During my daily travels around the web, I see a lot of websites which are a bit behind the times. As a designer, I can’t help but ‘tut’ to myself and either A: move on, or B: contact them to see if I can help! Quite often it’s a simple fix to get pages optimised and turbo-charged.saf
It amazes me that some sites I stumble upon are still not even mobile friendly, which is crazy in this day and age - seeing as around 55% of users are on mobile devices1. That number is only going to go up.
But my site is fine on a mobile so I should be fine, no?
Well, it’s not quite that simple any more. Another area which a lot of businesses don’t consider is their website loading speed. Probably because it’s a bit geeky and boring, but did you know that a one second delay in page load can drop your conversion rate by around 7% – that’s huge!
If you thought that was shocking - keep reading - because in May 2021, Google is releasing an update to their much coveted algorithm which is going to affect a huge number of websites organic page rankings more than ever before.
This sounds like it’s going to be a pain in the...
Not in the slightest - the new Google update labeled ‘Page Experience’ is a great thing. It’s going to push companies to sort out their website and make sure the user experience is second to none - otherwise they will be lost forever on page 10 of the search results.
Along with site speed, the update will also change ranking based on other signals such as:
- Mobile friendliness
- Secure Certificates (you know, the little padlock thingy - you have one of those right?)
- Visual stability
- Intrusive interstitials (Wait, what? – OK, more about these in a bit…)
So if you are a site owner, making sure the above is all addressed should be near the top of your todo list.
Among the steps to take are optimising your website for mobile (which doesn’t JUST mean having a responsive site - it means making it load quickly and looking great), Improving Call to Actions across the site and other simple behind the scenes fixes which many site owners ignore.
One thing I have found when optimising client sites, is that a lot of them which use ‘drag and drop’ off the shelf site builders such as Wix and Squarespace are on a hiding to nothing - these frameworks or CMSs are designed to be user friendly for the author - but NOT optimised for site speed. It’s often easier to rebuild the site than try and work with one of these frameworks.
I find another culprit of slow sites, believe it or not, is Wordpress. Wordpress sites often get cluttered with so many plugins that they end up running really slowly. It was designed as a blogging platform after all! Not only that, Wordpress sites get hacked - a lot - mainly because it’s the biggest CMS out there - so targeted by hackers - which is another reason I avoid it. The CMS I use is called Modx (yep I know, never heard of it right? - that’s a good thing!) It allows us to create fast, efficient sites which search engines love.
In a recent survey of CMSs2,Modx ranked at number 3 in the world, whereas Wordpress came 25th! Wix was just behind at 26th, and Squarespace slightly bettered the above at 24th. To put this in context, the number of sites tested had an average page speed score of just over 50%. We aim to be around the 90% - 95% mark when we build sites - although I’m always disappointed if I don’t get 100% - I can’t help it...
In a nutshell, Intrusive interstitials are just things like pop-ups, windows, or ads which get in the way of the users experience - so binning these is ALWAYS a good thing in my book!
So you’ve checked all the above, and all is fine - so why is your site still slow?
Well it could also be your hosting company. With website hosting you really do get what you pay for. There are many huge companies out there which offer very cheap hosting (mentioning no names, but rhyming with YoLaddy) which are great to get you started, but cannot compete with smaller more agile companies who offer 24/7 support and 100% uptime.
This is why we have our own cloud server, so we can optimise every site and ensure fast sites every time.
So how can I check my site’s ready for May 2021?
So there’s a lot to digest here - and I don’t expect you to be able to make sense of it all, but if you’d like me to take a look at your site and let you know how it fairs in terms of speed and optimisation - All you need to do is add the URL below along with your name and email address, and I’ll take a look for you - no charge. If it IS slow, we can then speak about what can be done to optimise it, depending on how it’s been built.
If you don’t like filling out forms, just email me, and I’ll come back to you personally.