The world of web performance is in many ways a very technical one. It’s niche, specialised. It’s technical people tinkering with code.
To some extent, this is all true. But it’s not – or shouldn’t be – the whole truth.
When we’re busy working on ways to make web pages load faster, it’s important not to lose sight of why we’re doing it. Most of the time, we’re helping organisations to make more sales. And that makes it something that marketing departments should care about.
So we thought we’d highlight a few things about web performance that we think every marketer should know.
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.
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).