There are a lot of things that go into creating the “perfect” website.
Of course you need a design that is pleasing to the eye, and a page structure that is easy to navigate. You’ll need content too, so that the people who come to your website can learn everything they need to know about your business and what you can offer them.
That’s not everything you need to consider however. There’s also the matter of your website’s performance – how it works, why it works, and how you can make sure that it’s operating at the peak of efficiency.
The various ways in which your website functions can get pretty complex, so before you worry too much about things that take some people years to master, we’re going to explain some of the top areas to pay attention to. This way you can ask specific questions of your web developer (the person or group who is maintaining / managing your website) and at least have a basic understanding of what kind of work they’re doing for you.
Where and how your website is hosted can have a large impact on its overall performance. Depending on the plan you selected when you purchased your web hosting package, you may be dealing with less storage space, a shared server (your site shares “space” and “speed” with other websites), and other limitations. This isn’t always a bad thing – such options are often less expensive, and if your website is small and doesn’t receive much traffic (yet), you may prefer this route in order to save money.
Your website is made up of lines upon lines of code, which enable it to look nice and function correctly. The whole of the Web is built on such code, and while it’s fascinating, it’s also a language all of its own (multiple languages actually) and as such is best left up to professional web developers if it needs to be modified.
In order to operate at its peak, your website’s code needs to be optimized for maximum efficiency. Updating to the latest code standards, organizing and structuring code elements appropriately, and removing any faulty scripts are all things that can be done to speed up your website and ensure that it will be performing at its best when visitors arrive!
Broken is Broken
If your website is slow, buggy, or otherwise not working correctly, visitors will not want to stick around. You could have a customized error page that humorously asks their forgiveness and directs them back to your home page, but even with such customer service measures in place, the fact remains that some part of your website is “broken” and in need of repair.
We recently migrated a site from another host because the client, understandably so, wasn’t happy with 21 seconds to load the home page. We were able to apply some caching techniques on top of premium hosting technology to reduce the load time down to 4 seconds.
Now it’s your turn
Take 20 minutes and submit your site to any one of the online site testing tools (e.g. GTMetrix, Pingdom, Nibbler) to see how it performs. If you need any help understanding the results be sure to let us know.
In the case of a website that is just plain slow, you can bring up some of the things we mentioned above when you next speak with your web developer and ask them if there is anything they can do to put your website back on the right track once again.