It’s no secret that the days of snail-paced internet are long behind us. No longer do you need to take a shower and do all of your grocery shopping while your email loads a jpeg attachment featuring more lolcats from your mother-in-law. Speed is everything now. As a society we’ve built up an expectation that we deserve to be able to access the information we want in the blink of an eye.
That’s why the load time of your website is perhaps the leading factor tied to its usability. If we don’t encounter a fully loaded page within seconds or even milliseconds, most of us just simply move on. Making sure your website loads quickly is paramount in keeping people on the site. Here are just a few quick and easy tips to help achieve this goal:
1. Reduce HTTP Requests
When loading a web page, every object on the page will require a trip to the server to load each part of the page. This goes for scripts, images, etc. A page that needs to load a list of scripts the length of the U.S. Patriot Act is going to really drag out the load time and make people impatient. If your page is summoning too many HTTP requests and your site is receiving even a moderate amount of traffic, this could be a recipe that takes the site down altogether. Be sure to minimize the amount of objects on the page wherever possible and combine style sheets and scripts together.
2. Optimize Images
Even if you don’t have any knowledge of photo or image editing software, there’s really no excuse to throw a 10 megapixel image up on your website expecting it to load quickly as if nobody will notice. There are plenty of free websites out there that will resize images for you. This is one. A properly sized and optimized-for-web image will work wonders for your page load times.
3. Optimize your CSS
Whether you’ve hired someone to build your website, or you’re a do-it-yourselfer, it’s important that the backend of the site is just as clean as the front. Make sure that your code and your style sheets are tidy and streamlined. There are also plenty of online tools to help you clean up your CSS including this one.
Keep in mind that a clean design doesn’t always mean clean code. Certain design elements can often wreak havoc on page loading so make sure that between you and your designer, you have a clear understanding of how key design elements will need to be created during the development phase. We’re a spoiled bunch, this society of ours. Don’t keep us waiting.
If your website is crawling along at the same pace as you before your Monday morning coffee, contact Point Click Media to drop some caffeine in that bad boy.