Don’t forget to optimise and test your site before Black Friday

What’s your Black Friday website going to look like? Will it be as fast as the current version? Will it be as resilient? What will happen when large numbers of customers, hungry for a bargain, start responding to your promotions?

In the rush to get Black Friday promotions ready in time, it’s easy to overlook something that most organisations take for granted for the rest of the year: that the website will work.

If this is something you haven’t addressed yet, it’s not (quite) too late.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re open for business when it matters most.
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The best free online image optimisers

Images typically make up a huge proportion of web page size – 61 per cent according to recent stats from the HTTP Archive. As such, they’re often a big drag on performance.

There are a number of ways to reduce this impact, including lazy-loading and designing unnecessary images out of the website altogether.

However, it’s often very simply the case that images are uploaded to websites unoptimised. Some are high-resolution, print-ready files. Others contain large amounts of redundant metadata.

Not everyone has an automated image optimisation solution, but there are plenty of free online image optimisers. We thought we’d try out ten of the most popular.
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Why background images are slow to display – and how to make them appear faster

CSS background images tend to be loaded and displayed later than images referenced in <img> elements. As a rule, they’re given lower priority by the browser, and the CSS has to finish loading before they can be discovered (making them invisible to the browser preloader).
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