Website Design and UX Considerations

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There is an awful lot that needs to be considered when putting together the perfect website. You need a website that looks impressive and brands your website well. You also need to make sure that your site is easy to use and navigate. After all, no one wants to spend 10 minutes looking for the right page. That’s without even mentioning SEO, your choice of web building platform, host, and plug-in. So, with that being said, below, we are going to take a look at some interesting statistics, information, and advice when it comes to your online presence.

Click to view infographic

Website trends and statistics regarding UX

There are plenty of website trends already emerging for 2021 and UX is going to be a very high priority for web designers and business owners this year. The difference between good UX and bad UX is going to prove to be even more significant this year, with website conversions being the key results separating the good from the bad UX.

It may surprise you to find that 75% of people base credibility on a website. So even if every other aspect of your business is highly professional, if you have a poor website then this is going to hugely impact your credibility.

What determines how good your website is?

What actually determines how good a website is, involves a number of key variables. The fact that 59% of people prefer a beautifully designed website shows how much emphasis is placed on aesthetics. So, putting time, effort, and usually, money, into professional images and graphic designs will go a long way to ensuring that your website looks attractive to end-users.

An outdated website cannot be trusted

Another interesting fact from the infographic reveals that 94% of people won’t trust an outdated website. The more content that you have on a website, the more content that you will need to update. Performing regular audits of your content to check information is still relevant and that links still work will help to keep your website up to date. Users will also see details like ‘published’ dates and ‘last updated’ and seeing recent dates will reassure them that your content is still relevant. So, put in the necessary efforts to keep your content updated at regular intervals.

Providing good quality UX can offer a number of different benefits

Website UX (User Experience) should be one of the biggest priorities for any business when they decide on the design and content of their site. Providing good quality UX will not only help boost your revenue through visitors buying products/services, but it will also help to improve your business credibility. A massive 75% of people base credibility on a website, so if your website isn’t impressive, then your whole business credibility is at risk.

Slow-loading image times represent a huge problem 

Another stat to be aware of is that slow-loading image times can cause 39% of users to abandon. There are plenty of reasons why images are loading slowly, from your file size, to the performance from your web host but it is crucial that you are not making this big UX error. You can actually test your page loading times using a free online speed test tool to identify whether you have any issues. 

People love video content

People love video content and this demand for online video content will only grow over the next few years. If you want more potential customers to find your website, you should be thinking about incorporating video content onto your website, if you haven’t done already. 

Display content in a format that is easy for users to read

Readability is another important part of UX and you may be interested to know that 70% of people pay attention to bulleted lists. So, if you have lots of text that you want people to read, you are best trying to display it in a format that is easy for users to read, such as in a bulleted list. These are just a few of the amazing stats that you might not have been aware of when it comes to the importance of website UX!

Interesting stats about WordPress plug-ins for 2021

As of writing this blog post, there are more than 55,000 plug-ins on the WordPress directory. WordPress is the most popular CMS platform, with over 50% market share. That’s why it makes sense to delve deeper into WordPress while we’re discussing web design and UX.

The beauty of WordPress plugins is that they extend the functionality of WordPress. You can personalize your website or blog beyond your dreams, from plugins that analyze your website’s traffic, enhance your SEO, and even add maps, forms, and social media integration.

Plugins come in many shapes and sizes and can be either free or paid. Many plugins will offer a free version, with premium features available if you upgrade to their paid version.

General WordPress Plugin Statistics

  • In a 3 year period between April 2016 to 2019, 18,262 plugins were published (ilovewp)
  • 3% of those plugins have never been updated (ilovewp)
  • 57% of plugins have no reviews (Matteo Duo)
  • Akismet catches 5 million pieces of spam per hour (Akismet)
  • CodeCanyon is the plugin part of Envato Market (CodeCanyon)
  • 80% of searches on CodeCanyon are for functional plugins like sliders and forms (Envato)
  • Over 2000 plugins offer a language pack (WPEngine) 

Popular Plugin Statistics

  • Marketers say their preferred plugin is JetPack (Hubspot)
  • Jetpack 5+ million active installations (Jetpack)
  • Visual Composer and Slider Revolution are some of the most popular paid plugins (skilled.co)
  • Yoast SEO is the most popular plugin of all time with over 176 million downloads (kinsta)
  • The top installed plugin is Classic Editor which has 4 million active installations (kinsta)
  • Elementor page builder had over 2 million active installations (kinsta)
  • Some of the most popular free plugins include Contact Form 7, Akismet and Jetpack (WordPress.org)
  • WooCommerce powers more than 9% of all online stores (Built With)

WordPress Statistics

  • WordPress powers 34% of all websites (kinsta)
  • Over 500 websites a day are created on WordPress (kinsta)
  • WooCommerce powers 22% of the top 1 million eCommerce sites in the world (kinsta)
  • It’s estimated that the total build cost of WordPress is around $8 million (Open Hub)
  • WordPress powers 14.7% of the world’s top websites (Who Is Hosting This)
  • Each month there are over 409 million people viewing over 20 billion WordPress pages (WordPress)
  • WordPress 5.2 has been downloaded over 16 million times (WordPress)
  • There are over 42 million active installations of Gutenberg (gutenstats

Development Statistics

  • WordPress is older than Facebook and Twitter and was released in May 2003 (WPBeginner)
  • WordPress.org doesn’t have a CEO as it is run by volunteer WordPress developers worldwide (WPBeginner)
  • Anyone can add to or edit the core code of WordPress as it’s open-source (WordPress.org)
  • WordPress 5.4 has been downloaded over 4 million times (WordPress.org)
  • 443 people contributed to WordPress 4.9 (CodeinWP

Community Statistics

  • Popular universities like Cornell University, Harvard Blogs and The University of Maine use WordPress (WPBeginner)
  • WordPress.com users include Tech Crunch, TED and CNN (WordPress)
  • Big company websites like Coca-Cola, PlayStation, and Samsung use WordPress (Skilled)
  • WordPress is more popular with businesses and least popular with news sites (Torque)
  • Celebrities using WordPress include Jay Z, Russel Brand, and Sylvester Stallone (Skilled)
  • You can use WordPress.com in more than 120 different languages with English being the most popular at 71% (WordPress)

We hope that these stats have given you an insight into the plugin market, and why you need to be leveraging this for your business.

How does load speed impact the online shopping experience?

As a society, we’re pretty impatient and rarely is this more apparent than when we’re confronted with slow-loading web pages. Unfortunately for all of us, the average page on the internet takes between 3-15 seconds to load. But, unfortunately for businesses, over half of all web users get tired of waiting and head elsewhere to spend their money after just three.

In this section, I’ll discuss why waiting has such a detrimental effect on people’s online shopping experience, from destroying first impressions to reducing conversions and preventing people from coming back to a business at all.

Is it all a matter of psychology?

If there is one thing we all hate, it is waiting! According to Richard Larson, a researcher who spends a lot of time thinking about queues, “the psychology of queuing is more important than the statistic of the wait itself”. 

In other words, it’s not the length of time that matters, but the type of waiting people have to endure. We become frustrated when we’re made to put up with unoccupied time (where we have nothing else to do but wait) and don’t know when it will end. The situation is particularly impactful if the delay interrupts previously well-defined goals, e.g. we were heading somewhere or trying to achieve something. 

These offline dynamics are the same as those that cause us so much stress when waiting for slow-loading web pages.

Is it really that much of a problem? 

According to Akamai’s study of 10 billion user visits across the top online retail platforms, more than half of all mobile users and a quarter of all desktop and laptop browsers left a site if it took longer than three seconds to load.

The trouble is, a page’s load speed depends, for the largest part, on the data it holds. Problematically, websites today contain more than double the data they did three years ago and, for online retailers, the issue is particularly prominent because web shops tend to require a lot of data-hungry images. Research by machmetrics.com suggests that retail industry websites are among the most data-heavy worldwide. 

Awkwardly, the technology required to keep sites quick has not kept pace with these increased data demands. The result? A whole lot of desperately slow web pages. 

Worldwide, the average website now takes 12 seconds to load and, according to Bing, even a two-second delay in page loading is enough to cause a 4.3% drop in revenue per visitor, reduce clicks by 3.75% and cause a 1.8% reduction in the number queries. 

What’s the impact? 

For online retailers, the high data requirements of webshops, combined with a lack of technological improvement and our testy psychological tendencies are a recipe for disaster, impacting customers’ first impressions, their likelihood of converting, and their willingness to engage in repeat custom.

First impressions 

According to Akamai, a two-second delay in load time results in a bounce rate increase of 103%. In other words, even a slight loading delay doubles the number of people who leave a site before interacting with it. Could first impressions get much worse? 

Even those that do stick around are unlikely to be forgiving. Potential customers take loading speed as an indicator of professionalism. In their eyes, slower loading pages represent less professional companies. 

A survey by Unbounce found that 70% of consumers admit that page speed affects whether they’re willing to buy from an online store. And 85% said they’d be willing to give up either animations, videos or photos if it meant a page would load faster. So, all of those expensive features may not be worth the trade-off with fast page speeds.

Conversions

A number of reports show that even a minimal delay in page loading can have a dramatic effect on conversions. 

Akamai’s report indicates that a 100-millisecond (yes millisecond) delay in load time leads to an average 7% drop in conversions, and this trend is supported elsewhere. According to Shopzilla, its fastest pages deliver 7-12% more conversions than their slowest.

Research by conversionconference.com suggests that the checkout stage is particularly vulnerable to repercussions caused by slow load speeds. In their A/B test, a load speed drop of two seconds reduced conversion proportions from 1 out of 3 customers to 2 out of 15. And introducing a two-second page slow-down during the transaction finalisation stage resulted in only 3 out of 15 users completing overall.

This research suggests that as many as 18% of customers who were ready to purchase, will abandon their carts because of slow page loading. 

Repeat custom

Considering the negative impact slow loading pages have on both a customer’s perception of a business and their willingness to purchase at all, it’s perhaps not surprising that a bad experience leads them to avoid coming back.

In fact, 79% of customers who have experienced poor page load speeds say they are less likely to purchase from the same site again. And, since 44% tell friends and family about negative experiences with online shops, their tendency not to return will quickly spread to their network, preventing others from engaging with the same business at all. 

You can translate your website to maximize your ROI 

The global pandemic is pushing more and more users online. This is great news for web traffic but could forge a critical barrier between your site and new readers if you’re not prepared.

If your site isn’t available in as many languages as demand requires, a quick-to-judge browser could mentally blacklist you and not return, ruining any chance of a conversion. 

It raises the question… how do you find the best languages to translate your website to for maximum return on investment (ROI)? Let’s unpack that and uncover some practical next steps.

#1 Tap into your web analytics

Translating every inch of your site into every single language may seem like the failsafe answer, but you can be more structured and tactical in your approach. If you want some trivia, the most translated website is jw.org which is available in a staggering 1,009 languages.

It’s an outdated method to keep your website wholly in English and expect your users to adapt rather than see their mother tongue. According to tech.co, 70% of the world doesn’t speak English, yet 57% of websites are only available in English.

Take the time to analyze your web traffic. See where users are coming from, and at what velocity. If you have an eCommerce site and regularly see traffic from a country whose language you don’t support, take the hint: you need to translate to secure those sales and enhance ROI.

#2 Set up web domains for each language you choose

Using a relevant country URL ending is pivotal. The benefits are two-fold:

  1. It will be easier for new foreign customers to find your site
  2. It’ll boost your SEO for each individual site

More than half of all Google searches are not made in English – and you can’t expect users to invest in your site if it turns up in search results but isn’t translated for them. Put in the legwork here – the rewards are obvious.

#3 If conversions are your goal, you need to localize

Localization is the act of capturing nuance in your copy, images, and structure. Studies from the Common Sense Advisory show that people with no or low proficiency in English are six times more likely to not buy from English-only sites.

Ensure your translation efforts stretch out onto any associated images – by localizing your content to bespoke regions, you can make your users feel at home and comfortable with the content, fostering a better relationship and aiding ROI.

#4 Consider what ROI means to you

Is it a sale, a new business lead, or just a Like? Figuring out what your key performance indicators (KPI) are is critical when assessing the success of a change.

You should already have a handle on what a ‘good’ day for you looks like. Determine what could make that even better and then build those in line with your translations. Want to grow sales in Spain? First, you should have the language integrated. Then, look to localize content and fine-tune marketing messages to that locale.

Be agile with your response. You may not see an immediate ROI, but these aren’t overnight hacks. Look at the insights available through your website builder to see what’s working and driving traffic – then, do more of that.

#5 Spot the difference: are your competitors doing something you aren’t?

Look at your competitors. Have they recently rolled out a new language and are pushing out marketing schemes to that demographic – and, importantly, are they performing well? 

If your offerings are similar this could be a route for you to explore. Keep an ear to the ground and be agile with your translation roadmap. By closely monitoring your own insights and analytics, you can effectively deploy changes that will make a big splash and impact your ROI. 

#6 How many languages are too many languages?

The answer isn’t finite. It’s bespoke to you and your service and fuelled by demand.

What sets translations apart is the quality. Not all translations are created equal and if a potential lead is reading messy copy, it’ll stick out as a red flag and harm your brand’s authority.

Invest your efforts in analysis and ensure quality is a key metric in your translations. This will increase your brand’s authority and help new customers and leads find their way to you. All of which will lead to increased awareness and satisfaction, as well as that all-important bottom line.

Leverage social proof

Now that you have a good understanding of some of the different things that you can do to build your online presence, from speeding up your website load times to translating your website and using WordPress plug-ins, let’s take a look at another vital option: social proof. 

Building up social proof matters because people are going to be more inclined to believe what other people have had to say about your service, rather than simply reading a sales pitch from you. 

Here are some of the different types of social proof that can really help to make your company’s presence felt:

Real-time stats 

Another way to use social proof to boost your conversions is to show real-time statistics on your site. There are a number of different ways you can go about this depending on the type of product you are selling. For example, a lot of the hotel booking websites today show when a property was last booked. Another example is when retail websites show how many people are looking at a product at that time. 

Customer showcases 

Getting your customers to send in photos of them using your product can also serve as social proof. This works especially well with clothing brands. People will be more inclined to purchase a certain item of clothing if they can see what it looks like on the average person rather than only being able to see the model photos on the e-store. 

Customer testimonials 

Of course, customer testimonials also play a critical role when it comes to social proof. However, don’t fall into the trap of purchasing reviews or writing your own comments. Make sure you focus on building reviews organically and naturally. Customers are savvy today and a lot of them only trust comments that are left on independent review platforms, as they can be sure of their authenticity. 

Case studies 

Last but not least, case studies can be used for high authority social proof considering their formal nature. After all, a lot of customers value long, and in-depth reviews over brief excerpts about their experience with a product or service. A good case study is one that highlights the problem and then shows the exact steps that your business took to fix it. 

Find a great web host

It is also important to find a good web host. When doing so, uptime is an evident place to start. Uptime relates to the amount of time your website’s server is up and running. Many web hosts offer an uptime guarantee; this instills more confidence in customers as it shows that the web host is sure they can offer a decent uptime, otherwise they will offer something in return, e.g. free period of hosting, refunds, etc.

An uptime of at least 99.9% is recommended. If a potential customer attempts to visit your website and it’s down, this is not only going to push them into choosing another web host, but it also means they likely won’t return again.

As well as pushing customers away, poor website uptime can also result in bad SEO for your website. Search engines like Google analyze how often your website incurs downtime and will penalize your SEO efforts if it’s not good enough.

Types of Web Hosting

As well as looking at the options a web host provides in terms of resources, security, uptime, and speed, there are different types of hosting plans available too. Each type of hosting has its advantages and disadvantages, so you should consider your requirements first to establish the best type of hosting for your small business.

Shared hosting

On a shared hosting plan, many customers share the same server, including its resources. If one customer uses more resources than they’ve been allocated, it could have an adverse effect on the performance of other customer’s websites on the server. However, shared hosting is often very affordable, with plans starting from as little as $0.99 per month.

VPS hosting

VPS hosting offers a lot more control and flexibility. You will still share a server with other customers, but this is greatly reduced in comparison to shared hosting. VPS hosting often has a choice of servers with differing resources, including CPU and RAM. VPS hosting is more reliable, but it also costs more than shared hosting.

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is scalable and secure. If a server fails for any reason, your website files are picked up by another server on the cloud network, meaning it’s far more reliable and offers better uptime. Cloud hosting resources can be scaled to your requirements, so if you start to notice an increase in traffic to your website, you can increase the amount of bandwidth when you need it. Cloud hosting is more expensive than shared hosting and VPS hosting.

Dedicated hosting

Renting a dedicated server means you get access to an entire server. This means you’ll have full control of your server and resources, and can even host multiple websites. Dedicated hosting is incredibly expensive and is only really recommended for large websites and eCommerce sites, who have knowledge of how a dedicated server works.

If you’re a small business owner just starting out, there’s a wealth of web hosts that will be suitable for your needs. Shared hosting is an ideal starting point, especially if you need to tighten the belt on your budget. If you outgrow your shared plan, you can always transfer your web hosting over to a different host that offers VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting plans.

Finding a comprehensive package at the right price with generous features is a must for small businesses. If you know what you’re looking for, you can find a suitable web host that will cater to your needs, if you bear the above points in mind.

Final words on Website Design and UX In 2021

As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be considered when it comes to creating the perfect website for your business in 2021. From finding the perfect web host for your business to translating your site, there are a number of different factors that you should consider when it comes to your website and boosting your online presence.

It is a competitive business landscape that we are all facing at the moment, so it is critical to do everything in your power to stand out from the crowd, and online seems the obvious place to start. After all, when people look for businesses today, they have a tendency to start their search on the Internet, so you need to make sure you’re there!

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