Fast Mobile Designs Win in Times Square

Francisco Diez from New Jersey, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Times Square: Darkening of Broadway

Everyone knows Broadway & Times Square. It’s the iconic heart of New York City. Times Square was always a buzz with tourists and businesses catering to them. You can almost find anything there from upscale restaurants on Restaurant’s Row, to dives, to chain stores.

However, like much of the entertainment industry, this neighborhood has been rocked by COVID. Many of the venues are anticipated to be shuttered until the Fall of 2021. This has left the areas businesses struggling to cope. Many have pivoted. Some are no longer around.

Hopefully, as things begin to start to return to some semblance of normal in the Fall Season, the key challenge facing many Time Square businesses will be re-engaging with lapsed customers and tourism.

Why Web Design Matters in Times Square?

A key ingredient in Lincoln Square's comeback post COVID is letting lapsed customers know you are around and welcome them back. With restrictions beginning to lift as we go into the summer, make sure you are ready with a great website.

  1. Your site to help you re-engage with a lapsed audience to let them know when you will be back up.
  2. A great web design can raise awareness among both lapsed customers but also making connections to new ones. 
  3. Mobile lets neighbors know you are nearby, open, and accessible, especially as open venues start to come back

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 Local Digital Marketing Matters in Times Square?

A key ingredient in Times Square's comeback post COVID is letting lapsed customers and tourists know it’s safe, you are still here, and you welcome them back. Local digital marketing can help you do just that. 

  1. Local digital marketing in Times Square is about re-engaging with a lapsed audience.
  2. Digital is important to raise awareness among both lapsed customers but also making connections to new ones. 
  3. It lets neighbors know you are nearby, open, and accessible, especially as we dig out from COVID in back half 2021.

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 Times Square. 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.