January 16

4 Tips to Combat Poor Loading Speed in St Charles Web Design


It’s always a good idea to understand website performance fundamentals, even if you have a good St Charles web design firm helping you to grow and improve your online presence. That’s why I like to share website design and performance tips which hopefully make sense, even if you’ve never dipped your toe in the waters of website technology.

In this post, I’d like to talk about one element of performance which your St Charles web design provider should take care of for you as a priority—page loading speed.

Why Speed Matters for Web Design

If you read through some articles which talk about page loading speed, you’ll see plenty of quotes about how many seconds a visitor will wait for your web page to load. Whether that’s three seconds, four seconds, or eight seconds will depend upon which of many studies the writer is referencing.

As an example, Search Engine Journal contributor Albert Costill wrote an article in 2014, called SEO 101: How Important is Site Speed in 2014?, in which he cites research supporting his view that visitors will abandon your site in as little as two seconds if the page they want hasn’t loaded.

With that in mind, the following four tips are intended to help you and your St Charles web design provider collaborate in the optimization of your website’s loading speeds.

  1. Get a Lighter Look: Image Optimization

Images place a heavy load on web servers, especially as picture quality continues to improve, creating larger file sizes for photographs and other forms of visual content. If you find your website’s page loading times are slowing down, you and your web designer should certainly investigate whether images are at the root of the problem.

As former Daily Egg editor Kathryn Aragon explained in a 2013 post (10 Ways to Speed Up Your Website – and Improve Conversion by 7%), there are three aspects of image optimization you need to pay attention to. These aspects are: image size, image format, and something called Src attribute.

Without going into great detail, Src is short for “source” and the Src attribute in HTML code identifies where a particular website file is located. If an image Src attribute is not defined where it should be, visitors’ browsers start making requests to the web page or the page directory. This increases the burden on the server hosting your website and can negatively affect page loading speed.

Images on your website should be in JPEG or PNG file formats, not BMPs or TIFFs. As for size, you shouldn’t make images any larger than is necessary. They should be cropped to the correct size using image editing software (such as Photoshop) before being uploaded.

  1. Use More Pages, But Shorter

Another factor to consider with your St Charles web design partner is the length of the pages on your site. Long pages can increase loading times considerably. If you have a number of long pages on your website, take the advice of design specialist William Johnson. In his Top 7 Web Design Tips to Help Your Website Load Faster article on the Small Business Trends website, William says it’s best to split large pages into several smaller ones, not only to improve loading times, but also to make your site friendlier for those visitors with a short attention span. Of course you need to balance this with the SEO trend toward page word counts of 1800 words per page.

  1. Make Use of File Compression

Ask your website designer to make sure that file compression is being used for any JavaScript, HTML and CSS files bigger than 150 bytes. Moz recommends that you make use of the Gzip compression application for this purpose. However, take note of the advice on the Moz website section on page speed, which recommends you don’t try to use Gzip for image compression, due to potential image quality issues.  For WordPress websites, you can use a plug-in like WP-Smush for images compression

  1. Think About Graduating from Shared to Dedicated Hosting

There are numerous other tweaks and tricks that your St Charles web design company should be well aware of, but you might also want to check if you’re using the best hosting package for optimal website performance.

In Daily Egg blog post Responsive Web Design: 6 Tips to Improve Performance and UX, marketing advisor Chris Dyson recommends that you take a look at how fast some of your competitors’ web pages load, then investigate which hosting services they use.

However, it could also be that your business has outgrown the performance capabilities of shared hosting, in which case you might want to consider upgrading to a virtual private server or even dedicated hosting, where your website doesn’t have to share a server with other companies.

Every Second Counts in Regard to Page Load Time

The importance of page loading speed can’t be stressed enough if you want your website to wield maximum marketing power. With more and more searches being done from a mobile device, it increases the importance of page load speed even more!

If you feel like your pages could load faster, speak with your providers of website design in St Charles or wherever they are located and ask if they’re on top of the points I’ve outlined in this post.

Changescape Web is a St Charles web design and digital marketing company with a great reputation for helping small-business owners in particular. If you’d like to see how we can help your business make an impression online, contact us today at (636) 947-6200. We’re ready and waiting to get to work for you.

Test your website with the WP Engine WordPress Speed Test


Hosting, Page Length, Page Load Speed

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