- Nico Bistolfi
Let's imagine your own e-commerce...
You sell an innovative product and you spent hours and hours creating your business from scratch to give the customers something original, something new and useful with the wish that they would appreciate having that in their lives. Or another scenery: you are a photographer, a really creative one, who thinks each photoshoot as a little movie, taking care of every single detail and accomplishing an award-winning picture. Why is it so Important to have a Fast Website?
Whichever category you fall into, we can agree that your goal - one of them, at least - is to make your work visible, to get seen by someone who digs your product. But, what happens when they get into your website and it takes a while to load? There's a big chance that they bounce from your site without even looking at what you’re offering! There are some studies that show that half of the users will leave your page if it takes more than 3 or 4 seconds to load. Imagine what Amazon would be losing if they weren’t aware of this.
As users, we can be more or less patient, but the truth is that no one enjoys a slow website nowadays. We are used to navigating as if we were following our own line of thoughts. The customer expects a clean design, a mobile-friendly experience and mostly: a fast website. But there are more reasons why you should take this into account.
Why is it so important to have a Fast WebSite?
- User experience (UX) is essential, as we mentioned before. No one wants to generate frustration in their users. On the opposite, we desire to offer an online experience as good as the product we are selling or the service we are offering. When your site is slow, you risk losing traffic and sales.
- As a consequence of the above, if the user bounces to another site, you don't just lose the chance to get your work seen, you lose the chance to sell.
- And of course, because of SEO (search engine optimization). A slow website won't rank good in organic Google search. It’s not the only factor that they take into account, but you can be sure that you have better odds to be on top of the search when your site is speed optimized. If you aren’t that familiarised with how Google search works, you can always check in the guide they made to help marketers and developers.
Let’s go straight to the point: what makes a WordPress Website Fast?
Some factors such as connection speed, type of device, even if the user is running or working on an office, do not depend on us but on the person visiting our website. But we can control some things to help to build a good user experience. Hosting, theme and the number of plugins we use are other elements we have to carefully take into account.
While these are some things that can apply to every website when it comes to a photography site we also have a specificity, another problem to solve: the weight of our images.
It’s clear that when an image is the way you have to show that incredible work you’re selling, the possibility of displaying low-quality images is out of the question. So, it’s essential to take care of every step of the process: shooting, editing, exporting, transferring and uploading. Tip for you: for instance, when it comes to send over images, we strongly recommend WeTransfer as a powerful tool to transfer up to 2 Gb for free.
Compress your images without losing quality
What you have to think first, is the size of your images. It’s not efficient to upload full-screen images for just a small section of your webpage. There are recommended image sizes depending on the theme you are using and it’s the knowledge you can take advantage of in order to optimize your website.
We recognize that resizing and adapting each image, one by one is a nightmare. But believe us, it works! An easy and quick form to adapt for each device and format all your web with just one line of code is to implement Piio. It is very easy to implement and the price worth it!
If you don't have enough budget, or you are starting your business, let's get to work! You have in your hands some amazing pictures ready to be uploaded into your WordPress, Magento, Shopify designed website, they have the recommended size… but each one weighs 20mb. In order to offer a fast website, you have to compress your pictures. Before you freak out, it’s important to get one thing straight: compression means reducing the size of your images without losing quality. Basically, when you compress an image, what you do is to reduce the amount of storage space that image file will occupy.
Probably, now you are asking yourself: which compressed format should I use?
There are a lot of format images out there, being JPG the most common. But we have a tip for you: go for WebP format. If you don’t know this one, it’s time for you to do it. WebP is a modern image format that provides lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. It was brought up by Google a few years ago and it’s now rocking the web world. When we compare WebP with JPGs compressed pictures, it results in more than a 25% compression difference in the average image size. You get to keep the sharpness but without the downsides of a huge image. Amazing, right?
Nevertheless, the image’s display relies also on the browser. We really dig WebP format, but it’s true that Safari doesn’t get along with it. In contrast, Edge and Chrome run wonderfully with it. You can learn more about WebP images in this post, but when it comes to e-commerce, this format is definitely the wise option.
And... If My Website Is Slower Than It Should be?
The first you need to know is that fractions of seconds could have a big impact on your conversion Funnel. Sometimes you can't recognize the lazy loading of your page, but you must keep on mind that exist tools to test it, like this. You need to measure not only the page speed but also the whole performance, like the adaptability to mobile and desktop, inspect the code and the structure of your web.
To sum up: when you own a photography based website, you need to make sure that your images are compressed in order to get the fast speed you aim for. And to accomplish that, WebP is definitely the king of all the formats. It may sound difficult to struggle between high quality and a fast website but we are here to help you! Feel free to test Piio, we want to help you achieve your goal by boosting your SEO!
Thank you for reading :)