Any business that wants to start the new year right needs to make sure they have the best possible online presence. The year 2018 could be the year that you finally break away from competitors with the best products, services, and customer experience. Or, 2018 could be the year when they break away from you because you failed to keep up. January is the perfect time to give your company website an audit. Check web hosting service, Load speed, look and feel, and continue to go over every aspect with a fine-tooth comb to locate problems and hidden bugs.
Find effective solutions across the board and start the new year with a better site.
Here Are Important Items For Review:
- Improved web hosting with new hosting services
- The quality of content offered to these consumers
- The performance of the site on multiple levels
- the overall customer experience
- wider-reaching connections to existing consumers
- An ongoing plan of action for 2018
Within these categories are many important factors that could make or break your website for the year ahead. Cover each element, in turn, run tests and study Google analytics and keep track of the results. One of the best places to start is with better web hosting.
Check Web Hosting Services For A Better Online Experience
There is no online experience without a web host. Therefore, this should be your first consideration with your 2018 audit. Take a moment to evaluate your experience with your current provider.
- Were there technical issues you couldn’t resolve?
- Did the server fail far too often?
- Did it all cost a lot more than expected?
If so, it might be time to look at a new host for 2018. This means one that can provide a consistent service, efficient data transfer, and technical support at the right price.
Which Is The Best Web Hosting Approach For Your Website?
There are different ways to work here. It all depends on your budget.
Many website owners immediately turn to dedicated web hosting. That is where you are the only person on a single server. There are benefits here, but it isn’t always the best option. It is only really necessary for those with high demands. It also comes at a high price.
Those looking to tighten the purse strings may prefer to switch to shared web hosting. This is much more affordable. However, there are downsides to the amount of traffic. If a neighbor becomes popular, it could have a detrimental impact on the performance of your site.
The middle ground is VPS hosting. Fewer sites are sharing the space, so less risk of performance issues, and a fair cost.
Some Of The Best Companies To Turn To For Web Hosting Services In 2018
HostGator is a popular option for newcomers, growing businesses, and a big name. The affordable $2.78/month rate and shared hosting options appeal to those that need to find a smart, cost-effective solution. Then there is the VPS option with 24/7 customer support and great capacity. Finally, big names like Dell and At&T benefit from dedicated options with 99.9% uptime. There is something here for everyone.
1and1.com immediately spring to mind for many website owners because of their price structure and broad scope. $7.99/month might be more expensive than HostGator, but you get a lot for the price. This package means 100 GB storage, 25 databases, 500 email accounts, 24/7 support and more. This global company successfully help companies across ten countries, with fast, reliable services.
Then there is InterServer. This long-running New Jersey company is so respected and popular; it can offer some of the lowest rates around. Users get unlimited storage for up to 20 different websites, as well as multiple language servers and simple interfaces. This all comes at a price of $5/month – undercutting 1and1.com nicely.
WP Neuron is a different approach to web hosting that might suit up and coming companies. This is a premium WordPress system with access to unlimited storage, traffic, and data transfer. There are plenty of neat extras here, like the anti-malware scanner, high speed, and other plug-ins. This is all available for $3.75/month.
Those start-ups in need of speed and low-cost solutions could try Limitless Hosting instead. This option specializes in VPS and game servers, with impressive security and uptime. The beauty of this approach is the cost. Users can receive 10GB disc space, 1Gbps network speed, and 100GB bandwidth for just $0.50/month.
Update Content Offering Something More Attention Grabbing
Once the web hosting is secure, you can consider other aspects of the site.
First of all, consider the worth and quality of this content.
- What do visitors get out of the content and text on the website?
- Does every page provide up-to-date, interesting information for users?
- Will this information then help those users and convert traffic into sales or solve a problem?
There are probably a few pages with great, timeless content that helps website users. Hopefully, the landing page is one of those. However, there will also be other pages across the site with less appeal. Some will be those thrown-together to meet a deadline. Others will be out of date. If there is no clear message, takeaway tip or call-to-action, it has little worth.
Get Fresh New Content For A New Year
If the last blog entry was from 6 months ago, it is time for an update. A refreshed homepage could reinforce current company ideas and the ethos. New blog pages can bring in the new year with product announcements, related tips or other content of interest.
There are two approaches here. You could write some new pages yourself, for a personal approach to this website revamp. Or, you could employ content writers to rework old pages with more details, research, and new ideas.
Analyze The Performance Of The Website
The performance of the site will improve with better web hosting, but there are other considerations. Take the time to keep on top of software bugs, malfunctions, and updates across the site. Where possible, speed up slow systems for faster processing times and a more efficient approach.
This will help keep consumers coming back to your checkout or booking forms. Keep everything running smoothly with all the right people monitoring the right elements of the site.
Do Employees Have The Correct Access?
This leads to the issue of access. All those responsible for web content, maintenance, and other tasks need fast, and the correct level of access. This means a simple access system with usernames and passwords. Online cyber security issues mean that you need to have tight controls in place.
Have a reboot for the new year. Give all existing users a new password to start fresh and make sure everyone has the right access. This also means limiting or removing access from old employees that might still have the codes.
Review The User Experience To Help Customers
This idea of good performance leads to the next factor of the customer experience. The first question to ask here is whether the site easy to use.
- When was the last time you went in as a consumer? The readability of the content is a good starting point.
- Is it clear and accessible? Then there is site navigation.
- Can users find the important areas like the checkout, testimonials, FAQs and other elements?
It is also important to check for broken links. The readability and navigability of the site mean nothing if the links don’t work.
Is Your Website Able To Put The User In Control?
There is a fine balance to achieve here. A great website for a 2018 audience must be accessible and navigable to all users. This means technophobic users, mobile users and those with disabilities. It has to appeal to everyone.
At the same time, it is important that users feel that they have some sense of control. For example, hotels that offer greater options on their booking forms could impress users further. Regular travelers want more than a basic form where they can check the right date and tick a box for an appropriate room. What about personalized needs – like disabled access, late check out or links to related services?
Is Your Website User-Friendly On All Platforms?
This is an important consideration. Perhaps you ran a test at the start of 2017 on user navigation via a desktop computer. It is important to try this again to make sure everything still works as planned. However, mobile sites and compatibility are crucial.
Many service providers, retailers, and hotels find that many interactions come through mobile tech and apps.
- Do you even have an app?
- Is the app compatible and up to date?
- Mobile-friendly site?
It also helps to start testing out the site on as many different platforms as possible. This means Windows tablets, iPhones, Android devices and any other tech that comes to mind. A great way to start is within the office. Can all employees use the site, with ease, via their device? If not, there is a problem. They know the site and its inner workings, but still, struggle. This means that consumers yet to find your site have no hope.
Connect With Potential Consumers And Existing Users
The best websites also offer ways of connecting with consumers outside of the site. It is all about reaching further in that consumer relationship for improved gains. Once they have enjoyed a stay in your hotel or used one of your products, can you maintain contact? Membership schemes and email programs keep customers in the know. They provide exclusive information and deals to take advantage of. A new, well-maintained email system could increase repeat visits in the coming year.
Create A Social Media Presence Online
The new year is the ideal time to relaunch a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account to connect with consumers. Make sure to keep them interesting and current, with clears links on your website. Make 2018 be the perfect time to sign up for the platforms you had overlooked. Instagram accounts help all kinds of companies sell products, services, and destinations. Invite people to pin your products and blog pages on Pinterest.
Start 2018 With A Plan For The Rest Of The Year
The start of 2018 means a great chance to improve your website in some different ways. This analysis could make a massive difference in your online presence, connect with customers and final results. However, the best results require more effort than this annual audit. Some of these solutions are not overnight fixes. Better web hosting is starting, but not the end.
Once you identify ways to improve connections to consumers, maintain them. Keep up to date with social media and emails all year round. If you have a problem with the out-of-date content, don’t let it happen again. Make a point of adding new blog content and other informational pieces on a regular basis.
From there, you can work on your website analysis over the year. Paying attention to stats and progress across the year is important. Learn from failures and successes to apply them to a plan for 2019. There should be some analytics data in place already. This can help you to plan the route for 2018. This data collection can only improve with the right means in the following twelve months.
Take Care Of Your Website, And It Will Take Care Of Your Business.
Your company website is a crucial tool for success in 2018. So many consumers are now online that it is impossible to survive without a competent, engaging mobile-friendly site. This new year audit might offer more red flags than you expected.
Start with a new web hosting service and keep going. The deeper you delve, the more broken links, poor content and out-dated images you might find. This is a positive thing. Uncover the problems, create a plan of action and work to reinvent your site for 2018. It could reconnect your site with old customers, bring in new sales and help you compete with major competitors.