It’s 2016, and your New Year’s resolutions are hopefully underway and going strong. But what about the technology resolutions you need to make as we move another year into the future? With the digital world constantly changing, there’s no better time to evaluate what you need to do to stay current with your online presence. Here are 10 tech resolutions you need to make this year.
1. Do not use Internet Explorer (or any browser older than 2013)
This is as much about your web experience as anything else. If you’re not using a modern browser, you might be missing out on something good. Outdated browsers will attempt to load pages, but might not render them as the creator intended. You also might not have support for issues you run into. Google recently announced that they will stop supporting IE9 after January 31, and others are sure to follow suit.
2. Mobile friendly
There’s no way around it. Smart phones, iPads and mobile devices are taking over desktop usage. One of the biggest oversights organizations make is not thinking about the fact that the majority of visitors their site receives will be accessing it via a mobile device. Long menus and a design that’s not responsive will cause people to leave before ever exploring your content. When starting a new design or reviewing changes to your website/page, start first with your smart phone.
3. Redesign website if it’s more than two years old
Web years are like dog years. With technology changing at the speed of light, your beautiful, cutting–edge design from two years ago now looks old and stagnant. Website designs should be refreshed every couple of years to make sure your site gives the correct impression of your organization.
4. Update content on website to keep it fresh
We are a generation of content consumers. With Facebook newsfeeds offering new material every few seconds and on-demand videos and music anywhere we are, we constantly seek out new information and will engage the people who give it to us. No one wants to visit your website to find the same old content from a year ago. Share stories, photos, videos and news on a regular basis and watch visitors return.
5. Clear cache
If you don’t see what you expect on your site, start with the simple step of clearing your cache. Sometimes your browser can save images or content and generate an old version of the page, especially after a recent content update. You can do this by clicking on “clear recent history”. Memorize the keystroke for this command on your browser of choice so you don’t have to go hunting for it next time.
6. Learn something about SEO
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) may sound like a complex concept, but it is simply a series of fundamental steps you can take to ensure that your website is easily found by those searching for relevant terms. Not having good SEO is the equivalent of building a store with no signage. Here are a few easy-to-use SEO tools that you can use to get started and improve your SEO.
7) Learn something about HTML
Not everyone should be a code wizard (that’s what we’re here for!), but a basic understanding of basic code tags can get you pretty far. Anyone working in marketing or responsible for maintaining a website should know how to create paragraphs, headers, links and change text formats (or at least know what to Google to find out how). With powerful content management systems like TAG Tools, a fundamental knowledge of HTML will let you make basic web edits without the help of a designer.
8. Consistent branding
Multiple websites, Facebook pages, Twitter profiles, and email templates. Do they all look different? If so, make this the year that you implement consistent branding across anywhere you’re found online. Users now expect an integrated experience with brands, from a paper postcard to a website to social media presence.
9. Stop letting paper dictate strategy
For nonprofits and ministries who rely on donations to meet their budgets each year, fundraising is a critical part of their strategy. In the past, this has been based on direct mail leading the way, with some digital pieces thrown in as more people are giving online. This year, flip flop who determines strategy. Let the world of online giving, which is the future of fundraising, dictate your needs for landing pages, email blasts, and shareable graphics, and create direct mail pieces that support these appeals.
10. Spring cleaning
Your online world might not feel cluttered since it’s all on a computer or in the cloud, but over time, it can get just as messy as the storage closet in your office. Take time at the beginning of each year to delete old pages or media you don’t need, check for 404 errors and broken links, remove domains you don’t use and consolidate registrars and hosts. You and your development team will breathe easier in the year to come.
What are your tech resolutions for 2016? Leave us a comment and let us know!