The Importance of Site Load & How to Plan for It

CC: “Responsive Web Design” by Muhammad Rafizeldi (Google+) – INCRIdea IndonesiaSource site: URL: Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The days of consumers waiting for a site to load are over. Your end-users want to get to the information on your site – but they want it faster than ever. Most websites, however, can still take several seconds to load, meaning that your audience may be quickly bouncing and you may be losing valuable potential leads.

Website speed should be something that is planned for throughout the development phase – and this goes for both in-house teams and outsourced vendors. Here are some tips to ensure that you’re company isn’t left behind by not accounting for website speed issues:

Plan for Different Devices and Different Connection Speeds

When building a website, you need to plan for all types of connection speeds and all types of devices. While many people build to the newest, fastest mobile devices and laptops, you need to consider that end-users may still be on older desktops. Why is this important? Elements load differently on these devices. For example, large images may only take a fraction of a second to come up on newer, faster devices, but much longer on older computers.

You should also think about different Internet speeds. A home Wi-Fi or hard-wired connection will be significantly faster than a mobile hotspot or even a public Wi-Fi network. Planning for this is important considering how many people access the Internet from these types of connections.

Optimize Website Elements Where Possible

Developers and creative directors need to work together to ensure that the site is both aesthetically pleasing, but also well-functioning. A particular font or image may look great, but it might take a lot of bandwidth to get this content. Image compression can reduce the overall size of images so that they load faster. Use standard fonts as opposed to specialty ones, which can take some extra time to download.

Incorporate Browser Caching

While this is available on nearly every type of CMS, developers often forget to enact this feature. Browser caching allows for static files or pages to be cached by the browser so it doesn’t need to be reloaded every time a regular visitor comes to site. This can vastly improve overall website speed.

Need someone to determine how well your site is loading? iBeta can assist you with any type of load and performance testing. Contact us to learn more about our services.