As websites become more and more at the centrefold of our businesses, the way we design them becomes more important. A focus on usability, performance and user experience are key to a successful and high converting website.
Marketing starts and ends with your website, so the design needs to be true to brand, functional and responsive. But it also needs to be designed with speed in mind. Fancy elements and sign-up forms, images, animation and videos can make a website load more slowly, which users don't tend to like. Unfortunately, websites are getting larger despite people expecting them to load quicker, so how do you design your website with great performance and speed?
1. Performance budget
The performance budget refers to a cap a designer or developer puts on the overall speed or size of a page. It works much like a financial budget, limiting the 'spend' and forcing you to optimise elsewhere when a new feature takes you over the limit. It serves to ensure that your website pages are not overly large or slow to load by forcing you to keep things simple.
2. Optimising images in responsive web design
One of the biggest causes of a bloated, slow-loading web page are the images, which are becoming more and more high resolution, meaning larger file sizes. Images should be compressed and certain PHP scripts can be inserted to automatically resize, scale and cache large images.
3. Enable compression
Compress page elements to make the data easier to send and remove any line breaks or white space from the code to help reduce file sizes and decrease load time.
4. Exclude unnecessary page elements
It is imperetive that you know which elements on the web page are used, and which aren't. Data gathered through Google Analytics can help you to ascertain whether an element or feature of your website is unecessary, or if in A/B testing, something else worked better. This can help you to decide which elements to remove to make way for new features without exceeding your performance budget, as well as to constantly improve the speed.
Designing a website isn't all about making it look pretty and giving users as many options and calls-to-action as possible, it's more about the user than it is about you - and Pint Sized Giants are here to ensure that your web design and marketing strategy cater to your users, through responsive website design, marketing strategy and an on-going relationship that will help you to grow your business