Optimizing for the Speed of Design

As consumers continue to shift more of their lives into the digital world, brands who wish to be successful must be sure that their websites are up to the challenge.

It's no secret that one of the most important aspects of a website to consumers is the speed of which its pages load. There are a variety of factors that impact page load speed ranging from the pictures on a brand's website to the length of code needed to design the site. However, luckily for brands there are a variety of techniques they can use to increase their website speeds.

Below are quick ways brands can proactively impact their page load speeds.

Compress CSS

CSS is one of the most popular languages used when designing websites for a variety of reasons. Designers are capable of creating beautiful websites with CSS but one of the drawbacks of the relatively simple code is the sheer volume that designers must input in order for each page. To help minimize the effect of the expansive code designers should look to compress their code before they turn their pages live.

Eliminating Flash

Even though big and bulky may be exactly what you want in an offensive lineman in the NFL, it is the opposite of what you want when creating a website. While flash enables designers to create beautiful websites with Flash these websites are flawed in a variety of ways including compatibility issues with mobile devices and the inability to load quickly. 

Minimizing Redirects

Commonplace on the Internet today, redirects sends website visitors from one URL to another often without the visitor even knowing what happened. The trouble occurs, however, when websites use too many redirects causing the visitors page load time to increase as they wait to be passed from one URL to another and then another.

Disable Hotlinking

A form of bandwidth "theft," hotlinking occurs when other websites direct link to images from your websites causing an increased workload on your server. While one or two hotlinks many not affect the loading speed of your website all that much, the story changes once those numbers reach into the thousands.

Remove Whitespace

With 100ms accounting for a loss in revenue of 1 percent every little bit of extra speed helps. Removing excess whitespace, while not a technique for saving a big chunk of time, helps sites to load faster due to the shorter length of code it must load.

Compress Images

Images are a staple of many websites, and for good reason, consumers love them. Retail sites, for example, would have a near impossible task of selling merchandise to consumers without having a picture of the product for them to see. However, the same images that are necessary for a retail site to function and be successful also slow it down. To minimize the effect of images on page load speed brands should look to compress all applicable images in order to reduce their file size.