Since the growing importance of branding, online shopping and customer interaction websites have become a very important tool. From a simple presence on the internet we have grown to create multi-page, interactive and user-friendly websites that serve as an innovative and effective alternative to meeting the person or company owning the website. We’ve got so much going on.
Amid this heavy-duty activity, it’s always helpful to revise some basics. Here are some technical points you should consider while building or improving your website.
An efficient website that is fast and lean can be created through optimization of code, content and design.
Make a responsive design
People will no longer interact with your website on just a desktop or laptop. With an increasing number of gadgets and screens becoming part of our daily lives, it would be best for you if you to create a web design that makes your web page look good on all these devices. Rather than eliminating content for smaller screens, you need to make a design that adapts, resizes and rearranges content for different screens. It’s not a difficult thing to do at all. Take a few CSS tutorials on YouTube or find CSS stylesheets online that you can use.
This link will take you through the basic steps of making a website responsive through HTML/CSS: https://dzone.com/articles/using-csshtml-make-responsive
A responsive website will help you gain more screen time and create a superior user experience.
Minify your code
If you can achieve the same output with lesser resources then the extra inputs become unnecessary baggage. This unnecessary baggage in your code makes your website slow and inefficient. Don’t worry, build your website without tension and then make your code efficient through minification. Minification will remove unnecessary characters from your code and reduce it to the smallest possible size without affecting the function of the website. This compression will make your website fast and lean with high SEO score.
Look at this link for minification: http://minifycode.com/
Optimize your media
Be smart about the media (videos and images) you use and optimize the space they use.
Images take up a lot of memory and take time to load. Those few seconds while the image loads are very frustrating for the user. If your aim is to maximize your conversion rate then its best you eliminate these frustrating moments.
Use a sprite sheet instead of uploading separate images. You can compile your graphics on a single sheet (called a sprite sheet) and upload it only once. Through a simple code you can control visibility of that sprite sheet and show only the relevant graphics on different pages/ sections of your website. Learn more about this useful, memory-saving technique through this link: https://www.codeandweb.com/what-is-a-sprite-sheet
However, not always will using a sprite sheet work. there are other optimizing methods like using icons and clip art instead of pictures and images. If you still want to use images, crop them the maximum you can and then upload them on your website. Alternatively you may also want to use SVGs for vector arts.
Video take up a lot of space as well. One option is to use 3rd party hosted video, for example on YouTube and Vimeo. This will reduce the load on your server. Alternatively, you can convert your video into web-friendly video formats like WebM and mp4. These formats are more efficient for uploading on websites.
Focus on fast delivery of content
Nobody likes to wait. You don’t want to wait for the pizza you ordered, the helpline personnel to answer your call or the content on website to load. However, with many users at various locations using your website, it could possibly overload your server and cause malfunction of your website.
A better strategy would be to use a strong Content Delivery Network (CDN). This would help reduce website load times and prevent hardware failure that may occur with traditional web hosting through a single server. A CDN will cache your content and improve performance of your website and encourage visitors to stick around longer.
You can learn more through this link: https://www.cloudflare.com/performance/
Manage your Time to Live (TTL)
This is an interesting tool that can help you improve your website’s user experience. Every time a user searches your website, their browser will take time to load it. Time will be taken to load each section and each page. What if a cache could be created in the users’ browsers? That would eliminate loading time and provide a smoother user experience. This cache is created by the TTL you allot to each part of your website. So for example, if you assign a TTL for 3 weeks then the user’s browser will maintain a cache for that amount of time and will not need to load the website from scratch.
Make sure you go about TTLs smartly. If you have section that is frequently updated then a lower TTL would be more suitable otherwise the cached content will show the outdated version. On the other hand, a higher TTL would be good for sections that are not updated often like the contact section.
You can make more informed TTL decisions once you understand your visitors better. Read up more on this topic here: https://dyn.com/blog/dyn-tech-everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-ttls/