If someone misses even one factor, it’ll ruin the website experience for their visitors, making a bad first impression and losing potential business.
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Agency Intelligence founder Alexander Vee has identified all of these factors, being a marketer first and foremost. When hiring someone to rebuild your website, it is a must to ensure they consider all of the following:
1. How Many WordPress Plugins Are Too Many?
When Alexander interviewed various web designers, many tried to impose their own preference of unnecessary extra WordPress plugins.
On WordPress, the fewer the plugins, the better. Here’s why:- Reduced security holes- Less plugins to update; less chance of something going wrong after an update- Less plugins that could go obsolete (or are obsolete)- Less replacements needed if a plugin breaks- Reduced stress on website and server- Less scripts to load, increased loading speed
It is much easier to use less plugins upfront, than try to speed-optimize a site with 20+ plugins.
Some common functions don’t even need plugins! For example, you can handle HTTP redirects on the server side, either through cPanel or inserted by the web hosting support.
Oxygen Builder is more than flexible enough to achieve design features that otherwise need plugins. What it can’t do out-of-the-box, such as email contact forms, Alexander turns to embedding external apps.
2. Ask for Examples of Work
It’s one thing for a developer to show examples of their work; it’s another to actually see them ‘in the flesh’ on the browser. Ask them for URL links to their examples, and evaluate them for the following things:- Page load speed (must be less than 3 seconds, or even faster)- Cleanliness of code (look in the HTML source – is the code simple, neat, and nicely laid out?)- Mobile friendliness
All of these 3 things will strongly determine what kind of website your developer will produce for you.
3. Don’t Mess Up Your SEO
Always ask your redesigner to preserve the existing URLs and link structure; include scanning the website for a list of pages.
A lot of SEO can be wrecked from a simple redesign. Pages that were ranking well… they tank!
Google, Bing and others use machine learning to gradually form an ‘understanding’ of the website and its structure. With this ‘understanding’, it is easier for search engines to ‘crawl’ the website and detect updates.
Changes to the established URL structure can disrupt the ‘understanding’ and force search engines to learn it all over again. It’ll be harder for the site to recover from a drop in ranking and traffic.
4. Never Hard-Code Website Content Into the Theme
Some developers favor building custom, made-to-order WordPress themes.
This has advantages: custom themes significantly reduce the code and script footprint, as the overall global layout is natively rendered by the theme, rather than with extra plugins.
However, when the website content is hard-coded into the theme, if the business owner wants to edit the website themselves later on, it will be extremely difficult. It is especially hard when the theme is built in a one-time gig that doesn’t include maintenance; you can’t reach out to the developer to modify it later on.
Alexander has faced great difficulties working with some clients who have these setups, forcing himself to allocate most of the campaign budget to workarounds before being able to do any meaningful work.
Oxygen Builder completely overrides the default WP theme system, letting developers build their own template and layout without modifying any theme files. This also gives business owners/webmasters the freedom of control they desire.
5. Should the Facebook Pixel be in the header or footer?
Done everything possible to make your site load lightning-fast, but still don’t quite like the page speed? You might want to take a look at your marketing tracking codes.
Marketing analytics apps add extra loading time. For example, the Facebook tracking pixel. Facebook recommends inserting the pixel in the header section of the HTML source.
In theory, this increases data precision, as it loads early and documents more visitor action. However, it also delays the page rendering, especially because the browser loads it asynchronously before any of the page content.
There is a great opportunity to eliminate unwanted targeting: visitors who go away before loading completes. To do this, move the Facebook tracking pixel from the header to the footer section of the page. This delays it until the page is fully loaded.