Optimizing the Effectiveness and Productivity of your Website

A lot of web developers, web owners and web users believe the success of any website is the number of visitors it has par time, but the ones who understand that a website needs to be able to hold visitors down and also be able to produce results  know that, while your very-many visitors are on your website or trying to get on it, some things could chase the visitors away from your web too soon or before they even get on it, and you would end up having high number of visitors with very low productivity or have the web never achieving what it’s meant to achieve, or achieve it as much as it should. User Experience (called UX) is the core of the factors that dictate how your visitors can be what you need your web to make them be or do what you need your web to make them do, and amidst others, major of the things that can cause bad web effectiveness and productivity par the number of the visitors of the web is the loading speed; if your webpages take too long to load, you may lose the short-spanned attention of your visitors before they get your message or take the action you need them to take. These indicate that speed is key when it comes to websites. Web speed is measured in milliseconds, and studies have indicated that most visitors would navigate away from a page that takes more than three to five seconds to load. Even worse is the fact that visitors who navigate away from a slow website are unlikely to return for future visiting. This is why pages that take too long to load lose visitors too much and too fast, or they would have so many visitors but no effect would be had on the visitors. The quicker your web loads, the more effective and productive it would be. This write-up highlights and explains some methods to developing a fast-loading website. This is for developers.

Strategic Caching: Browsers auto-save portions of your websites that have been preset to allow auto-save; this is to facilitate a browser’s memory as the visitor using the device moves on to other pages. You do not want to set your whole webpages to allow auto-save cache because the saving must be completed before the browser shows what the visitor is waiting to see. Hence, increasing the time the visitor would have to wait for. Rather set your web to allow auto-save cache only the areas that are important to what you need your web to be able to do; this reduces loading time, thereby reducing waiting time for your visitors. The quicker a visitor receives the data they are waiting to receive the better the experience they would have on your web. The better the experience, the longer they would stay. The longer they stay, the more likely they are to take an action you need them to take.

System Scalability: If your web is developed to accommodate hundreds of daily visitors, you must pay close attention to your overall system scalability. Basically, scalability involves handling multiple parameters together at the same time, these include: the number of commands the website is capable of processing, the volume of extra traffic it is capable of handling, and its maximum storage capacity. If you anticipate that your site will become very popular, think about upgrading it to a high-performance server and a DNS capable of handling heavier loads and more zones, this would avoid system overload causing slow reception from the backend.

CSS Sprites: CSS sprites would allow you combine all your images into a single image in other to minimize the number of HTTP requests. Doing this would increase the loading speed of the website as the media to load would be in one single CSS request and not in several HTTP requests. With this CSS technique, a background image that is as wide as the widest one of your images should be created, all the images you want to use should be placed one after the other with one pixel space between every image on the background image, and then activate “background position” or “background image” to display the desired sections of the single image created. How fast this would allow your webpages load would amaze you.

Minimize JavaScript Functions: Combine all the frontend scripts into one style sheet to reduce the overall size of the document. Flash and JavaScript ads are great revenue-boosting tools for your site, but they can significantly reduce web speed. For a faster site, keep JavaScript functions to a bare minimum; especially when you have nothing you benefit from such function.

Compatible Backend Technologies: Systems such as Apache allow server administrators to produce the fastest possible speed via advanced PHP or server configuration, caching, and HTTP protocols. Improving the cache is the best means of speeding up an Apache server. If you run a WordPress website, for instance, you can use a plugin, such as WP Super Cache. If you can do this, go directly into the backend of your web and manually configure the cache for optimal use that would suit the need peculiar to your web. By this you have removed dirty backend data that would take more load time on your frontend.

Use Nginx: Many experienced web developers recommend Nginx because it works in a similar fashion to Apache, except that it uses fewer server resources and it is much faster. Although most websites still use Apache, but Nginx is quickly becoming more popular due to its capability to handle multiple server requests with a very short or no waiting time at all… depending on the internet speed.

Use MySQL Technically: Databases grow rapidly to accommodate the increasing of data your web receives, to ensure that your MySQL database responds at maximum speed, use indices and partitions to limit the amount of data that the engine must sort through to generate results. Indexing is the most efficient means of speeding up a MySQL database, without which the entire database must be scanned to retrieve the results for any query… the elongate the time to deliver to the frontend.

Control your Images: Images give aesthetic appeal to websites, but they may also severely reduce the loading speed. Compression and resizing of images greatly reduce the loading time for webpages. Compress images that are not core to what you have your web for; leave only the ones that are core to the web at their best quality. This reduces the need for your server to always have to re-size images before delivery. Also, convert all of your images to suitable format to match the requirement of every page. If you use WordPress and your site already has several hundred images, use a plugin such as Google Page Speed Insights for WordPress to optimize your local files before uploading them to the server.

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs): CDNs store content in multiple locations that are in close geographic proximity to your frontend users. If a user is in Africa, loading a copy of your site stored on a server based in Africa would be much faster than having to fetch data from an American or European server. In order to utilize a CDN, you must sign up with a provider who offers the service near where your most targeted visitors are.

New Technologies: With a growing number of companies using mobile devices to conduct business online, it is vital that your website is able to detect what device it is visited on. For instance, a user who views a site via a smartphone can enjoy much faster loading speed if the site detects the kind of phone; the web would optimize the imagery and Flash scripts accordingly. The latest trend is the responsive web design, which assures your website’s visibility on all devices, such as smart phones, tablets, and personal computers.

The simple adjustments I have discussed here can slash your website’s loading time by more than half if you apply them as I have explained. The fast-loading websites can promise more traffic, hence, better productivity and effectiveness. And since Google also assigns higher search engine rankings to fast-loading websites, it is clear that having a website that loads quickly is a crucial factor in web effectiveness and productivity.