The Top 5 WordPress Website Trends To Watch Out For In 2022

Every time the new year rings in, new trends in website design and development emerge. From modern minimalist design, fonts, and colours to cinema-style full screen homepage video banners and everything in between, the new year brings change. We have put together our top 5 WordPress website trends to watch out for in 2022.

WordPress brings so much to the table as a website management platform, and is used by almost half of all sites on the internet. Keeping that in mind, which website trends are the best? And more importantly, which website trends will keep people on your site for longer?

A website’s bounce rate can be a real issue for small and large online businesses alike. However, a few key upgrades to the style and functionality of your website can make all the difference. Whenever considering an upgrade or two, think about the website and the search engine holistically. The goal of jumping on a WordPress website trend is to lower bounce rate and increase the time spent on your website. These trends for 2022 and beyond, will bring you the biggest bang for buck when considering an upgrade or newly developed website. 

1 WooCommerce – an e-commerce solution that just keeps on giving 

Woocommerce is an amazing plug-in that enables your website for e-commerce. Over the years it has developed into an all-in-one online shopping solution for products and services alike. Since 2020 the Irish online shopping market has grown exponentially and Woocommerce has helped increase revenue for businesses at an unprecedented rate. Partly due to the pandemic and partly due to its continued improvements making it easy-to-use. It is simple to add products, update services and adjust stock amounts. With the Local Enterprise Office continuing the Trading Online Voucher (TOV) of up to €2500 towards your e-commerce website, if your business is not online in 2022 you’re missing out on a piece of the e-commerce growth pie! Click here to read about the grant.

2 Improved Performance for Mobile

Your website being in tip top condition for mobile is more important than ever in 2022. With most searches taking place on mobile devices, a sharp rise in popularity of voice search and Google placing evermore focus on mobile performance we have listed some areas to improve on your website:

  • Interactivity
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Fix it!
  • App like user experience
  • Thumb-friendly mobile navigation 
  • Voice search optimised content
  • Page load speed
  • Compress videos


3 Web Progressive Apps (PWA)

If you want to go to the next level with your online mobile presence a web progressive app is the way forward. So, what is it and how will it benefit your business by having one developed? An app as we know it, is downloaded from the app store, accessed from the widget downloaded on your phone. A PWA is available across the web and accessible from multiple platforms. Its basic functionality includes working offline and device hard drive access, Here are list of some of the best benefits it has to offer for your business:

  • Speed. It is 2 to 3 times faster than regular websites.
  • Great for SEO.
  • Instant updates (No app store approval needed). 
  • Works with a slow internet connection or offline!
  • Vastly improved user experience.
  • Available on all platforms

Major brands including Twitter, Pinterest and The Washington Post have reinforced their mobile efforts and released PWAs. Some of the most powerful examples of PWAs include those used by media companies, platforms for social news or music-sharing, travel services, and e-commerce solutions. Such as Uber, Starbucks, BMW and Spotify. 

These are just a few of the fantastic benefits a PWA has to offer your business. 

4 Visual Design Trends

Getting the visual design of a website right is one of the key ingredients to enticing potential customers to stay longer on your website. Gone are the days of static 2D design. Users want a visual experience they will remember. Here are five of the coolest and top website trends 2022 that will get your customers talking: 

  • One-page Websites – Keep it simple for professional portfolios and digital CVs. Showcase what you have on offer with a single scrollable page. 
  • Bold Fonts – Words can be much more than copy, they can be the main focal point. Bold minimalist fonts/text elements can also improve mobile user experience.
  • Interactive Elements – Why keep text static when WordPress’ best friend Elementor offers aesthetically pleasing animation versions.
  • Design Elements Overlapping – By adding a modern feel to the overall look of your website through overlapping elements, people are encouraged to stick around on your website for longer. 
  • Bold Colours – Think big, bright and bold colours for 2022. Mix this with minimalism and showcase your brand in style.

5 AI Powered Human-Like Chatbots

Small businesses thrive on conversation fuelling conversion. Larger organisations can learn a thing or two about engagement from them. Unfortunately, larger organisations struggle to have authentic and real interactions with customers, causing a lot of frustration. The robotic answer system of chatbots that can annoy even the most patient of people, is going to be a thing of the past. AI is using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to decipher what a customer is actually asking. For example, the technology teaches itself how to reply based on what kind of response it gets. Not only can the human-like AI chatbot help save time and resources, it also improves your websites rankings on Google by using natural language. 

6 Improved Accessibility

When talking about the top website trends of 2022 Accessibility has to be considered. It will continue to be a factor for not only ensuring your site is inclusive for people of all abilities but also for Google’s ever changing algorithm. Google loves to be told what an image or video is all about. Gutenberg, a popular WordPress editing plug-in has enabled the addition of subtitles and captions to videos by using the (WebVTT) in the Gutenberg video block. We hope this trend continues to make website content accessible to all. 

Staying on top website trends and advancements is key to staying ahead of the competition. To find out more about getting your website developed or redesigned Contact 2Cubed today!

You can also contact us on 01 905 8114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.iePlease feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles.

LEO Trading Online Voucher – 2022 update

  • Financial assistance for businesses to build a presence and trade more online
  • Up to €2,500 available or up to 50% of this coming from your business
  • Businesses that have already received an online trading voucher previously are eligible to apply for a second voucher

The LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme has been in place for a number of years and has offered thousands of businesses the funding to start or help with trading online. The good news is that the scheme is continuing on into 2022.

With Covid-19 hitting many businesses over the last two years, the 2020/2021 scheme was a fantastic way to build online platforms as many businesses looked to get an eCommerce element in place. The vouchers are worth up to €2,500 or up to 50% of the total (whichever is less).

In order to apply and be eligible for the scheme this year, you must:

– Be trading for at least six months

– Employ between 1 and 10 staff

– Attend a Trading Online Seminar with your Local Enterprise Office

How can the Trading Online Voucher be used?

  • Launch your new online shop with an e-commerce website or upgrade your existing one
  • Get digitalisation consultancy and specialist IT advice
  • Add booking systems and online payments or to your existing website  
  • Develop an app
  • Online advertising online
  • For a subscription to a retail platform solution

More information on the scheme can be found here

You can apply online to the LEO Trading Online Voucher application form by clicking here

Contacting us

If you have any questions on this scheme, please reach out to us in the same channels as you normally would:

Technical Support – support@2cubed.ie

General Enquiries – by using our contact form or by emailing hello@2cubed.ie. You can also avail of the LiveChat service on our website.

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eCommerce Websites Ireland

Category: News

2Cubed offer bespoke designed, flexible, and user friendly eCommerce Websites for businesses across Ireland. Now more than ever, eCommerce is booming! It’s estimated that in 2020 the Irish eCommerce market was valued at $4 billion (source).

Selling Online

Selling your products or services online can be a daunting experience. 2Cubed are here to help you grow your business online. We aim to support you along all steps of the process. You can find out how we work by checking out our process.

Payment Integration

We will advise you on which payment gateway / provider suits your needs best. We have years of experience working with the likes of Stripe, Global Payments, Sage Pay and custom integrations. Just ask us and we’ll advise!

eCommerce Solutions

Whether it’s Woocommerce, Shopify or another platform, we are here to answer questions you may have about which platform suits best. 2Cubed have designed and developed websites in a wide range of industries. You can see some of our work here – https://2cubed.ie/web-design-portfolio/

Support & Maintenance

Once we launch your shiny new eCommerce website, this is just the beginning. We are on hand to assist and support you moving forward. Our website maintenance service gives you the peace of mind that you are not alone when building and growing your eCommerce website. We will take care of updates, security and patches leaving you to focus on what’s important.

Contact us

Get in touch today by filling in the form below. You can also call us on 051-440425 and a member of our expert staff will help.

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Free SEO Audit

Would you like a free SEO Audit for your site? Fill in the SEO Form or email content@2cubed.ie to get started!

If you’re interested in building traffic and increasing leads and customers, you should consider an SEO audit followed by an SEO strategy.

SEO Audits are a review focusing on discovering the strengths and weaknesses of your website from an overall SEO perspective. SEO Audits when done correctly, can provide you with valuable information such as the following:

  • Gives you an insight into the technical health and crawl-ability of your website
  • Provides you with data which will help to inform your planning when it comes to developing SEO strategies
  • Helps to identify issues to resolve which will aid towards generating a better overall user experience for visitors to the website
  • Highlights areas for improvement that will lead to improving your search visibility on Google and other search engines

To compile a complete, thorough and accurate SEO Audit report one would usually focus around examining three key areas which would be Technical SEO, On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.

Technical SEO is the part of the audit from which the information gained will actually help you to find out just how healthy your website is overall from a technical point of view. The Technical SEO aspect of the audit can also help you to make improvements to the website as while doing it you can end up discovering issues that need to be rectified such as crawl issues, 404s, orphan pages, server errors, etc…

On-Page SEO is the part of the audit where you review how you can further optimise content that is visible on the pages of your website. This literally means everything that you can see on a page on your website so images and text. The information gained from the On-Page SEO aspect of the audit provides us with really helpful information such as information regarding keywords like which keywords you are ranking for. By using this information gained from your in-depth keyword research you can use it to inform your strategy in the future when it comes to incorporating keywords into future content.

Off-Page SEO is the part of the audit which allows us to review how off-site activities can be improved such as link building, anchor text etc.. Off-page SEO primarily is about SEO which can be done outside of your website by you elsewhere on the internet to improve your presence online. Any effective SEO strategy for your website should include at least one element which addresses off-site activities. Strategies such as when you reach out to other websites to develop link building is a perfect example of an off page SEO strategy one can take.

Performing an SEO Audit is something that is a must do for any website who wishes to further enhance and improve their business through using the information gained to develop a robust strategy. By clearly discovering and identifying problems, you can form a strategy of actionable steps to take which can help place your business on a positive trajectory which will lead to long-term growth. It’s in your interest to do an SEO Audit today!

To find out more about excellent tools and strategies to use to improve your website Contact 2Cubed today!

You can also contact us on 01 905 8114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie

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Core Web Vitals – Page Experience Ranking Update

As far back as 2012, when web technologies were far behind what they are now, it was estimated that just a 1 second delay could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales each year. Slow loading webpages can cause a host of problems including higher bounce rates and lower conversions and can have a negative effect on business success overall.

 

In today’s busy world, nothing frustrates us more than having to wait. Whether it’s a bus, a train or a website, we expect everything to be instant nowadays.

When we look at website speed from the outside, it’s a very complex issue. The amount of variables taken into consideration just to load a webpage are considerable and this varies for each and every website. The technologies in place, the hosting setup, optimisation and much more are all factored in to this.

On top of this, speed and mobile usage should be optimised fully to enhance Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). By keeping on top of this, you can ensure that you are maximising one of the factors that go into your search ranking.

Core Web Vitals – June 2021 – Google Update

The upcoming Google Pagespeed Experience update has now been pushed to roll out in mid-June gradually rather than in May as previously announced. Page Experience Signals will now play a huge part in search rankings. The purpose is to ensure end users have a great experience when visiting pages on your website.  https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2020/11/timing-for-page-experience

Update: this initial rollout is now complete –

New Technologies for a Faster Web

Clunky, old websites can and will most likely cause havoc for SEOs and keen web traffic analysts once this new update is released. Our resident speedster Scott Kennedy has been spending hours upon hours researching solutions for a faster web! Scott’s project WPGridsome (https://wpgridsome.com/) is available for viewing and describes the technology that’s gone into it. Running a Google Pagespeed Test gives some hugely impressive results – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.

There’s also a fantastic explanation of the overall process and infrastructure here – https://gridsome.org/docs/fast-by-default/

Using the Jamstack architecture can help enormously and can take your website to the next level performance wise. This modern technology offers a wide range of benefits and is just one of the ways that can help – https://jamstack.org/

Other ways to improve Google Pagespeed Insights scores?

Some tips for improving your score without an entire new site architecture are as follows:

  • Image optimisation
  • Serving images in a next gen format
  • Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
  • Remove unnecessary plugins
  • Improve your hosting package
  • Implement website caching
  • Optimise your database

Tools for Testing Speed

Google Pagespeed Insights
Pingdom
GTMetrix
Think with Google
LightHouse Metrics

Some FAQs on this topic can be found her – https://support.google.com/webmasters/thread/104436075/core-web-vitals-page-experience-faqs-updated-march-2021

Get in touch now to discuss your options! 2Cubed can help you to improve your website speed giving your users a far better experience. You can call us at 051-440425 and ask for Stephen or follow the link below:

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eCommerce VAT Changes – July 2021

On 1st July 2021, new rules concerning VAT on eCommerce transactions in the EU come into effect. It’s important to understand how this may affect your business. The main purpose of this initiative is to simplify VAT obligations in relation to eCommerce activity.

How will the 2021 eCommerce Vat changes affect me?

If your business facilitates sales or deliveries (distance sellers) within the EU then you may be affected. As it stands, the current thresholds for distance sale of goods in the EU will be abolished and replaced by a €10,000 threshold across the board.

Online sellers can now register for VAT obligations in one EU Member state which can then be used for declarations on all goods and services sold within in the EU. It’s important to note that all orders sent to the EU are now subject to VAT.

What to do next?

If you have any questions on potential implications, please review the following resources:

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/vat-e-commerce_en

https://www.shopify.ie/blog/eu-vat-changes-2021

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/telecommunications-broadcasting-electronic-services/

For more information, contact us today!

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Website Security – Protect Your Website From Malware

Category: Tips and Tricks

The recent security breach of the HSE systems in Ireland highlights the chaos that can occur when such an event happens. This particular cyber attack has had a huge impact on a national health service and will take weeks or months to resolve at an enormous cost. On top of this, over 700GB of data has been breached which opens up a whole other can of worms.

The majority of websites are quite vulnerable from a security point of view and should take action to address this and protect data now before it’s too late.

Website Security

Cyber Attacks are not going away, in-fact they are now more prevalent than ever before. The groups behind these attacks are extremely sophisticated and they are also practically untraceable. This we cannot control. What you can control however is your website’s security. Think of website security as the health of your site, when your website security is strong your site is in good health, when your website has poor or no security your site is in bad health, and just like human’s, when you are feeling weak, it’s harder to protect yourself from dangers. Hackers thrive on sites who are in weak health and vulnerable.

How do I protect my website?

In order to ensure your website is secure, you should get into the habit of regularly performing  a health check or penetration testing to see how it’s performing and reacting. Some basic ways  of increasing your website security and keeping it in good health are switching to HTTPS and having a firewall / brute force protection in place. Tools like Sucuri and Wordfence Pro are great for this.

In order to switch to HTTPS, you will have to acquire and install an SSL certificate. Normally, older websites are hosted and indexed on just HTTP, this is a problem because HTTP is not secure and hackers can essentially ‘listen’ in on any data that is being passed between your site and a visitors browser. This data could be of a severely sensitive nature such as card details or login credentials such as username, passwords etc..

HTTPS provides an encrypted connection between your website and a user’s browser. This  ensures that any data can not be intercepted or “listened” on by hackers. Google have also made it clear that HTTPS is a ranking factor in their algorithm. Google favours websites who use HTTPS over HTTP.

To inquire about getting an SSL certificate for your site get in touch with us today!

Malware Protection

As well as switching to HTTPS, another way of drastically improving your website security is by having a malware protection tool such as Sucuri or Wordfence (as above). This is a security feature that monitors your website and it looks for things such as malware in particular. You can think of this as being like anti-virus for your website. This constantly works in the background and monitors your files and activity and if it comes across malware it will notify you so that you can remove it and keep your site safe.

Website Maintenance

Having your hosting, website security and maintenance looked after by a professional company is simply the smart decision, it will not only give you peace and mind that your site is being looked after by experts but you will also now be able to focus your time on your business and your customers.

By having a maintenance agreement in place you won’t have to continually pay each and every time you need an update done, you can rest easy in the knowledge that it will be automatically covered by your agreement, it will save you money in the long run compared to having to go it by yourself.

Once you think you have done all you can in relation to improving your security then it’s time to actually test your website security and give your site a health check. The most effective way of doing this is via the use of some website security tools, often referred to as penetration testing or pen testing for short.

Website Maintenance

For more information about increasing your website security and making sure it’s in good health contact us today!

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Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme – May 2021 Update

A new round of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme totalling €5 million has been made available for Irish businesses to improve their websites or improving their online retail offering. The funding amount is up to a maximum of €40,000.

The scheme is targeted primarily to businesses with a physical location as well as an existing online presence. The grant can also be used to implement a digital strategy.

The scheme has already helped many businesses across Ireland to enhance their online sales and could be a fantastic opportunity for your business to grow. The scheme opened for applications on 4th May 2021 and closes at 12pm on 25th May 2021.

Am I eligible?

This scheme is open to Irish based businesses with at least 10 employees on or before February 29th 2020 with a primary focus on a B2C model. Further eligibility criteria can be found here – https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/funding-supports/online-retail/online-retail-scheme/online-retail-scheme.html

How do I apply?

Applying for the scheme is easy and more information can be found by clicking here.

Contact 2Cubed

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, helping you to build your online presence. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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Website Redesign or Website Reskin?

Category: Tips and Tricks

There comes a point for every website when they are faced with a crossroads. The website may have been around for awhile, it may have become outdated and stale or perhaps it simply just isn’t performing like it use to anymore. It’s at this point where you the website owner will have to make a decision on how to rejuvenate and breathe new life into your website so it will hopefully perform well again.

Reskin or Redesign? Making the right choice

It’s at this point where you will decide whether your website needs a reskin or a complete overall website redesign. Think of your website as a house, sometimes a house simply needs a fresh coat of paint to improve it however if the issues are deeper, simply painting over the cracks won’t solve the issues in the long term and thus a reconstruction would be required, your website acts much the same.

Redesign

A full website redesign refers to overhauling all, or nearly all, of the code and look of a website and would generally require a lot of programming work to give the website a brand new distinguishable look. Using the house metaphor from earlier, in this case, by doing a full website redesign we would be tearing down the old house and building a brand new improved one in its place.

Reskin

A website refresh (commonly known as a website reskin) is akin to as we mentioned before giving your house a fresh coat of paint to improve its overall look and make it more appealing.

The huge difference between a website redesign and a website reskin is that a website reskin won’t necessarily change your website’s core functionality at all but it will give it a new look. You are changing the external aspect of the website so visually it’s different but the internal remains the same whereas with a website redesign the external and the internal both change drastically.

Factors to Consider

When you are deciding on whether you should have your website redesigned or re skinned there are a few factors in particular you should take into account such as:

  • Budget

Sometimes a website only needs a reskin instead of a complete redesign but this is something you need to be sure of because if you pay for a reskin and then a complete redesign 6 months later it was a waste as you should have just went straight for the redesign.

  • Time

The time involved in doing a full comprehensive website redesign would require a lot more time and effort than just a reskin. Therefore, since a website redesign will take more time, it will come down to budget as more hours will equal more cost. If time and budget is too much of an issue for you then a reskin may be a more fitting option for you than a full redesign.

  • Security

As well as budget and time, the security of your website can also be a mitigating factor in your choice. When your security is poor on a website you can experience a whole host of issues. These include slow load times, errors and even risk of viruses all which will drive customers away. Often these issues can be easily solved and rectified through correctly and efficiently optimising the existing code and content.

However, if the actual platform that the website itself is running on is an insecure or unstable platform then in this case doing a full complete website redesign and enhancing or changing the website platform would be the best course of action.

It is generally recommended that a website goes under a full website redesign every 2-3 years and a reskin or refresh every year or so. By implementing consistent website redesigns and reskins this will ensure that your website will always look modern, user friendly and will help increase success for your business.

To find out more about getting your website redesigned or re-skinned Contact 2Cubed today!

You can also contact us on 01 905 8114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie

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7 Reasons Why You Should Hire 2Cubed

When choosing a website provider, there are many things to consider. For many people this will take them outside of their comfort zone and can be an entirely new experience and choosing a provider you can trust is essential to help ensure your web design project goes as smoothly as possible. Whether it’s website development, design or SEO, 2Cubed are here to assist you along the way!

1. Trust

When you choose 2Cubed, you can be confident that you can place your trust in us to help you along the way. We are here to offer guidance and assistance for any questions you may have along the way from project conception to completion. We are focused on helping you achieve your goals and vision.

2. Expertise

With many years of experience in the broad field of website design & development, we are perfectly placed to tailor and execute even the most complex of projects. We have many years experience dealing with web design & development in many industries, API Development, connecting complex systems and interfaces and much more. You can view our broad range of services here – 2Cubed Web Design Services. Our graphic design process allows you to tailor your approach and we are here to help along the way step by step. Your design will only reach programming once you are fully satisfied!

3. Transparency

When you sign up to commence a partnership with 2Cubed, we remain fully committed to be open and transparent along each phase of the project. When we create your project plan, we will ensure that the steps listed within your plan are fully transparent for both parties. This helps to keep the working relationship open and clear. If we feel like your expectations are unrealistic then we will challenge the reasoning behind this and come up with a solution as to not impede or restrict you moving forward.

4. Due Diligence, Process & Care

We aim to exercise caution and care when you approach us for a working partnership. Before commencing, it’s important that both parties are on the same page in terms of the scope of the project. Open and honest communication is at the forefront of our principles. Our carefully planned process is built on years of experience and serves as a valuable tool – https://2cubed.ie/our-process/. This is a core part of our business and one that helps you to fully understand the steps along the way in a simplified manner.

5. Fully Managed Service

At 2Cubed, we offer a wide range of services ensuring that you don’t need to worry about items such as:

  • Hosting
  • Backups
  • Security
  • Domain Management
  • Updates, ongoing maintenance and much more

By taking care of this, we make sure to take the stress and hassle of doing so away from you, allowing you to focus on your own business!

6. Training

When your new website is ready to go-live, we offer an option to have training on using the CMS; adding products, pages, posts and much more. This gives you the flexibility to allow your team members to keep the website up to date with the latest information. Whether it’s adding / editing product data or amending content on page to writing a blog, we will guide you through each and ensure you are comfortable using the new site.

7. Aftercare and Support

When your website is pushed live to the world, you can rest assured that you won’t be left in the lurch. We aim to support you fully in the weeks after the launch and moving forward beyond this. We provide Website Maintenance for hundreds of websites across Ireland and we offer a fully managed support system for each of these. This gives you the comfort that you can reach out with any questions or issues after go-live and will be fully supported.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, helping you to build your online presence. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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