In my previous post, I talked about how the web moved on and web designers (aka me) should catch up as soon as possible.
Well, in this post I’ll list 6 things I will be working harder to improve myself – maybe you should too.
Currently, my websites are hosted on my VPS (virtual private server). I’m working with 7×24 Hosting (this is not an affiliate link, but trust me I suggest you check their packages).
Having my own VPS is great, but it also brings the hassle to maintain a server by myself. So a lot of brushing up on my Linux skills.
PHP7 was released in 2015, and until now I was a little hesitant (just lazy) to upgrade my PHP, but now it’s a must. PHP7 brings massive performance improvements, and WordPress officially recommends PHP7. So it’s time I stop being lazy on upgrading my packages.
Google recently announced that in 2017 they’ll officially start marking HTTP pages that collect sensitive data (e.g. credit card info) to be non-secure. This is part of their long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.
Unfortunately, WordPress sites were slow to transfer to HTTPS. According to WPEngine, as of 2016, only 11.5 percent of WordPress sites use HTTPS.
This is something I’ll take care in detail in 2017. In my VPS I provide SSL, but there are still a couple of things to do, for instance, forcing SSL within wp-config.php, and 301 redirecting HTTP requests to HTTPS withing .htaccess
Google announced that they will use the mobile browser as their primary search engine index. This means mobile-first is much more important than before.
For me, this is not a big challenge as I use responsive web design in all my WordPress templates but still it is necessary to make sure content is displayed correctly and accurately, which bring us to…
Accelerated Mobile Pages
To improve mobile experience Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP in short.
If you’re like me, you may say, what the heck is AMP.
AMP is an open source standard for creating schema style markup for web pages to show a simplified version of a web page that loads faster than the standard version.
Accelerated Mobile Pages will be crucial in terms of mobile SEO, optimization, or performance on mobile sites, I will be looking more deeply into AMP in 2017.
Facebook’s Instant Articles
You may have noticed lately, how some pages (links) look different on Facebook, with a black border on top, and loads quite faster than normal. That my friend is a result of Facebook’s Instant Articles concept. It was introduced in March 2016, and it allows the content to load 10-times faster by using a customized mobile format.
WPBeginners has a detailed guide on how to use Facebook Instant Articles with your WordPress site.
If you know a little bit of SEO, you have definitely heard of structured data, it’s nothing new.
However, as Google is moving seriously towards the mobile, structured data became much more important than ever before.
Frankly, I haven’t given enough attention to this topic before. In 2017, I’ll be focusing in much detail into it as I want to make sure I have a clean-structured data as it will make my websites highly visible and improve SEO massively.
What are planning to improve yourself? What will be your focus in 2017?