Most visitors expect e-commerce websites to have delightful, visual treats, including product images, videos, and engaging content for them.
The problem? While these go a long way in reducing bounce rates, they can take up a lot of space and slow your website down.
Is the big, glitzy image on your brand new landing page causing it to load at a snail’s pace? Have your conversion rates gone down just after you updated your e-commerce website with photos of your new fashion collection? This means that your website’s assets haven’t been optimized for speed and responsiveness.
Just like a race car’s performance is impacted if it is too heavy, the same goes for your website! In this digital age, internet users expect websites to load in less than 2 seconds. Take any more than that, and they will shift to your competitor’s website! No one wants that.
Here, we will highlight how you can build an attractive website that follows the best design practices and delivers a super-fast performance every single time. Read on to know more:
Begin with web page analysis
When a racecar is too bulky, its performance on the track suffers. To solve the problem, technicians conduct a full assessment of the racecar to identify the problem areas. That is precisely what you should do with your website.
The first step to website optimization begins with identifying the bulkiest components. Profiling each web page for slow-loading components will help you understand the areas you need to work on.
Special tools, such as Firebug, make web page profiling a breeze. These take into consideration all the components, from images, CSS files, to HTML documents. Here, one should keep in mind that the goal should be to have the smallest file sizes without compromising on quality. Experts recommend that keeping files under 25kb would be a good idea.
Rework on images
Once the weighty components are identified in a racecar, the technicians immediately get to work to tone them down! For instance, they may opt for a lighter, smaller driver seat, opt for lightweight brake disc brake rotors, or even go to the extent of stripping the car down to the bare essentials.
If your website loads at a snail’s pace, you may also have to go through this route. The primary culprits of this problem may be the product images on your website.
To reduce file sizes, make sure that you fall back upon file formats such as WEBP, which ensure seamless compression without loss of quality.
Next, instead of going after an image’s width and height definition in HTML, choose to resize photos before the server sees them. You can use several image editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, all of which are enabled with quick compression options. Or, leave it to the experts! You can always bank upon designers at On Your Mark to take care of this aspect!
Utilize smart CSS practices to group images
Race Car technicians have to make the most of the space that’s available inside the car. To make the ride go faster, they bundle a few integral parts together to save space. For instance, many experts recommend relocating and adding the car’s battery to the trunk for better weight distribution.
You can do the same with your website too!
Thankfully, you can reduce the number of image files on a particular web page by simply grouping them together. With CSS sprites, multiple images can be combined to address the issue of enormous file sizes and slow site loading speeds. Moreover, this also helps reduce the need for unnecessary HTTP requests. This works wonders for your website’s speed. Just like a light racecar zooms across the track, your website becomes a speed machine too!
Eliminate redundant data
Remember we talked about stripping a racecar down until it only has what’s absolutely important? Let’s drill down on how you can do this with your website.
Removing unnecessary code comments, markup, and white space does not only help clean up your act, but it can be the key to lowering your website’s use of bandwidth. Code baggage is never a good idea when your goal is to have a website that loads at a breakneck speed.
This process is known as ‘minification’ in the developer’s world, and it can be a blessing in disguise for individuals who access your website with limited data plans. In addition to this, you can also go the extra mile to lower code size with HTML5 semantic elements.
These few changes will enhance your website’s speed and result in a seamless user experience, all of which will keep you ahead of the race!
Upgrade your hosting plan
Timely maintenance and upkeep of a racecar ensures enhanced driving experience and performance. Similarly, your hosting provider is responsible for ensuring that your website is online 24/7. If it lags all the time, a hosting plan upgrade may be necessary.
This is one of the quickest, most trouble-free approaches to cranking up your website’s speed. Usually, when people build a website for the first time, they go for low-priced, basic site hosting plans.
But it is important to remember that your website grows with time, just like you and your business. You add more content, more image files, and even more videos with every passing day. Therefore, it is only normal for it to get slower with spikes in traffic and content uploads.
That is why striking a balance between cost and performance becomes absolutely essential to make room for this growth and to ensure that your website runs without any glitches.
Signing up for an upgraded hosting plan that meets your current needs can help solve this problem quickly and also save you from unexpected website crashes. Just like you don’t want a car crashing on the race track, you wouldn’t want this with your website either!
Get rid of excess ads
Did you know that race car technicians also opt for carbon-fiber body panels and lighter exteriors to tone down the weight of their beast? That’s right. So, how about taking a leaf out of their book to get rid of a few third-party ads on your website?
Excessive ads can act as colossal site speed leeches! Nowadays, sites have too many ad slots, which results in a dramatic increase in page weights. This not only irks Google but can also be frustrating for returning customers to your e-commerce site.
Moreover, it can wreak havoc on your bounce rates and can take an average user’s attention away from YOUR products. By letting go of a few ad slots, you will probably make less ad money, but it can be great for your brand’s online presence and keep you in the race for the long run.
These are some of the strategies you can use to ensure that your website looks great and loads at lightning speed!
All these recommendations may seem overwhelming; but don’t worry. You need not start working on all of them at once. It also helps to have professionals by your side who can guide you every step of the way to maximize your site’s performance and optimize it for enhanced reach.
With On Your Mark’s team of agile ecommerce experts and website developers, you get to build a super-fast website from the ground up in record time. Leave the technology load to us!
If enhancing your website’s load time is on your agenda, we’d love to have a chat with you. Contact us for a free quote today.