May, 3 2016Boost Loading Speed with These Website Design Tips
There’s a new trend that’s been building momentum over the last several years. Most Internet users are shifting away from fast access towards slower Internet access. They prefer using networks with lots of built-in latency that increase delay times. They also prefer devices with less CPU, less memory, and small cache sizes which causes web pages to display more slowly than ordinary desktop computers. No, people aren’t doing this because they enjoy waiting, it’s because their mobile devices and the associated access networks haven’t caught up yet with current website design and Internet browsing capabilities of the desktop computer.
The reason for this increase in mobile Internet access is that the Internet is more integral to people’s lives. Mobile devices allow them to use the Internet when a situation demands it such as checking prices while at a supermarket or looking up directions to an address while walking.
Mobile Internet traffic has already surpassed that of desktops. This means a very large percentage of your website visitors use devices and access networks that are innately slow. By the time the mobile user accesses your site, their patience is already worn thin. Don’t push it further with a slow website design. Here are four tips on boosting your page loading speed:
Keep Image File Sizes Small
There are a number of ways of reducing image file sizes. One is reducing the size of the image. Since mobile screens are small to begin with, there is little point to using super sized images especially if they’re of products on an e-commerce site. You can also use image file compression. There are two basic ways of doing this. There is lossless compression that reduces file size without reducing image quality. Another technique is lossy compression which reduces file size at the expense of image quality. Lossy compression is often viable because many images can tolerate some quality reduction before it becomes noticeable.
Replace Simple Images with CSS
For many images such as purchase buttons and simple icons, an actual image file is unnecessary. You can use CSS code for making colored rectangles and squares. You can round their corners, and add drop shadows and gradients. Many CSS code generators for simple images and objects are available online.
If your website uses a database for rendering its pages, then loading a page often involves multiple database queries which adds to the page load time. This makes the page dynamic, which means it can change the page content depending on external inputs such as the date, the visitor’s IP address, or inputs made by the visitor.
However, many pages on dynamic websites don’t require this capability and can get by with web pages displayed as simple static files. Caching is a technology that stores web pages as static files on the server. A single static file replaces multiple database queries and significantly reduces page load times. Many common content management systems have plug-ins or modules available that enable page caching.
Break Apart Your Content into Several Pages
For many, this means adding another page when the content gets too lengthy. While this simple rule certainly reduces page loading times, there are other more effective content splitting strategies. One is making a distinction between your page’s core content and the secondary content that only serves to support the core content. Place the secondary content on a separate page and link to it from the core content.
Splitting the content in this way reduces file sizes and speeds up loading times. For example, on an e-commerce site, the core page contains the essential information about a product. The secondary page contains customer reviews about the product, shipping information, and related offers.
Get an edge over your competitors by using the above tips to speed up your page loading times. Your slow loading competitors will drive frustrated mobile traffic to your site. For more information on successful website design and e-commerce, contact us at Epic Design Labs.