Applying The 7 Forces of Web Analysis: Part 7 – Web Technology Management, Table Stakes for Customer Experience

January 15, 2018 By
By Jan 15, 2018Blog, Digital

It’s time to talk about the unifying factor underpinning the 7 Forces of Web – and that is Technology. If you’ve read my entire series, you’re probably thinking that is what I’ve been talking about all along. I mean, let’s face it, the modern web wouldn’t exist without the technological infrastructure that supports it.

However, it’s important to discuss the key technological components, and how using modern, updated infrastructure and software can benefit your website and ultimately your customer experience.

Technology Is Never Static – You Can’t “Set It And Forget It!”

This is an important point when it comes to technology and the web.

Here’s a thought experiment to illustrate this point. Visualize a cutting-edge website from 10 years ago. Does it look anything like a modern website? Probably not! Does it use the same version of server technology? I certainly hope not.

As time goes on and technology continues to improve, it is critical for companies to keep up with the times, and use modern technological infrastructure, design strategies, and data architecture to keep their websites up to date. However, the vast majority of websites fail to do so.

Many Company Websites Are Falling Behind

WordPress is a very popular Web Content Management System (WCMS). It runs over 25% of the content you’ll find on the web and uses PHP. A study performed by Yoast at the beginning of 2017 of 6.5 million WordPress-based sites revealed a shocking statistic – 57% of analyzed websites were using “end-of-life” PHP versions. These were versions from 5.2 to 5.5 – all of which lack active support – not even security fixes. PHP 5.6 was in use on 36% of sites and is currently in “security fix only” status. This left a measly 7% of sites surveyed using the 7.x versions of PHP.

That means these websites are falling behind when it comes to usability, reliability, and security – which adds up to a poor overall web customer experience.

And don’t think it is just a problem with open source solutions. A study that we performed ourselves on the AJC top 50 mid-sized companies about a year ago revealed similar results across a diverse set of technology stacks. As far as out of date technology, only 4% of companies were using technology with known security vulnerabilities. However, 14% of companies failed mobile device compatibility tests, and 38% of websites were not using basic security technology like SSL (Secure Socket Layer) transmission. And no, SSL isn’t just for commerce sites.

In addition, 72% of the websites analyzed took more than 3 seconds to load their homepage. The aggregate ranking of these websites was 63% according to our scoring rules at the time.

Customer Web Experiences Are Actually Getting Worse – Don’t Be Part Of The Problem!

Despite ongoing advances in web technology, many websites are becoming more and more complex.  If not proactively monitored and maintained, this complexity can lead to poor web customer experience and loss of real dollars as campaigns and lead generation efforts lead people to non-functioning websites.

Use of outdated technology can lead to insecure websites that can be affected by malware and data breaches, slow web page loading times, websites that are difficult to navigate, and a poor mobile experience.

And according to both our own independent experience and industry watchdogs, customer web experiences caused by outdated technology are becoming more common.

Technology is the glue that holds together every other aspect of your website. Without a modern, efficient, and secure web platform, all of your marketing, social, SEO, and usability efforts will be wasted.

Bringing It All Together – Use The 7 Forces of The Web To Improve Your Business!

We hope this web analysis series has been helpful as you try to understand the changing face of website management, operations and performance.

By following the tips and guidelines set forth in this series, you’re sure to be able to increase the effectiveness of your own websites, and gain a more comprehensive knowledge about the future of the internet.

Thanks for reading – and feel free to share this series with others who are interested in learning what the future holds for websites, or share your questions and comments with us!

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