The days of consumers waiting for a site to load are over. Your end-users want to get to the information on your site – and they want it faster than ever. They want website speed to keep up with their fast-paced browsing habits. Unfortunately, most websites still take several seconds to load. If this is true for your website, your audience will likely bounce costing you valuable 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 your company isn’t left in the dust due to slow load times.
Plan for Different Devices and Different Connection Speeds
When building a website, it’s important to plan for all connection speeds and device types. Though many developers build to the newest, fastest mobile devices and laptops, remember that end-users may still be on older desktops. This is especially important considering that many elements load differently on mobile 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.
It’s equally as important to consider varying Internet speeds. For example, a home Wi-Fi or hard-wired internet connection will be significantly faster than a mobile hotspot or even a public Wi-Fi network. Considering the large number of people who access the internet (and the rate at which that number is growing), optimizing a website for speed is of significant importance.
Optimize Website Elements Where Possible
Developers and creative directors must work together to ensure that a website is both aesthetically pleasing and well-functioning. A particular font or image may look great but take a lot of bandwidth to load. One option to rectify this issue is to compress images so they load faster. Using standard fonts (as opposed to specialty ones that may take extra time to download) is another tactic you can use to help improve site speed.
Improve Website Speed with Browser Caching
Browser caching clears static files or pages from the browser so they don’t need to reload every time a visitor returns to the site. This can vastly improve overall website speed. Though browser caching is available on nearly every type of CMS, developers often forget to enact this feature.