A site needs to perform well for its visitors in order to perform well as a business asset.
However, there’s no set recipe for good performance and every web designer will have different approaches to the matter. The approaches don’t matter (and some can get quite complex), but the result does. If a page delays a customer by just one second, it results in 11% fewer page views and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction. This means improving your site’s functional performance has a huge impact on how well it performs as a money-maker. Here are some simple tips to help you improve your sites speed and performance.
Keep HTTP requests to a minimum
HTTP requests are made for each element that your website has, be it an image, script or even a CSS stylesheet. This can slow down your page, cause it to lag and load at a much slower pace and ultimately impact your revenue. You should figure out how many HTTP requests your site currently makes with a good Developer Tool analyzer (chrome has one built-in) and look for areas that you can cut without negatively impacting the customer experience.
Fiddle around with your files
Comb through all your HTML, CSS and JS files and minify them. This is a term that refers to reducing the size of each file by combining the ones that can be combined. This is even important if you’re using a template builder like WordPress or Shopify, as they can sometimes result in messy and unnecessary code. Every byte counts when minifying. That means eliminate any formatting or code that isn’t completely vital to the function of your site. This even includes extra spaces, line breaks or indentation. Once you’ve minified, you can then control the way that they load on your page. You can do this by controlling whether your files load synchronously or asynchronously, which basically means if they load one at a time or at the same time. Asynchronous loading can help to speed up your performance as it allows your browser to load your JS file at the same time as it loads other elements.
Get some help
After you have done all of this, you may want to get some analytical help so you can ensure that the users of the site have as streamlined an experience as possible, and that your site only includes what it needs to. Sites like Digivante will be able to tell you which elements of each page are dwelled on by visitors and which elements make little or no difference to the overall value of your site. Once you’ve identified any unnecessary fat around the edges, you can trim that off and increase your site speed even more.
So, there you have it – with a few simple tricks you can slash the loading time of your site and cause your traffic to increase, customer satisfaction to increase and even impact your conversion rates by reducing customer hesitation.