How New Technology is Affecting Your Website

August 25, 2010

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By Jules Allen, CIO

It’s said that dogs age at a rate that is seven times that of humans. That’s crazy we say. Once you get a puppy home from the breeder or shelter, they seem to age at the speed of sound. And somewhere in between is the ever-changing technology of the Web. Technology’s forward march waits for no man, woman or dog it seems.

Who could have predicted that Apple’s recently released iPad would cause such a kerfuffle around Adobe’s Flash? Two giant corporations with GDPs rivaling small nations postured, press released, and inspired a deluge of Tweets from pundits large and small. You may not be aware, but none of the Apple suite of mobile Internet products – iPad, iTouch or iPhone – will run Flash. Apple won’t allow it on any of them. “Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices,” says Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs. You can read more about Job’s thoughts on the topic at Wired.

So how does that affect you if you don’t even own one of these devices? Well, if your website is entirely Flash-based, or uses it for things like spiffy opening graphics or navigation, then anyone using one of these devices is locked out of that part of your website experience. Or if your call to action/strategic sales closer includes a Flash video, then nobody with an iDevice is going to see it, leaving them confused, no doubt.

“Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices.” — Apple CEO Steve Jobs

A Web property is much like a owning a car: There’s regular maintenance, an occasional change of tires, replenishing fluids, and so forth. You wouldn’t dream of owning a car without thinking about these ongoing costs yet often this is what happens with websites. New browsers appear, entirely new platforms seem to drop out of the sky, and you’re doing yourself and your customers and prospects a disservice by not allowing them to interact with you. It’s now obvious that mobile compatibility is an essential part of a modern usable website, and this is a problem indeed.

Next up, Microsoft is striding toward releasing Internet Explorer 9, Mozilla’s FireFox 4 is just around the corner, and both browsers will be adopted en masse. Have you tested the pre-releases with your site? Aesthetics aside, if you have an ecommerce site and people can’t buy from you, you’re going to have to explain lost revenue to your CEO, board, or personal coffers. How will you know it’s not working other than an irate email from a prospect unable to buy from you?

BroadBased regularly reviews client websites for current and future compatibility issues and encourages you to do the same. Lost revenue, customer frustration and damage to your image are always more expensive than simple maintenance – even in the short term.


Jan Hirabayashi founded BroadBased in 1996 and is the company's CEO and lead marketing strategist.