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2020 is approaching, the future is here and, like it or not, your online presence is critical to your business’s success. Your website may be the very first impression you make on your customers and bad impressions last. Getting your website right may be costly, but getting it wrong will be.

 

If you are commissioning a web-designer or web-shop to create a bespoke website for your restaurant, make sure they can answer all of the following without flinching. If they cannot understand and address all of the questions below, move on and find a professional.

 

Site migration and URLs:

 

Question: Will you ensure all the existing links on the internet to my site will continue to work?

Correct answer: Yes – we will keep the same links for some pages and set up 301 redirects for all  pages whose URLs have changed.

Wrong answer: Don’t worry, Google will just update its index on its own.

 

Question: Will there be SSL on my website?

Correct answer: Of course. Google increases the rank for websites with SSL and it’s also necessary to accept secure form data such as card details.

Wrong answer: Let me look into that for you.

 

Question: What redirects will be in place to ensure people can easily access my site?

Correct answer: We will direct requests to http://domain.com, http://www.domain.com and https://domain.com to your website (https://www.domain.com).

Wrong answer: Visitors will type in https://www.domain.com to get to your website.

 

Helping Google

 

Question: Is there the correct microdata on the site to tell Google about my business?

Correct answer: Yes, we include all relevant microdata, including store location, phone number, address, opening hours, food type, image/logo url.

Wrong answer: Google is smart enough to pick up everything from the visible content of the website.

 

Question: Have you a sitemap.xml file?

Correct answer: Yes, it lists the site structure with the desired page weightings/priorities.

Wrong answer: What’s a sitemap.xml file?

 

Question: Should we have meta description text on the pages?

Correct answer: Absolutely, Google makes use of this and it can display this text verbatim on their search results page.

Wrong answer: This is not needed or used by search engines anymore.

 

Question: What else do you do to help my site be indexed well?

Correct answer: We ensure all text is actual text instead of images of text (which incidentally reduces page size and reduces load time). We include a robots.txt file which tells search engines to go ahead and index the site. We set up Google Webmaster Tools to both verify that the site is being indexed correctly and also to actively notify us if any issues arise in future. We also ensure pages have a suitable URL structure and use keywords within the URL.

Wrong answer: Google is so smart these days that it will work out everything on its own.

 

Site content

 

Question: Is the site mobile optimised?

Correct answer: Given that most of your visitors are going to be using mobile devices, we design a mobile version of the website first and ensure that the mobile experience is perfect. The website is designed to adapt to look well on all screen sizes, and the content adapts as needed. We ensure that the most important content and links are visible above the fold on all screen sizes.

Wrong answer: iPhone screens are so big now that websites designed for desktops work fine on them.

 

Question: Will people be able to easily find my mobile app?

Correct answer: We have included a metatag to cause the Smart App Banner to appear on iOS devices. We also have links to your apps in the App Store and Play Store.

 Wrong answer: People will just search for your app in the App Store.

 

Question: Have you thought about the main call to action when a visitor views my homepage?

Correct answer: As most of your visitors will want to place an order from your store, the Order Online button is the main call to action and it is visible and easily accessible above the fold.

Wrong answer: The site looks really nice doesn’t it. All links are hidden behind a hamburger menu.

Speed

 

 

Question: How long does it take for the homepage to load?

Correct answer: We have done extensive testing and it takes under 3 seconds for the homepage to load for new visitors with a 3G connection.

Wrong answer: It depends on the visitors‘ broadband connection.

 

Question: Are JavaScript files bundled sensibly to reduce the number of connection requests?

Correct answer: Yes, JavaScript files that are required for page loading/interaction are bundled together and loaded early, and non-essential JavaScript files have their loading deferred until after essential files are loaded. We also bundle CSS and ensure it’s loaded before non-essential files.

Wrong answer: The website seems to load fast without this.

 

Question: Do you do anything else to ensure that the pages load as fast as possible?

Correct answer: Of course, we are professionals. Google down ranks slow pages and multiple studies show that people will not wait around for a slow website to load.

  1. We have optimised images, and serve higher quality images for retina/4k screens while serving smaller images to devices that cannot take advantage of such high-definition images. We optimise all these images to ensure they are not too large.
  2. We use the correct image types to ensure they are small and high quality.
  3. We defer loading of images below the fold and ensure they don’t affect the loading and display of content of anything above the fold.
  4. We serve all static files, including images, CSS and JavaScript from a CDN and we ensure that all files have correct HTTP headers to ensure they are cached by the browser.
  5. Our web-server supports gzip, deflate and Brotli compression and compresses files before sending it to the client.
  6. We combine all icons into a single sprite sheet and use CSS to slice them up on the client side. 

Wrong answer: If people want to order your food, they’ll wait for your website to load.

Have questions for us? Contact our Customer Success Team on [email protected]

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