According to studies done on web browsing habits, the average user looks at a website for less than four seconds. This means that your blog, social media account or e-commerce store has less than four seconds to capture the attention of your audience.
What kind of impression are you leaving in four seconds?
Here are just a few tips for improving both the speed and the efficiency of your website. Even with a limited time span, there are steps you can take to ensure that you grab your customers from their very first look.
1. Don’t Use Flash
It’s a flashy element of web design, so it’s appropriately named. But it also takes time and the right plug-ins to load. Even if your visitors already have the software, something that isn’t guaranteed, they’ll still have to wait around for your Flash elements to load. How many customers will click away? How many customers might you lose because of a silly Flash fade effect?
2. Load Your Pages Top-to-Bottom
Instead of letting your webpages load haphazardly, insert a script that forces them to start from the top and work their way down. Not only will this bring a streamlined appeal to your site aesthetic, but it will also give your users something to look at while the rest of the page loads below it. If your content is engaging enough, they might not even notice.
3. Use Thumbnails
This is especially useful for online stores or any other website that uses a large amount of images. Instead of forcing your customers to load full-scale graphics all at once, give them small thumbnails that they can click and enlarge if they’re interested in the product. You’ll save on loading time and increase your number of unique clicks.
4. Compress Your Images
High-quality images are essential for professional website design. That said, you don’t have to let their file sizes run rampant. There are special compression techniques you can use to reduce their megabytes and therefore their loading times, and you can also specify things like size and width allowances in your coding so they’ll never exceed those parameters.
5. Throw Out the Table
While table layouts still have their uses, many businesses have switched over to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for faster loading times and more efficient site-to-user downloads. You don’t have to be an expert in programming languages to use it, either; CSS is a common skill among many web designers, so you can outsource the job for all of the benefits and none of the personal stress.
6. Reduce Server Requests
HTTP requests are made every single time your webpage loads external content. This includes ads, links, graphics, videos and audio clips. To cut down on HTTP requests, you’ll need to start storing things internally, and this may mean upgrading your servers or increasing your bandwidth. It isn’t cheap, but it will translate directly into faster loading times, so it’s up to you whether or not the benefit outweighs the cost.
These are just a few tips for improving the load time of your website. If you’re serious about capturing the attention of your audience, you have less than four seconds to do it, so every moment counts. Consult experts in things like Sydney website design, to learn more.