PHP7 shifts up a gear
The latest version of the PHP language, released in 2016, brings a lot of new features, but it has another, more important asset. PHP7 gives rise to much better performance. The language’s publisher, Zend, claims websites run between 25% and 70% faster with the same server, which is quite impressive! WordPress was updated in early 2017 to implement PHP7. It is therefore highly recommended to take this evolution into account by updating your CMS… …because every second counts for Internet users. The French chain Etam claims to have gained a 20% conversion rate after its website loading time fell to less than 0.7 seconds. A criterion that Google is scrutinising more and more closely. A word to the wise…
HTTPS reassures your users
As its name suggests, the HTTPS connection protocol goes further than its little brother, HTTP. What’s its advantage? A level of encryption that protects users. Indeed, this new secure protocol was first created to encrypt sensitive data for banking and online sales sites. So why consider this development for your own website?
First reason: Google. Since 2015, HTTPS sites are better referenced by search engine algorithms because they are safer for users. In addition, in recent months, browsers have started to indicate “unsecure connection” for HTTP sites, in order to force web developers to systematically encrypt connections between websites and users.
Google has decided to go even further to promote the adoption of this good practice, by displaying an additional notification in the bar of its Chrome browser, version 68 upwards (released in July 2018), as per the following screenshot:
Migrating your site from HTTP to HTTPS is now even more pressing, as it reassures users, especially on sites that handle personal data.
AMP gives mobile devices the special treatment
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), is a new article format proposed by Google. What’s its special feature? It is designed 100% for mobile devices. To optimise the display of content on smartphones, AMP removes many useless lines of code and vastly improves web page loading times. What’s more, sites offering articles in AMP will be favoured by Google for SEO.
You have probably already experienced it without realising it. It is very easily recognisable by its small icon:
Initially reserved for blog articles, Google is developing its new language, adapting it to e-commerce sites. In addition, all of the sites that have already adopted it have increased their rate of mobile visits, as well as their conversion rate.
From a technical point of view, AMP is simple to set up for anybody who has mastered HTML: simply follow the guidelines in the official documentation. Google also offers an online validator to test your website. With all this, you’ll be ready to give your site’s performance a major boost, and step up your viewing and conversion rates.
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