We’ve previously examined many of the root causes of poor website and application load times on the technical side in the past like failing to implement a monitoring strategy and inefficient scaling. While IT staff and programmers have plenty to keep themselves busy with improving platform performance, some of the burden also falls on the people who create and post content to the platforms. It’s common for websites and application to utilize unique staff to generate content, and this is especially true of businesses that feature substantial amounts of original content and product listings.
The Creators May Lack Technical Experience: Load Time Matters
Content creators and posters are often not involved in the development of the platform and may not really understand how it’s important to cut technical glut just like it is important to cut informational glut. Longer load times equate to lost audience: Kissmetrics found 79 percent of customers that find a site/apps performance unsatisfactory say they are less likely to use that site again. While developers can create features that give the content creators less to worry about, ultimately the content creators need some guidelines to avoid bloating load times.
Poorly Optimized Images
Image files tend to take up the largest share of data on a typical page, so if those files are not properly formatted they can take several times longer to load than necessary. This can be easily resolved by always using web-formatted JPEG images as opposed to larger PNG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF files as well as formatting images to the largest possible viewing size they will appear as on both apps and the web. In many cases, your company’s hosting infrastructure will have some degree of server-side image resizing and file type conversion, but you can’t always rely on software to get the job done. Content creation staff should be trained on properly formatting images for your platforms.
One Page, Multiple Video Players
Going overboard with video players can cause major performance problems. From a design standpoint, it’s best practice to include all of your video content in a single player; from a technical standpoint, putting two or more video players on a single page simultaneously increases the load time and makes the page harder for lower-power devices to run. If it’s not possible to use a single video player on a page, it helps to paginate the content or link to additional videos on other pages.
Embedded content like widgets, video, Tweets, audio clips, and maps are easy ways to take rich content created on one platform and append them to your content. However, your company’s server infrastructure can’t help performance with these features as they rely on the original site. Embedded content may also require large scripts that can contribute to load times: these scripts may already be duplicates of ones on your page or used by other embeds. Therefore, it’s best practice to only add embedded content when it improves the content instead of just making it longer.
It’s important to remember that the entire process from content creation through server content generation through delivering the content to a visitor plays a role in the performance process. Learn more about how Apica can help your business provide a better customer experience. Contact us today!