Improving Your Website’s Performance
February 8, 2014 marketing_wqq40vb8 0
Poor website performance can cost more than the time and patience of your audience, it can also cause you to lose profits and long term viewership as well. While this is a serious problem, it usually has a simple root. If your website connection speed has been slow, it is most likely due to inadequate bandwidth leading to congestion, a bloated theme, or improper mobile optimization.
Pretty But Bloated Themes:
CSS code, HTML templates, and Java themes are all great ways to build a beautiful website. But many website builders often don’t look at the code underneath these themes which can be a big problem. The code needs to be short so computers and servers can focus on other important things like sending and receiving data.
Many free templates are the starting points for a lot of programmers, and while they may be graphically attractive, they are often bloated in regards to the coding underneath and don’t adapt well to being used on different browsers.
You can circumvent this problem by going to premium theme sites that charge between 20-100 dollars for a theme. In addition to having compact yet powerful source code, these themes often come with multiple variations and the support of the company’s customer service department.
Consider Running a Speed Test:
This is an excellent way to see how accessible your website is to a general audience. This test tells you how much bandwidth is available to people wanting to access your website. If the numbers are low or unfavorable such as having frequent interruptions, then the server needs to be tweaked or the third party hosting service changed.
If you operate your own server, you’re responsible for the maintenance, upkeep, and down times for your server. If you chose a third-party hosting company, you don’t have as much control over third party hosting applications. Many online hosting businesses do their maintenance between 1AM-3AM most nights. If you continue to experience slow performance or can’t access the name servers in the middle of the day you should consider switching to a more reliable third party hosting service.
Really, one of the only ways that you’ll know if your site is actually slow or not is if you have some way to accurately measure its performance. There are a number of sites online where you can run a web site speed test, and even find out how your page loads in comparison to other sites. Keep in mind that if you don’t put the data from a speed test to use, then essentially it’s not valuable. What this means is that if your site is running slow, you should take some steps to go ahead and find out why and rectify that. Some sites will offer a waterfall-style chart along with their speed test so you can see which page elements are causing you the most trouble.
Sometimes a webpage loads slowly on a mobile device because a mobile version of the site hasn’t been created yet. While fancy themes may load effortlessly on a PC due to the processing power available in common browser applications like Firefox and Internet Explorer, mobile devices have less computing power and memory both on the device and available in the browser. Some smartphones and tablets have plenty of computing power, but require special menus to operate with the touch interface which many computer optimized themes don’t accommodate.
Speed this up by creating a second site with the same domain name (m.yourdomainname.com) with identical content; the only exception is the exclusion of large media files and images. This format can be quickly read by mobile devices. An even easier tactic is to revisit the first point, and select a small and clean theme that would fit the screen size of your audience’s most used devices.
Categories: End Users
Here’s a great video from Steve Souders, one of the most notable web performance gurus talking about the future of performance, and where’ it’s headed.
A nice infographic from Strange Loop Networks (strangeloopnetworks.com) showing how impatient users can be when it comes to web performance.