BY BARBARA T. NELLES
I’m speaking in the digital sense of the phrase. The reason I ask is as you can see, we launched a redesigned BedTimesMagazine.com website and want you to use it in all its glory.
So clean up your browsing history and dispose of your cookies to get rid of any cached remnants of the old BedTimes site. Experience the refreshed, faster, more modern-looking BedTimes now.
Don’t know how to clean up your browser? Get help from Indiana University here.
But, before you do a cleanup, be sure to save usernames and passwords your browser has been autofilling for you.
When you’re done flushing the cache, click through the site and look around. Comments? I’d love to hear them. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new site loads more quickly and is “responsive,” meaning it offers a good user experience on any device. We’ve also added more pictures to the home-page and made menus more intuitive.
Don’t get me wrong—the old site was a reliable workhorse. When it launched (in 2011!), we loaded it with an archive of mattress industry news and BedTimes features dating back to 2001 and have been building on that since. Our story database is enormous. I’ve happily worked with the old site for close to six years—and that’s way too long!
Many companies also wait far too long before refreshing their web presences. Have you?
Here are seven signs your site is outdated:
1. Not responsive, meaning it doesn’t display and read well on smaller screens like tablets and phones. That’s a big problem with more internet users on mobile devices than on desktops.
2. Your site occupies a small rectangle at the corner of the screen. (It’s really old.)
3. Old or irrelevant content and/or an outdated company logo.
4. No social sharing buttons to make it easy for readers to spread the word about your content.
5. Slow loading. There are a number of reasons for this—from outdated web code to too many ads or oversized images. (Even new sites can load slowly; you may need advice from an expert.)
6. Use of a “splash page,” Flash or music that plays automatically. Time to fix that.
7. You’re a small company, yet you can’t post news or updates to your site without paying a developer. Consider switching to new site with a content management system (like Drupal, Joomla or WordPress).
A new website helps polish your company’s image and will perform at an optimal level for you and your users. Even when built with a regularly updated content management system, site designs, themes and underlying code get outdated.
If your needs are simple, there are great tools for building a site yourself—no web coding knowledge required. Check out Squarespace or Weebly. You select a site design, customize it with your art and photos, do some clicking and dragging. Voila—your site is done.
Have fun site building, and enjoy this month’s issue.