Do you wish to take control of your website’s loading time? This is no trivial matter because, when an e-commerce website is too slow, this can increase the shopping cart abandonment rate by 75% and decrease customer loyalty by 50%. It would be a shame to waste your efforts to attract and retain traffic because excessive loading times have resulted in a disappointing experience.
The question is where to start and how to improve your web performance? Or do you have an idea already? Here are 5 misconceptions that you have to set aside if you are to make a success of your web performance strategy.
It’s sufficient to review my web performance from time to time
Why is this false? Because your loading times require constant attention, otherwise you will find yourself stuck in an endless cycle of fixes. These were the findings of our e-commerce web performance study (in French): the majority of sites tested appear to be concerned about their web performance during the busiest sales periods alone, allowing their loading times to creep up throughout the rest of the year.
Keeping up that high Speed Index all year round demands continuous optimisation to maintain the speed of your website across all devices, connections and times of year. But how do you determine the best practices for your website?
Applying the best web performance practices is not all that complicated
As with the wider digital sector, the best practices for web performance do not remain static. It takes time and resources to monitor the latest practices and stay up to date with their implementation... But do you and your teams have the time to spare?
For instance, every time new compression formats emerge that can speed up your webpages (a recent example being Brotli), how do you take these on board?
Another concrete example: for some time, the practice of integrating fonts directly into CSS files (known as font inlining) has been relatively widespread. Regardless, the technique can actually be counter-productive in many cases, with CSS files reaching several MB, which results in render-blocking and has no little bearing on loading times. How do you easily revisit a technique once it has reached its limits, or simply because practices have moved forward?
Without a doubt, keeping up with the state of the art and the latest developments – in real time – is far from a simple affair. But who should you entrust with the task?
I can always find a kind soul to handle web performance in house
On this point, we have not one but two arguments to convince you that web performance is not a minor issue that can be passed off to the uninitiated.
First of all, you cannot improvise expertise. Aniss Boumrigua – IT Manager at RueDuCommerce, a regular fixture at the top spot of the JDN web performance rankings – explains how expert guidance enabled her to identify the real drivers of web performance optimisation: “We thought that third parties and advertising had a big part to play in our slow loading times, whereas we actually needed to review the site’s optimisation as a whole [...] Web performance covers a whole raft of measures and, if they are to function together, they must have a smart structure.”
Secondly, a single person or department is simply not equipped to handle web performance, which applies to all of your teams: IT, marketing, e-commerce, digital, etc... While the IT department can manage the technical aspects of the website, it is then up to marketing and e-commerce to make sure that content is not too heavy: images, third-party content and so forth. This ensures that the website stays within your performance budget.
Major e-commerce and media websites, the likes of CDiscount and Leroy-Merlin, are continuously dedicating resources to web performance.
In order to make life easier, perhaps you have considered using a dedicated tool to optimise your loading times? If so, let’s seize this opportunity to banish a recent misconception.
If I use an external tool to speed up my website, I might lose touch with my infrastructure
Going back to the interview with RueDuCommerce: “If you’re comfortable with a CDN, then you’ll be comfortable with a solution that automates webperf optimisation.”
Since optimisations are implemented on the fly, it saves time to use a web performance automation tool, plus you can free up your budget by saving on internal development and resources.
Are you worried about losing your grip on your content or your infrastructure? Rest assured, you stay in complete control! In any event, this is the case with Fasterize, which works just like a CDN or cloud proxy. Fasterize does away with the need to reconfigure origin servers or modify code, as the HTML code of each page is rewritten on the fly to implement the necessary webperf optimisations. Any optimisations can even be interrupted and resumed at any time and fully autonomously. You can apply this to all users or a single browsing session, a given rule or every optimisation via headers, cookies or settings in the URL. In a nutshell, you have complete control.
A webperf automation tool is just a temporary fix
In light of the four points we have already covered, this last common misconception should long have evaporated – but let’s sum it all up to alleviate any lingering doubts.
A tool to automate web performance optimisation allows you to keep up with the state of the art and stay up to date, without spending time monitoring the latest technology or fixing your website, as the tool itself and the expert support team do this all for you.
You get the benefit of the latest developments without having to overhaul your front-end or back-end. These technological advancements apply to a wide range of different factors: images, fonts, cache, mobile, SEO, etc. The advantage of having one tool that handles all of these optimisations is that they can be structured intelligently as a whole. In other words, you don’t have to rob Peter to pay Paul, and you can keep any side effects in check.
When it comes to web performance, you can easily start from scratch and entrust optimisation to an external tool, or perhaps you have measures in development and simply require support to sustain your efforts in the long term... effortlessly.
We help our clients in all manner of situations by providing support tailored to their individual requirements.
As you can see, an SaaS solution to optimise web performance is far from a temporary fix. You have everything to gain by placing your trust in the experts: time, advice and improved performance – not to mention resource and budget savings! Furthermore, optimisation is guaranteed and maintained over time.
Find out more about the support we offer
and the associated performance benefits from our clients themselves: