In today’s age of flashy design, slick animation and crisp layouts, page speed often gets passed by during the redesign process. However, this can be a huge mistake no matter how engaging your website may look.
According to a recent study by the analytics and marketing gurus over at KISSmetrics, page speed may just be the silent killer of your site. In a fast-paced world where customers demand everything at the click of a finger, every second counts when it comes to your website’s success. Almost half of web users, your potential customers, expect your web pages to load in 2 seconds or less. Even a one-second delay can drop your conversions up to 7%!
Elegance is the key to success in designing an efficient and attractive website, with clumsy design tactics and shortcuts costing you precious time your customers won’t bother to spend wasting. If you’re due for a website redesign, make sure that your site is primed to perform and follow our tips below!
Tip #1: Use Smarter Templates
The first – and biggest mistake made when designers choose or base templates for an SEO-friendly website is that they try to maximize their keyword usage with a “stuffing” site – one that makes a lot more use of metadata at the top of the site.
While novice web designers and SEMs see this as a quick trick to have their websites climb to the top of search engine results page, the reality is that this stuffing can bring your site’s load speed down to a snail’s pace and search engines increasingly view keyword stuffing as malicious practice meant to trick users.
Rather than stuffing your site’s template, choose a design that focuses on the fluidity and user experience, and don’t forget to keep your site mobile-friendly if you really want to keep your customers engaged with your brand at all times of the day.
Tip #2: Watch Those Image Sizes
From the earliest origins of the World Wide Web to modern day, image size has consistently been a huge problem with websites. Modern mobile cameras today can take huge pictures when it comes to memory that frankly have a depth virtually invisible to the naked eye. However, bigger isn’t always better, and it may just be keeping your page speed as slow as can be.
Either use a standard image size for your templates, or try to decrease the size of the detail on your site’s pictures. Unless it’s a photo gallery, there just isn’t that much of a need for overly large images, and including them just means that they will add to your site’s download speed, sending your viewers back to the search engine for a better site to look at.
Tip #3: Break Into Sections – Or Other Pages
Another major key to modern design is to try to get all the main points accessible on the front page, and even before the fold if possible!
While you may feel that your home page should be filled with every little piece of information to draw in potential customers and clients, this is hardly the case. 2015 is seeing an increasing amount of simplicity on the homepage of websites, serving the same purpose as a landing page to help draw in a customer with compelling images and content that resonates with your audience to help lead them through to other pages on your website.
If you can get a call to action on that front page, great! If you feel the need to give customers every piece of information about your business… it may be best to keep the long story short and rethink your approach.
Tip #4: Avoid Too Many Scripts
Scripts can slow down your site right from under your nose. This is sometimes called “script creep” – whereas scripts keep being added to the site and lead to extra baggage each step of the way.
It’s good to have some SEO script, even mobile-friendly script. But every script you add is something more for the user’s browser to interpret. If you find your site having a bunch of communication scripts, take some time to really consider if you need if you need them all? As a side note, don’t forget that every script you add to your site is yet another potential area of vulnerability.
Tip #5: Keep Motion to a Minimum
Let’s say all the advice above is taken. Is it enough? If not, something else to consider is what is ‘moving’ on the site. Websites were originally designed as static sites, so as dynamic sites begin to take prominence and grab a hold of increased computing power, they can quickly lead to less than stellar page speeds on older and newer machines alike.
Add in self-hosted video or dynamic code that changes the shape of a single page through the navigation and your site will run much slower than it would without them. Using a site speed checker can be very useful in finding weak spots in your site’s navigation speed. External hosting of videos can also help.
Tip #6: Again, Elegance is Key
While all of the tips above can be useful in rebuilding your website, the truth is that sometimes an elegant redesign is faster. Laying out what your goals for the site are in advance can help you make a site from the outset that will be sufficiently expandable later on while maximizing speed and site efficiency now!
Instead of modifying an existing design that’s already become too bloated, sometimes starting over with a smaller data set is the smartest way to go. The key to designing an excellent site that won’t slow down is to incorporate the above elements in the initial design. Rebuilding only looks ideal from outside the code, but once you dig deep you may find it best to start over from the beginning.
Don’t waste any more time when it comes to your website redesign by working with the pros at Eyeflow. Our team understands what compels your audience to take action, offering advice on ways to redefine the user experience on your website while refocusing your brand identity to transform organic visitors into loyal customers. Start on your way to a stunning SEO redesign by reaching out to Eyeflow today!
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