You’ve spent months getting your site just right. You’ve agonised over designs, structure, navigation and imagery, and now you’re live. You’re trading online - whey hey!!
Everything is running smoothly, except you’ve noticed that your website is running slowly. Things might be taking a long time to load, or you may even be presented with, what I like to call: ‘The Rainbow Wheel of Doom’. With online shoppers wanting everything to be instantaneous, slow site speeds causes fewer sales, which is obviously not what you want.
The speed at which your site pages load is dependent on both the front end, and the server where it is hosted. The two components need to do different things to load the page, so the speed can be improved from both sides.
There will more than likely be some server side changes that could be made to really maximise the efficiency of your online store.
You can check your overall site performance with google developer tools. This technology does a lot of the hard work for you, because it isolates where the main issues are so you can then either alter this yourself if you feel able, or you can talk to your developer team about them.
You can also make changes to the front end without any developer input to reduce the load time on your store.
The main culprit for slow site speeds on the front end is images
Images on a website can cause massive load issues when they are not properly optimised for the web. One of the most common issues is that the image that has been used is larger than there is space for, so your downloading more content than you need to. You can make the image smaller to reduce the load. Be sure to make sure the new dimensions scaleable to avoid distortion, e.g, reduce both dimensions by 20%, don’t reduce both by 20 pixels. You can also compress the images on your site to reduce the file size, but the more you compress an image, the more quality you lose.
You can, however, reduce the load of an image without compromising the quality of the image. Developer Tools on Google has a handy guide for how to do this. You can even download ready-optimised images from there.
For a fully in-depth investigation, you can have a site audit, which will fully highlight where improvements can be made for not just speed, but for the route to purchase journey as well.