There is no happiness to be found in a slow loading website. Unfortunately I see too often people who are doing the do it yourself (DIY) websites creating pages that take forever to load, if they load at all. Many of the DIY website platforms do a great job of making it easy to create a site. However, the responsibility of creating a fast, responsive website lies in the hands of the designer...and in that case it is you. Not to worry. There are a number of ways to ensure that the pages you create will not only look great, but be quick to load on any device. Below are four important things to remember when you are creating a website on Wix (or any DIY platform for that matter).
Tip 1: Compress Your Pictures
If you are someone that likes to take their own pictures and put them on your website or you want to use stock photos, you need to watch your image sizes. Nice cameras take nice pictures. Nice pictures have really nice resolution, which leads to really large files. These large files take a long time to load. If you have 3 photos on a web page and each of them is 4MB a piece, you now have a page that is at least 12 MB in size. This is a lot for a browser to download and render, and may not come up on a phone or tablet at all. So how do you get those really nice looking photos on your website? The answer: compression.
There are dozens of tools online to compress your JPG and PNG images. Most of them are free. The one we have had a lot of success with is TinyJPG. This powerful program usually yields a compression rate between 70-90% for most JPG images. That means it can take a 4MB image and make it 400KB! The image quality post compression is also outstanding. We use TinyJPG for many projects. The max image size is 5MB for the free version which we have found perfect for most images.
Tip 2: Spread Content Over Multiple Pages and Link to It
Don't try to do it all on the home page. When we build sites for folks we often ask them about their goals for the site. Invariably, they say something like 'site visits, conversions, revenue, sales, etc'. If this is the case, then you should only give users the information they need to make the decision to contact you, buy something, call, etc. Now not every person will convert the same way. Some users will know immediately that they want your service and will make a purchase, fill out the contact form, etc. Others will want more information.
If they require more information, you need to give it to them. However, you don't need to do it all on the home page, your services page, etc. Instead, give them a brief description on your home page. If they need more information, give them a button to get more information about your services. Then, on the services page, describe each service you offer...briefly.
All along the way, give them information piecemeal. Along each step, ask them two questions using buttons or links: Are you ready to convert or do you need more information? By doing this, you not only will get users to convert faster, but you will have faster loading, more responsive pages as you spread your content out. Many smaller, fast loading pages are better than a handful of very large, slow loading pages.
Tip 3: Less Animation
Animation looks terrific and can really make a site appealing. However, it really needs to be done in moderation. Heavy animation can not only make a page load more slowly, but it can also distract from your message. The other thing to consider is your user community and what type of devices they use. Phones and tablets may not even show animation or it may display poorly. If you are going to use animation on your website, we recommend one animation per page, if at all.
Tip 4: Host Your Videos Elsewhere and Link To Them
Vimeo, YouTube, Screencast, et. al. are huge, successful organizations for a reason. They have figured out how to host millions of videos and serve up that video content world wide, quickly. There is no reason for you to try to figure this out on your own. Besides, many DIY platforms will often double the price of your hosting costs if you host your videos locally.
There are other advantages to moving your videos off of your site and hosting them on one of the platforms mentioned above....SEO. YouTube is routinely in the top 10 websites for search. People are more likely to find your video on YouTube vs. if you just host it on your site. Vimeo offers password protection for your video (for a fee starting around $7 a month at the time of this blog post).
Thanks for stopping by, we hope this article helps. If you want to learn more about how we help small businesses take back their websites from expensive designers, go here and set up a time for a free call or send us an email to ask a question. Otherwise, we look forward to you coming back soon and seeing what else we have to say!