Google has recently updated its algorithm to measure user experience as a metric. This means if your visitors are having a frustrating time on your site, Google will make your site less visible. You stand to lose traffic and revenue from bad UX. Improving your site’s performance and UX can be done by following a few web design simple guidelines.
Mobile web traffic overtook desktop web traffic in 2016. This means if readers cannot view your site on mobile, you are losing out. Google is also ranking responsive sites better. There are many PHP scripts to make your site responsive. Many WordPress themes are also responsive. Make your images responsive too so that they can load on mobile devices faster. Use adaptive PHP script for it.
Making your site compressed minimises the bytes going across. This makes your site load faster. You can use a number of compression tools for this. Remember to clean your CSS to minimise white space.
Staggered loading makes your page load faster. You can do this for images and video. Top sites such as Yahoo are using staggered loading for good UX.
Eliminate unnecessary elements
A redirect takes your visitor to other content. While this might seem like be a good technique to promote content, it makes the reader frustrated at having to go through the unwanted content in search of what she is looking for. On mobile devices, redirects are simply disastrous. Eliminate redirects opting for good navigation links instead.
If your site host experiences high downtime, you will be losing on traffic as visitors cannot access your site. Look for a host with minimal or zero downtime. There are many hosting review sites to check on the performance of different hosting services.
Use a content delivery network
A content delivery network (CDN) duplicates your site’s content across several servers such that it is delivered to a reader by the nearest server making loading times faster. A CDN might have servers in Hong Kong, London, and New York. Your reader in Mumbai will have content delivered from Hong Kong. This makes loading fast. While choosing a CDN go for the one with the highest bandwidth.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not a luxury for marketers. With billions of web sites, the competition is too stiff. Improve your site’s visibility by implementing good SEO. Do comprehensive keyword research and ensure that your content is relevant and updated. Google measures website UX, design and content when ranking webpages. You can outsource SEO if you are not experienced enough.
Large image sizes bloat your site. Images above 1 MB will simply make your site too heavy for mobile devices. There are several WordPress plugins for image optimisation. You can also use adaptive CSS commands that shrink your image according to screen size.
Reduce third party plugins
While plugins can improve your site’s performance, they can slow loading times if the third party is hosted on a slow server. Having many third party plugins on your site makes it slow as content is fetched from different servers. Eliminate plugins that have minimal functionality on the site and opt for coding on the site where possible.
Use of good fonts makes your content more legible. You can use the default system fonts which make your site load faster on the reader’s browser. Custom content should be used at a minimum to highlight content and for SEO purposes. Use white space, sub-headings, bulleted lists and inverted pyramids to make your content more legible.
Use native elements
Native elements keep your code at a minimum. Remember if you have to custom an element, you need more code for it. Use custom elements prudently to keep your code clean and light.