Superior Web Design FiDi | ProStrategix

Billie Grace Ward from New York, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/license

FiDi: Financial Heart of Manhattan

The Financial District is home to Wall Street, Freedom Tower, and 9/11 memorial. The neighborhood bustles with financial professionals and armies of commuters from across the Greater New York Metro Area. During the day, the neighborhood is filled with business people and enviable foot traffic.

In the evening, the Happy Hour crowd ventures over towards the South Street Seaport for dinner and after work drinks. While there has been an increase in residential living, the neighborhood is relatively quiet after the work day/evening ends.

FiDi has some unique marketing challenges for local business, mainly around target. Do you target by time of day, day of the week, or alternate between the work week (business) to weekend (tourists)?

Why Web Design is Important in FiDi?

No one knows how fast FIDI will come back, but it will. We all wondered if 9/11 would damage FIDI. It did for awhile, but it bounced back. I fully expect it to do the same. You may have to make a couple of revisions to your site over the next few years, but your site remains your calling card. Make sure it is:

  1. Fast: More than 1/2 of user search the web on mobile. If you're not fast, you lose them.
  2. Intuitive: Make it easy for them to find what they want.
  3. Responsive: To our first point, if you aren't designed to work on mobile, why bother?

Your CMS Can Have a Profound Effect on Page Speed

If you didn’t build your own site, you’re likely using a content management system (CMS) that your web builder chose. If he or she didn’t educate you on the pros and cons, you may be in for a big surprise in your webpages’ performance and search engine rankings.

What is a CMS

The technical definition for a content management system (CMS) is “is a computer software program used to manage the creation and modification of digital content.”

In other words, it is a system that allows the content to be stored separately from the code that builds the page. The user enters the code through a program called an interface, e.g. WordPress, and the interface saves that as the page data. The browser takes the files from both locations and renders the page.

However, while simple and easy, it creates a problem. To make this easier to understand, I use a simple metaphor of an architect, contractor, and warehouse. The user is the architect, the contractor is the browser, and all the design code sits in the warehouse

In this metaphor, we are going to use a prefabricated home. There are a general set of blueprints, but lots of options for flooring, tiles, etc.  Think of this as your theme.

The architect now selects specific options within a house, for example, flooring, tile, window type, etc.  But, these specifications aren’t given to the contractor (browser) until he or she shows up to build the house.

The contractor knows he or she is building a home, but other than that, it’s left open. Therefore, they have to bring all the labor and materials they might use, even if they aren’t needed in this specific build.


Once at the site, the contract reads the blueprints and then has to sort through and organize their materials first before the job can start.

As you can see there is a lot of wasted time and materials that put a burden on the contractor. This is why a theme will never be as fast as a custom build.

Why Digital Marketing is Important in FiDi?

All that diversity creates a unique targeting challenge. Who is the right target to pick? Should I segment by workday or weekend? Should I cater to the business or happy hour crowds? Can we target both shifting by day or time of day? This can be a very difficult choice. Luckily, there are digital marketing tools that can help. Social listening tools can help find out who is talking about what and give us some insight into who is most interested in what we do. Plus, once you define that target, digital marketing provides a level of specificity that no other media can match.

  1. Local digital marketing in FiDi is about targeting. Who are the right people to reach? When?
  2. Once you identify the target and time of day or week, it is important to raise awareness among them that your business exists. 
  3. Local digital marketing lets your target the right customers when they are nearby during the right time or day or week. It so much easier to get a customer in the door when its around the block.

Custom Build is Likely Your Best Option for Speed

A custom built website is created by web designers. These designers create code only for the features you use to get the results you want. Therefore, there is no excess code. 

If your developer helps you set up your tracking codes and other third party integrations, then you can minimize any issues those create.

The beauty of a custom build is there is no trade-off between speed and quality. When you factor in the lost revenue from bounces and poor conversion that a slower site creates, the investment generally pays for itself.

How to Deal with a CMS

Without taking any action, your performance on mobile will likely fall in the 20s to 40s on Google Pagespeed Insights

Common Options

Plug-ins

WordPress is the dominant market player. Therefore, we will touch on some of the common plug-in for this CMS.

Most of the plug-ins, save W3 total cache, are simple. Most are not free if you want to get the maximum benefit. They do produce a measurable difference in speed, but do not expect to get above 50-60.

AMP

Accelerated Mobile Pages was introduced by Google in and around 2016. AMP is a stripped down version of HMTL which has fewer features, which makes it very fast. But, now you need to manage two sites versus one. Plus, you lose consistency between mobile and desktop

Theme Optimization

Since you are changing the theme itself, this requires a significant amount of coding knowledge to do it right. This usually requires hiring a developer.

A good developer can usually clean up the theme enough that you can reach custom speeds. The cost is generally equal to higher than a customer build depending on the work required.

Summary

If you want lightning fast speed, skip the CMS. We recommend a custom build.

  1. No excess code makes the page faster.
  2. You just have to manage one site. There is no need for a separate mobile site.
  3. The lost revenue due to mediocre performance on mobile will likely return more than the upfront investment in a clean, custom build.

ProStraegix is a web design agency with offices in New York City. We also provide SEO and pay per click advertising support to our clients.

See more about Small Business Marketing in Financial District. If you are more interest in the borough, you can see our Small Business Marketing in Manhattan. If you want the full city, you can see our Small Business Marketing in NYC.