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Speed is Perception: Why Your Website Speed Matters Last week the Aztek team attended the Stir Trek conference in Columbus, Ohio.

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Posted by justin on - Read

Last week the Aztek team attended the Stir Trek conference in Columbus, Ohio. Among the many great talks Chris Love’s “10 Things to Make Your Site Faster” presentation stuck out and got us thinking we should share a few of the ideas we use when designing websites and applications. 

So, Why Does Speed Matter?

Image of a blurred train speeding by. Learn more about how you can increase site speed in this post.

What your users don’t see could hurt you.

Slow websites are not just an inconvenience, they're a usability concern. Does it matter how great your images are if they take 60 seconds to load? You may think so, but we doubt your users will. The modern web is clogged with slow, resource-heavy sites that respond poorly for users.

Keep these points in mind

Key takeaway: speed is good user experience. 

Make Site Speed a Priority

As the Web becomes more and more bloated with multiple file requests, large frameworks, and massive media resources— all is not lost. 

Awareness of speed and rendering time has become a mandatory concern for focused developers. There are some great articles and posts by Dan Mall and Tim Kadlec that shine a light on making speed a priority in web and application development.

If you are managing a web development project, working on a development team or have a stake in your company’s web presence at all; speed is not to be overlooked. Below are a few points from Love’s presentation and some ideas we use at Aztek to help our clients improve site speed.

Tips to Help Improve Your Site Speed

  • Bundle and Minify your CSS and JS, this results in less file requests.
  • Set a performance budget
  • Monitor your file requests.
    • The average website up today has 99 file requests! Way too many.
    • Have you reviewed what your site is requesting?
  • Check out the recent grunt.js or gulp.js plugins to load only your core css.
    • The Uncss plugin is a starting point but may need customization for the desired results.
  • Always call your javascript at the end of your html pages.
    • A bad javascript request will block subsequent files and hold your page from loading till resolved.
  • Use the Yahoo Yslow rules.
  • Get rid of what you don’t need.
    • Bootstrap can bloat your CSS and JavaScript, are you checking if you need everything? Most developers really only use a small fraction of their frameworks.
  • Measure!
    • Webpagetest.com has many great measurements available.
    • Remember “Web performance optimization rule one; you can't fix what you can’t measure”
  • Are all your files referenced correctly?
    • Love pointed out “Instagram crashed because of a favicon 404 that was called over and over.” A simple bad favicon file request affected the entire site performance and operation.
  • Analyze your website speed and performance
  • Compress and optimize images for the web
  • Follow The Google Gospel of Speed

Have additional questions about your site or applications speed? Talk to Aztek today.

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