The most common mistake we see some “big” agencies/companies make is to launch a new website without redirecting their old pages (and search engine listings) to the new versions.
What does that mean?
Your old website may have had a different file structure than your new website meaning old links no longer work, returning errors when users try to access them. Search engines will have the same problem and each listing which returns a 301 error (not found) will eventually be removed from the search engine listings.
For example your website’s old contact page might have been at “www.yourwebsite.co.uk/contact.php” and your new website may be at “www.yourwebsite.co.uk/contactus/”.
What needs to be done?
To ensure search engines and users alike are not frustrated and more importantly your traffic levels do not fall off a cliff, you need to ensure you have setup permanent redirects which are active along with the new website.
For Linux websites we recommend the use of HTACCESS redirects which are essentially a small text file which sits at the route of your server detailing a list of pages which have moved and their new location.
Each line looks like this:
Redirect /old-index.html http://www.mynewwebsite.com/foldername/new-index.html
For Microsoft (IIS 7) servers things are quite a bit more complicated but here goes:
- Open IIS Manager and locate the website under sites
- Right click the website and choose “switch to content view”
- In the right hand pane locate the file you want to redirect
- Right click the file and choose “switch to features view”
- Important! Verify that it shows the correct file name at the top of the screen
- Under the IIS section open “HTTP Redirect”
- Put a check in “Redirect requests to this destination” and type in the new URL
- Change the status code to “Permanent 301″
- Click Apply (this results in an HTTP status code of: HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently)
Need more help? Speak to our SEO team on 0800 222 9300 and they can get it all arranged for you >>
Things move fast in web design! 2013 will see more new trends emerge all seem to be gathering pace…
1. Responsive Design
You might have seen us banging on about this in previous posts but it’s big business this year as we all seek to accommodate the huge range of different display sizes. It’s a big task and you will normally need a complete redesign to achieve a fully responsive design. Find out more about our thoughts here >>
2. Full Screen Backgrounds
A nice way to ensure you captivate your audience is to fill their browser window with interesting imagery which sums up what you are all about. Screen sizes are getting bigger and avoiding too much white space is easily fixed by a large background image which can give your website a nice look and feel without causing too many issues with download speed.
People like simplicity and it is increasingly popular when we talk to clients. If you can get the balance right, a nice simple design will maximise your chances of converting visitors into customers. Beware! it is all about balance – too simple doesn’t work either!
Popularised by Facebook, the simple sidebar is getting a revival this year with loads of new designs incorporating a left sided sidebar navigation system, leaving the majority of the screen available to impress. Often it is animated with some nice hide/show functionality.
5. Retina Support
Apple are leading the way with retina graphics.
Their new MacBook range and the 3rd/4th gen iPad’s come with retina screens which essentially work at twice the resolution of normal displays, creating a really clear and crisp visual experience.
The problem for web designers is that it messes with a long established method for producing web graphics. To get it right you need to create 2 different versions of each graphic element which can load should a retina display be identified. It increases load times but it does look great.
Vector graphics can be used for icons and other suitable graphics to save time. This year will see more Apple products launched with retina displays and undoubtably other manufacturers will be joining the party in 2013. See Retina.js website for a cool script - we use it!