The website of your business is the crux of it all. It’s where you have the maximum interaction with your target audience and so, it needs to be taken seriously. Investing in digital content should be viewed as a long-term strategy, adapting to changing audience needs & the ever-evolving digital landscape. It’s vital to keep up with the times and ensure your content and design is future-proof.
Constant technology updates make it mandatory for websites to keep up. By the time a website project is finished, there could be huge advancements in digital technology. This requires websites to stay current and updated. And if you don’t continue to critically review and improve your site, you run the risk of standing still, and spending more money on trying to keep up with this shifting technological landscape and trying not to fall behind your competitors.
What does website future proofing really mean?
Website future proofing is an important concept for anyone who owns a website or is in charge of managing one. It means making sure that the website is optimized for the latest technology and trends, so that it can remain relevant and competitive in the years to come. This involves taking into consideration factors such as mobile-friendliness, search engine optimization (SEO), security, performance, and other aspects of modern web development. By taking proactive steps to ensure your website is future proofed, you can ensure that it remains up-to-date and competitive in the ever-changing digital landscape.
Make it scalable
At any given time, your website and the infrastructure behind it may reflect where your business is, its goals and strategy, and the needs of your customers and/or audience. But what happens when these things change? What if you grow, diversify, or adapt your offering to a changing marketplace? You need to make sure that your website is scalable and flexible enough to support your needs now and in the mid- to long-term. Incorporating scalability into a website project from the outset sets you up for success later on and helps you plan more effectively from a budget perspective. This involves everything from selecting the right platform (CMS) to laying out a framework or even a design system for the project, determining how individual components will be built. But as important as the “what” is, the “how” is equally essential.
Adopt the right approach to website development
Having an ongoing perspective on website development is key – it involves more than just the product itself. It requires a particular approach and mindset to be successful. While digital projects traditionally follow a linear, waterfall-style approach, agile methodology has been gaining traction in recent years. Agile focuses on short-term deadlines and splits the project up into sections that can be worked on concurrently through sprints – allowing for more fluidity and flexibility and changes in direction further down the line.
We won’t get into all the pros and cons of agile vs waterfall here – this Forbes article does a fantastic job of presenting the case for both – but we’ve found time and again that the agile methodology is the most effective way of structuring projects in order to build future-proof websites and digital products that are best setup to support growth. Embracing an agile approach paves the way for releasing products more frequently and also encourages continuous improvement. It further creates a roadmap that ensures you are prepared to take on any eventualities.
Fine-tuning vs re-building
Re-building your website entirely from the ground up obviously takes a lot of time and significant investment. Taking this approach is incredibly cost inefficient, and it also leaves you vulnerable to potential problems with capability and security (which we’ll get on to in a second) as well as trailing behind your competitors. Planning and budgeting for small, iterative updates rather than wholesale rebuilding every 5 or so years helps to ensure that you make the most out of your investment and future-proof your business.
Keep on top of security
By not regularly monitoring and updating your website, you’re putting it at risk of becoming exposed to a number of security threats that may arise over time. This makes it important to see your website as an ever-changing asset rather than a static one. If your website isn’t supported and maintained correctly, you may miss updates to the core platform, extensions and security patches, leaving it vulnerable. 52% of WordPress vulnerabilities are caused by out-of-date plugins. Not providing a safe, secure, and reliable experience on your website could damage the trust you have built with your audience. Furthermore, a breach could prove costly and may even lead to you losing access to your website and the content you have created. It is essential to have a process and the right partner in place to properly support your website, in order to ensure your website provides a secure experience consistently and protects one of your most important assets.
Future-proofing your website isn’t a retroactive process – it should be built into its foundations. Setting yourself up with the scalability and flexibility to adapt and change at pace is the key to delivering a great digital experience, and being cost-effective while you do it.
At SmartaStudio we focus on building long-term partnerships with our clients, providing support packages designed to help them grow and evolve, not just maintain.
Got a vision for a future-proof website? Get in touch to start a project with us.