Monthly archives "March 2014"

Increasing Website Speed and Performance

Statistics show that even just a 1 second delay in how fast your website loads is enough to decrease the number of page views by 11% while also decreasing the amount of customer satisfaction by 16%. The same 1 second delay is also responsible for decreasing conversion by 7%. The faster your webpages load, the higher your customer satisfaction will be and the better chance you have of increasing your revenue; this was proved to be true when Amazon reported an increase of 1% in revenue for every 100 milliseconds of speed improvement they made to their website. Walmart also saw an increase in revenue, of 2%, for every second they improved their speed by. An Akamai study shows that if your website takes more than three seconds to load, you’re potentially losing 40% of viewers because they will abandon the site while 47% of people expect webpages to load within two seconds. Even if your website doesn’t sale a product or service, having a slow-loading page can cause you to lose readers.

Speeding up your website is critical for several reasons; keeping profits high, and enhancing customer satisfaction. If you run your own website or blog and struggle with it’s loading speed or performance, there are several solutions to increasing your server speed and enhancing your website’s performance.

Before you do anything to improve the speed of your site, it’s a good idea to run a website speed test first in order to get some preliminary data so you know where you’re starting from. That way, with any changes that you make you’ll know if you are actually making an improvement or not. One of the quickest ways of improving site speed is simplifying the website’s design; this can be done by streamlining the number of elements that are featured on your page, as well as using CSS in place of images whenever possible. When it comes to websites, leaner is always better. Another great way that works at improving site speed is to reduce server response time, which can be done by using a web monitoring solution which checks performance.

Another major factor that plays into how long it takes a website to load is its images. Oversized images takes a longer time to load so all images should be kept as small as possible and should never extend past the width of the website’s width; for example, if the website is 570px in width, the image should not be longer than that. Do not just set the image parameter to be width=570 if the image is larger because that will slow load times. You should crop and scale the image down to the actual size it needs to be.

In order to improve performance and speed times, you can also optimize CSS delivery, reduce the number of plug-ins that are used, prioritize abode-the-fold content, minimize HTTP requests, enable compression, enable browser caching, minimize resources, and reduce the amount of redirects which only increase the amount of loading time.

Building a User Friendly Website

There’s probably nothing more frustrating to someone searching the web then coming across a website that’s difficult to navigate and isn’t very user friendly. If you’re an owner of a website, you should want your site to be intuitive and not overly-complicated to navigate. If visitors become frustrated with your website and it’s cluttered, they’re not likely to return and so you’ve lost yourself a reader or customer. This is where being knowledgeable in how to build a user friendly website can come in handy.

One of the most important factors that can play into ensuring your website is user friendly is making sure that you have a simple navigation that’s easy to find and easy to follow. You should name each of your webpages appropriately and make sure that your sub navigation (if applicable) relates to the main navigation. If you’re a larger site that has more webpages to put into navigation, be careful to avoid cluttering the main navigation by creating a smaller navigation.

Aside from having an easy navigation, the website layout also plays an important role on determining how user friendly a website is. Your website’s layout should be clean and simple. Your visitors should be able to easily find information and navigate their way throughout your site. Confusing and complicated layouts are one of the top reasons websites lose traffic and potential customers.

Not only should your layout be clean and simple, it should also be visually appealing to visitors. While you don’t want to clutter your site with too many graphics, a few well-placed images can make a site more attractive.

Adding search functionality is another great way to ensuring your visitors will be satisfied as they navigate through your website. Adding a search bar allows visitors to easily find specific information they may be looking for and can save time from having to search all over your site for it when you’ve made it easy for them to find. Of course, the search bar itself should be easy to access and should appear on the home page of your website.

It’s also a good idea to make it easy for visitors to contact you. Placing your email, phone number, any information of contact that you would like your visitors to have, should be in the footer so it appears on every page of your website; making it easy to find by any visitor who wishes to obtain that information.

A user friendly website may also load faster, helping to prevent visitors from becoming impatient and leaving your site. Other things you can do may include ensuring that you have a good host, adequate bandwidth, and avoiding excessive page elements that can slow your site down.