senior digital developer at Greteman Group, a marketing
communications agency based in Wichita, KS, the Air Capital.
Websitesí Need for Speed
s a species,
weíve become terribly impatient. We complain that our
minute rice takes forever to cook, then burn our mouths
eating it before it cools.
Another case in point: people
quickly leave websites they perceive to be slow. Google found that an extra
500ms in search-page generation time dropped traffic by 20%. Performance affects
sales as well. Back in 2008, Amazon calculated that every 100ms of latency cost
them 1% in sales. Last year, Amazon.com racked up almost $178 billion in sales,
so a 1% hit would hurt. If youíve never thought about what your website
experience might be costing you, now is the time to start.
Good usability indicates
that a webpage should load in one second or less. Studies have shown
that 57% will abandon a site that takes 3 seconds or more to load.
And 80% of users who
encounter a sluggish site donít return. Almost half of those will
talk about their negative experience with others.
There are hidden, but equally
high costs of a slow website. Itís not just people who donít stick around.
Search engines wonít either. You work so hard (you do, right?) to optimize your
sites for search engines (SEO). But because site speed is a key metric Google
uses to rank your pages, all your SEO efforts could be for nothing if a slow web
page lands you too far down the search-results page to be noticed. A slow
website also results in search engines crawling fewer pages, which means some
pages on your site might not be seen by Google at all.
Relative Speed Can Be Measured
You might be saying to
yourself, ďMy website seems fast to me.Ē But remember, youíre on
your desktop computer at work using your high-speed internet
Also, youíre going to
be more forgiving of your websiteís speed than someone just
discovering your site. And as more and more people view websites on
mobile devices, your experience at work will be very different than
someone on an iPhone with a bad connection.
In order to take positive steps
to increase your websiteís performance, first determine your websiteís relative
speed. Google will help you. Go to its
Insights, enter your URL,
and in a matter of seconds it will analyze your siteís speed and optimization.
It will even provide suggestions on how to fix any issues it finds. Itís a great
resource. Try it out.
Simple Steps to Increase Your Siteís Speed
You can increase your page speed
in any number of ways. In fact, sites with great performance rely on the
cumulative effects of several techniques, each shaving off a little bit of load
time. Without getting too technical, Iíll share some of of the top ones.
- Large photos on your site often lead to slow-loading pages. You can combat
that by compressing them as much as possible when saving. And make sure that
youíre saving your photos at the size youíll be using them instead of relying on
the browser to make them smaller.
Compress Everything Else
- There are lots of files visitors donít see that add to page load,
reduce the size of these files. The smaller those files, the faster
they travel across the internet and into a browser.
Code - There are a million
ways to code the same thing on a website. A good web developer will
find a solution that uses as little code as possible, and never
leaves in code that isnít being used by the site. This leads to
smaller file sizes and faster pages.
Minify Your Code
- Minification is a word you ought to know. Itís the process of removing
unnecessary data, like spaces, in order to make file sizes smaller. We always
say that less is more. That can be especially true with code.
Leverage Browser Caching
- Browsers donít have to reload the entire page again when information has been
cached from a previous visit. Set an optimal caching policy for your site so
previously fetched responses can be reused, if possible.
Improve Server Response
Time - Determine where you might have
bottlenecks. Look into your content management system (CMS), your web framework,
code libraries and more. Server response time ought to be under 200ms.
Visitors Wonít Wait, You Shouldnít Either
Website performance doesnít have
to keep you up at night, but it should worry you enough to do something about
it. Itís becoming increasingly important as our expectations about websites
change. You should strive for continual improvement, taking small steps wherever
you can in order to get your pages under that one-second mark. Because if you
donít, your visitors will leave for instant gratification elsewhere. Waiting is
no longer an option.
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 3rd May 2018| Issue #462