrades you need for 2022.

Performance upgrades

You need to upgrade your website to boost performance through various such as:

  • Reducing HTTP requests
  • Combining and minifying files
  • Using asynchronous loading
  • Deferring large files
  • Minimizing time to the first byte

Reducing HTTP requests

When a website is loading, elements such as scripts, stylesheets, and images need to be downloaded to your website, representing a considerable load time on your website. The HTTP requests increase with the number of components that your website needs to load. Users are generally impatient, and you need to ensure that your website loads fast by removing the unnecessary elements that might take a lot of time to launch. You can now view your website’s HTTP requests right from your browser, for example, if you use Google Chrome, Safari, Opera Mini, or Brave. They provide you with the information regarding HTTP requests, and you can then make the necessary changes on your side, and it will serve as a helpful website upgrade for 2022.

Combining and minimizing files

Files are also critical when your website loads on a browser. Having high-quality yet small files allows your website to perform at a high level. One way of doing it is to combine the files, reducing the overall size: hence they can load faster on your website. It is minifying your files to ensure that the load time decreases, and it is essential if you use a template builder on your website. They have complicated code, and they can make it messy on the compiler. You can minify further by reducing code, removing unnecessary whitespaces and formatting. Formatting aspects include indentation, line breaks, and extra spaces. You can also combine JavaScript and CSS files to allow faster loading time.

Using asynchronous loading

Asynchronous loading deals with how your pages display and operate on a user’s browser. An alternative is synchronous loading, but asynchronous is the better of the two. Synchronous loading leads to all the site’s components appearing at once, while they will be simultaneous in asynchronous loading. Asynchronous loading allows for faster speeds as it does not load all the features at once but in the order in which they appear. JavaScript files may take a considerable load time, and asynchronous loading optimizes the process by downloading other components sequentially.

Deferring large files

Large files can lead to slow loading of your website, and you need to ensure that they load after all the other components or on-demand. There are plugins useful for deferring large files, for example, WP Rocket Plugin on WordPress. Deferring large files on your website allows for higher performance, as the necessary components load faster. You can provide on-click files that users can access on-demand instead of having them on your website, for example, using external links. It ensures that your website is not clogged by unnecessary requests that hinder performance as they all need to load.

Minimizing time to the first byte

Minimizing time to the first byte refers to the period that your website starts to load and it is one of the critical website upgrades for 2022. Browsers receive data, and they have to wait until your website starts releasing bytes, and you need to have a latency of about 200ms to ensure fast release. It depends on the performance of your server, and it is a process including:

  •         Looking up the DNS
  •         Processing in the server
  •         Response from the server

Therefore, it can take a lot of time before your whole website’s page can load, as the above processes need to be completed. You have a chance to regulate your server response using some of the server tools, for example, on your browser.

SEO upgrades

Site speed and SEO

Site speed and SEO go hand in hand as a fast website improves your rankings and the likelihood of more clicks. Speed is critical to enhancing the demand for your website, and there are various components that you need to consider, includin:

  •         Removing useless plugins
  •         Reducing the code intensity
  •         Using scaled images
  •         Compressing images and other large files
  •         Optimizing HTML, Javascript, and CSS files
  •         Improving server response time

Mobile-first Strategy

You need to target mobile phones as your strategy. Current search engine algorithms focus on mobile phones, such as Google, prioritizing websites with a mobile-first approach. You should not forget the desktop version either, but make sure to have an optimized website to support mobile browsing. It is an essential upgrade as 2022 approaches, and you will realize results sooner than you can imagine. For example, if you have an e-commerce website, you should have a mobile-first strategy to achieve a good indexing rank as mobile users are the most online. You can do the following:

  •         Minimize the length of content, for example, paragraphs
  •         Having optimized images for mobile devices
  •         Have an SSL certificate
  •         Test your website to check whether it achieves a mobile-first level

Keywords

Having one keyword is not enough, and you need to have a couple for your website. Search engines’ algorithms are constantly evolving, and you should not stick with one keyword. You should consider that search engines use automated tools such as RankBrain to match the users’ questions to the keywords that you use on your website. Therefore, you need to select them appropriately to ensure that they match what users can search online. There is no specific structure or method in finding keywords, but research and understanding your target users.

Design Updates

2022 is fast approaching, and you need to revamp your website to keep up with the latest market trends for example:

  •         Local SEO
  •         Speed
  •         Interactivity
  •         Dynamism

Local SEO

Local SEO is becoming one of the key trends in 2021, and in 2022, it will develop even further. Users now search for content that best relates to their location, like schools, homes, and other facilities. For example, a user can search for a web design agency near them. Therefore, the SEO algorithm will shift to local keywords, and you should optimize your keywords and content appropriately.

Speed

Having a fast website is a huge advantage, as you will be the users’ favorite. No user wants a slow website, and they can easily opt for others if yours is inefficient. Research shows that your website should only take a maximum of 24 seconds to load, according to studies on user behavior. With a fast website, you stand a chance for a higher conversion rate.

Interactivity

Interactive content includes aspects such as ratings, calculators, or quizzes. You should have tools that allow for more interactivity on your website, and they should be valuable, relevant, and tasteful to the users. It is now becoming a popular trend to have interactive content, and depending on what you host on your website, there are no fixed tools that you should incorporate.

Dynamism

Dynamic scrolling is a must-have on your website. However, it can be not easy in some cases, for example, if you have many content and categories. Dynamic scrolling allows you to feature links to your content. Users can easily choose what they want with less hustle, unlike moving through unnecessary information before they reach what they want.

Security Updates

As technology evolves, cybersecurity threats have never been rampant as it is now. They include SQL injection attacks, cloud services breaches, and ransomware attacks, to name a few. You need to update your security policies to get the best out of your website to avoid usability issues. They include:

  •         Preventing code files access
  •         Updating file permissions
  •         Encryption and password hardening

Usually, one can access some code parts on their browser. Now you need to limit or prevent access entirely as it can be a source of exploitation from cyber attackers. You also need to restrict access to sensitive site files that compromise the website’s usability and performance. Your website should utilize encryption and provide password hardening protocols to users. Additionally, you should constantly update your plugins and modules to ensure you have the latest security upgrades.

Conclusion

Upgrading your website is a sign of focus, forward-thinking, and having a healthy operation. Customers should be confident in the usability of your website as you apply the latest trends in design, security, performance, and SEO. SEO is more about structuring your content and keywords while performance, security, and design are upgrades to ensure that your website stays in touch with the latest technologies. Performance is a crucial aspect as users do not want to use a slow website, and you should have the best design features for more interaction with your content. Having an updated website and utilizing a mobile-first strategy improves your chances of achieving higher search ranks.

Brian Djordjevic
About The Author

Brian Dordevic

Brian is Marketing Strategic Planner with a passion for all things digital. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or schedule a consultation call with him.

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