Report • 18.06.2018

Reduce web page load time – Methods at a glance

Part 2 of the topic series: Mobile optimization

In the first part of our series, we talked about the challenges of a mobile web presence and analysis tools as outlined in the "Modern Mobile Web Technologies" guidelines of the German Federal Association of the Digital Economy. In this second part, we summarize the action points the BVDW recommends to optimize your website’s speed and performance.

The 3-Second Rule

Although the user/customer is king, Google is emperor. Both emphasize the time aspect. If website load speed is too slow (more than 3 seconds), whether it’s a mobile site or not, the user will abandon the site or Google will penalize the website, respectively. That’s why one of the main factors for an excellent mobile-friendly web presence is page loading time. Meanwhile, it is often pushed to its limits, especially in online stores thanks to multiple displayed images and other large files.

Yet website optimization doesn’t have to be costly and elaborate. Even small changes and updates to the existing system can have a great impact.

Here is a list of starting points for you:

  1. Browser Caching
  2. CDN
  3. Compression
  4. Images
  5. Resources
  6. Prefetching

Browser Caching:

Browser caching (storing data from recently downloaded web pages) is a relatively quick fix to optimize your website’s loading speed. However, this method must be used with caution to be able to display all web content for the customer/visitor despite caching.

"It is important that generally all file formats can be defined in the browser caching, but this can also lead to problems, for example in the case of files that are subject to frequent changes, since the user's browser does not load the changed version of the files ."(BVDW)

To prevent this from happening, there are two recommended methods. The first way is to cache after the latest change (as soon as the website loads new elements, the server resends them to the browser). The second method is caching based on durability. That means the server determines how long certain elements are stored by the server. This is especially recommended for static elements such as logos, videos, and the source code.

Although this reduces web page load times less than if you cache the whole web page, the user still stays up to date, which is crucial for online stores (sales, new products etc.).

Content Delivery Network (CDN):

A CDN is a system of globally distributed and Internet-connected servers that deliver web content no matter the speed of the server and Internet connectivity. CDN should be mandatory for every online shop. After all, even if a website boasts ideal load speeds in theory and all conditions are ideal, the browser performance can still fail due to a poorly performing or slow Internet connection. CDN provides global Internet connectivity, making worldwide access to the website possible.

Compression:

A fast, if not very elegant solution is compression, meaning the reduction of existing files. Without great technical effort, the file sizes of images, videos, and the source code can be compressed (essentially everything that the browser has to refresh). Though this often involves information loss, it is insignificant and negligible as it is not detected by most users. This will help boost your Google page speed rating relatively quickly. You must be mindful of the respective settings of the various content management systems to prevent too much data loss caused by compression.

Images:

Images are very important in mobile settings since they quickly grab the viewer’s attention. They are essential to make a website attractive but are also crucial to boost sales. But look out: multiple images and large image sizes slow down site loading. A style guide or other proven tools like the before mentioned content delivery network can help in this case, especially when it comes to reducing material without quality loss.

Resources/CMS:

For quite some time, plugins were a great way for non-professionals to work with a website and optimize the backend based on their own objectives. However, these handy plugins use up vast amounts of resources (server and browser in equal parts). This is where script integration can help. It ensures that the content stays the same, while it improves loading speeds and frees up resources.

Prefetching:

Prefetching is a mechanism of preloading (in the browser) of certain links of a website the customer might visit. It’s not the landing page that is preloaded, but rather the next target link the user is likely to click. Having said that, this approach only gives the impression of a fast website. After all, it’s not the actual site that is faster, it’s just the fact that it is simply already waiting in the wings and ready for action. 

Needless to say, speed is not the only aspect you should be working on. There are many other ways to create a better mobile shopping experience for your customers. Find out more in the third installment of our series.

Author: Nora Petig; iXtenso – Magazine for Retailers

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: New year brings new regulations
13.09.2019   #data management #receipt printer

New year brings new regulations

What are the big changes for German point of sales systems come 2020?

Big changes are coming to Germany’s point of sale systems starting January 1, 2020. Two terms that are tossed around in this connection are "Belegausgabepflicht" (Receipt Provision Ordinance) and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: retail trends 3-2019: focus checkout zone
16.09.2019   #mobile payment #customer satisfaction

retail trends 3-2019: focus "checkout zone"

Shopfitting, technology, marketing: What does a checkout have to do nowadays?

Read our latest edition retail trends 3-2019 online as an e-paper. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Innovative ICA store triples revenue
22.08.2019   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #price labelling

Innovative ICA store triples revenue

Automatic price updates and product information at the shelf

Since ICA merchant, Jan Sikström, took over the ICA Ettan store in Sundsvall (Sweden) in 2016, he has almost tripled the turnover from SEK 15 million to SEK 40 million. Today, the store has 15 employees and approximately 5,000 different items ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Smart meters: Be proactive and reap the benefits...
12.08.2019   #energy optimization #electrical installation

Smart meters: Be proactive and reap the benefits

The Metering Point Operation Act calls for smart meter rollout

The black and analog electric meter box has become obsolete: The mandatory smart meter rollout will commence in a few months. What does the installation of digital, smart electric meters mean for retailers and chain stores? ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Sales assistant Remy talks about strange customers and emotional...
25.07.2019   #customer satisfaction #pos marketing

Sales assistant Remy talks about strange customers and emotional decisions

An interview with a fictitious robot that works in retail

There is a lot of hype surrounding humanoid, socially intelligent robots and what they can do. They are interviewed, filmed and tested. Oftentimes, it’s to find out how consumers feel about the machines and how they are accepted by users and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Online retail sales to exceed 6 trillion dollars by 2024...
18.09.2019   #online trading #e-commerce

Online retail sales to exceed 6 trillion dollars by 2024

Average online customer spend will surpass 1,000 dollars globally per annum

New data from Juniper Research has shown that the total transaction value of remote payments for digital and physical goods will exceed 6 trillion dollars by 2024; representing a growth of 53 percent from 2019.The new research, ‘Mobile & ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 45th anniversary of the barcode in retail
01.07.2019   #barcode scanner #qr code

45th anniversary of the barcode in retail

GS1 US celebrates the barcode’s relevance as the backbone of commerce

GS1 US®, the information standards organization best known as the administrator of UPC barcodes, this week celebrates 45 years since the debut and first scan of the iconic barcode. On June 26, 1974, a pack of Wrigley's chewing gum carrying a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Pay cash? Via code!
26.08.2019   #mobile payment #app

Pay cash? Via code!

Shop online, pay the bill offline

Barzahlen.de relies on good old cash. The concept of the Berlin start-up: shop online, pay in cash at the store. Swimming against the trend of fast online shopping and mobile payment is paying off, says Weina Wang, Head of Retail. In an interview, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: When the product becomes the POS
19.08.2019   #mobile payment #pos systems

When the product becomes the POS

“Mobile-first” or the future of the Point of Sale

The classic Point of Sale means physical sales areas including a terminal, cash systems and queues. But this traditional image is changing. Nowadays many customers in brick-and-mortar retail outlets expect the same experience as online and require ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The future of retail: AI is changing everything...
08.07.2019   #digital marketing #visual merchandising

The future of retail: AI is changing everything

AI-enabled systems help retailers understand their customers

For retailers, winning is still all about delighting the customer. The trick is to move fast enough and to be as nimble as possible to satisfy the customer not only today, but in the future. ...

Supplier

iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn
Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH
Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH
Aschmattstr. 8
76532 Baden-Baden
Superdata GmbH
Superdata GmbH
Ruhrstr. 90
22761 Hamburg
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven