1 New Way for a Faster Website

Ram Dettmer

Increase website speed

The website of your business is likely one of the most important factors to its success. You may have an excellent product or service, but if no one can access your website then you aren’t going to be doing very well. One aspect that will greatly impact website traffic is website speed, which you should consider when looking for a web design company or hosting company. In this post, I’m going to outline some changes you can do to increase the speed of your website. Towards the end, I will include one new alternative to a faster website that not a lot of people talk about.

Want to see how your website speed is doing? Check out Google PageSpeed Insights

There are many reasons why website speed is important to user experience, including customer satisfaction ratings and sales conversions. Many studies have linked website speed to increased sales conversions, but website usability is also significantly affected by how quickly a company’s website loads. One survey found that 80% of customers said they won’t return to a site after a bad experience, which demonstrates how much of an impact website speed can have on your average conversion rate.

People often think website speed is important for only certain kinds of websites, but website speed absolutely affects any website that customers use on their phones or tablets. This means that even companies with e-commerce websites should pay attention to website speed because it will affect the customer experience and therefore sales conversions. It has never been more important to have a website that is both fast and user-friendly. For this reason, you should choose your web hosting company carefully before building your website. Some of the most common reasons why websites are slow are poorly coded web applications, website design issues, inefficient server architecture, and an overloaded hosting environment that does not suit your needs. While there are many steps you can take to improve website speed (for example website caching, content delivery networks, and compression), one new way to achieve blazing fast websites is having a jamstack website.

Get better hosting

While most agencies are reselling hosting for their client’s websites, some don’t understand that having a shared server can potentially hurt a website. A shared server is the lowest cost for hosting and it means your website will be hosted among other websites across the world. So if one website has been compromised, it may mean that yours is vulnerable.

With years in the web design business, we’ve come across plenty of hosting providers that are big and small. We primarily stayed away from any hosting companies owned by EIG. In short, any hosting company acquired by EIG has always never been great. The web hosting provider we really enjoyed working with was A2 Hosting. Their support and hosting were exceptional! We no longer use traditional servers because the direction of Hungry Ram changed when we shifted from traditional web building to a custom development structure. This direction is how we were able to improve our websites for clients in a more faster and secure method.

Optimize images and videos for faster loading time

Optimizing images used in website design will not only save bandwidth costs but will also improve user experience through faster loading time which means more traffic and better SEO rankings.

The best and cheapest way to optimize your website is by adding a CDN (Content Delivery Network). A CDN basically means that instead of loading images and videos directly from your own server, you make it load them from other servers. The “best” part about this is that the content gets cached (stored) in multiple locations around the world. That way when people access your website via different geographical regions, they will receive content much faster because their browser will already have some of them stored locally in its cache.

Depending on the size of our client’s websites, all website assets are stored in Cloudinary. They have been the best at providing support and allowing many of our resources to be stored with them.

Check the size of your images before uploading!

Check the details of your photos before uploading! It wouldn’t be great uploading image sizes that are over 2000x2000 when you’re only using it to display in a small portion of your website. For banner images, I focus on a 1000x1000 dimension and always keep it under 500KB. Resize/crop your images and compress them using a tool like TinyPNG.

Remove unused Javascript Files and CSS files

Optimizing your website includes more than just compressing images. Optimizing also means removing any obstacle preventing visitors from enjoying your site, such as plugins slowing down web browsers, extra scripts eating up CPU cycles, or images containing unnecessary data being displayed to users.

Issues with scripts and plugins

First of all, there is a lot of bloatware out there which you should remove from your website. Some free scripts and plugins might be slower than commercial products or simply contain unnecessary features slowing down the entire site. If you optimize them, their filesize will become smaller - usually leading to faster load speeds.

The difficult part is that some scripts and plugins that need to be optimized require you to understand code, and hiring a developer can get costly.

The easiest thing to do is remove any plugins and scripts that you think you may not need. For a WordPress website, delete unused themes and plugins.

Get a Jamstack website

Jamstack is essentially a collection of tools for experienced developers to use to achieve the highest-performing websites. It stands for Javascript, APIs, and Markup. We’ve moved away from traditional WordPress development and focused on JAMstack websites that don’t have all the bloated resources like WordPress. Jamstack websites in short are static websites and WordPress is dynamic. Just by doing a search on WordPress VS Jamstack will present why jamstack sites will win over WordPress.

Most businesses will not need a lot of resources for their website, which is one of the important reasons we’ve moved away from WordPress. If your site is only displaying useful information and doesn’t require any dynamic features like user authentication, then jamstack is perfect for your business.

Provides the fastest loading time

There are a number of reasons why static sites perform better than their counterpart, dynamic websites. First and foremost is the initial load time for web pages. Despite all its bells and whistles, a dynamic website still cannot compete with static websites in terms of speed (an average of 1 second faster to fully load static sites). This is mainly because static sites do not require any runtime processing, while dynamic sites must first process all database queries before they can serve web pages.

Dynamic sites also tend to be heavier, in terms of bandwidth and storage. All the content on these sites (i.e. images and videos) is stored in a database and must be processed by the server before it can be served to the browser. On average, static web pages are 45% lighter than their dynamic counterparts; this means less data is transferred over the network when your page loads thus decreasing load times even more.

Better security

We’ve had so many issues with dynamic websites and had listed the pros and cons of changing the direction of Hungry Ram. Security was a major reason. WordPress had a lot of security flaws and maintenance was extremely high. If a plugin or theme didn’t get updated, your site is vulnerable to attacks. On another hand, if a plugin or theme did get updated, it would crash the website because of compatibility issues.

On the security front, static sites are even more superior than dynamic websites. Not only do they run faster than on-the-fly processing web applications but they are also immune to most common attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection; both of which cannot affect your site since it’s entirely read-only text files. These attacks occur when a browser renders input that contains user data into its page without proper filtering or validation. Since static websites do not use any kind of system resources to process data sent by the client, there is nothing for hackers to exploit; HTTPS support further increases security on mostly text-based sites. All websites now should have a protocol of HTTPS instead of HTTP now. Google will give off a scary warning if someone were to land on a HTTP website.

To conclude

At Hungry Ram, we only focus on Jamstack development for clients to take all advantage of a static website. Not many agencies or developers adopted this method because it’s fairly new and takes longer to build a website. This is why we stand out in delivering the best custom website development. Even though WordPress and other site builders is a tool for convenience allowing for faster website building, we would be the same as other agencies delivering websites.

Not sure if your website is being properly created and optimized? Tell us about your website and see how we can help. Let’s connect!

Ram Dettmer

About Ram Dettmer

Ram started his career in 2012 building websites for a variety of industries across the country. Primarily focused on real estate and small businesses, his work has been featured on IHomefinder, one of the largest IDX providers for real estate.

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