When you run a business, you have to be sure to keep up with the latest trends and practices. In today’s age, the internet has become a major part of business. Almost everyone has access to the internet on a daily basis, be it through their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. That’s why having a strong internet presence is so important for a company. You can reach a wide audience through a medium that they are comfortable using. However, due to changing technologies, consumer patterns, and resources, websites are constantly changing. You should be sure to keep up with these trends in order to stay relevant to your potential customers and keep your business thriving. With the new year, there will be some changes in the way websites operate. Read on to learn how to keep your website relevant in 2016.

  1. Ditching Stock Photos

While stock photos are convenient and available for universal use, we are starting to see a decline in their popularity. More and more, companies are starting to use their own photos for a more personal, genuine feel. Using your own photos on a website can make customers feel more connected to your business and also shows that you are dedicated enough to take the time to produce them. Some sites are ditching stock photos for videos, infographics, and even GIFs for a new look. Adding this small element of customization can make a big difference in your website’s look.

  1. Forms go Full Screen

Most sites and apps are now making their forms go full screen. These forms include mailing list sign ups, contact forms, and logins. Instead of having to work with only a small part of the screen to send an email or login to a site, you can utilize the full screen. While in the past many sites would load an entirely new screen for such an action, the latest pattern is to have the form appear as a full-screen overlay. Trends show that customers prefer this larger, more user-friendly look because it is easier to use, and doesn’t involve having to navigate their way around the website again once they have completed the form.

  1. Function over Appearance

While having an aesthetically pleasing website is important for making a great first impression, users will be instantly turned off if the site doesn’t function well. 2016 will be a year of more perceptive users who are in tune with how a website should operate smoothly. This trend is a natural part of the internet’s progression, for as more people use websites, the more they will understand the difference between a good and a bad one. Make sure that all links lead somewhere and that details such as drop down menus are easy to navigate and follow.

While having a website can be a huge asset to your company, it can also be a detriment if not properly maintained. A website is a statement of how socially and technologically aware a business is, and you want to show customers that you are staying progressive in 2016. If you want help making sure your website is as up to date as it should be, don’t hesitate to reach out to a digital media marketing firm that specializes in online content.