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Improving website speed according to best practice

As a successful web development company in Australia, most of our clients ask us to design a fast loading website, because speed has become one of the most important features in small business web design. After all, no-one wants to wait 10 seconds for a web page to open and the longer your web pages take to load on a visitor’s browser, the more likely they are to click away and find a faster site.

This is why all of our websites are designed with speed very much front of mind.

What’s the benchmark?

In general, web pages need to be visible in less than 3 seconds, because research has shown that any slower than this and you lose customers. This is perhaps even more important for mobile users than for desktop users. If you have lots of visitors who come and go quickly, this can also decrease your ranking in Google.

If your website is running too slow, it’s best that you contact your local web development company in Brisbane who can diagnose the problem and speed up the loading times. There are actually a lot of steps involved in speeding up a website’s loading times however, so if you are interested, here are a few of the strategies that we use to speed up our client’s websites.

Web development strategies for site speed

Professional small business web design demands fast loading web pages. One of the quick ways to identify what is causing your web pages to load too slowly is to right click on a web page, select ‘inspect element’ and then ‘network’. This reloads the page and generates a graph of the loading times for each page element, and you can use this data to start your diagnosis.

You can also use Google Page Speed which will give you tips on increasing your site’s loading times, and Google Analytics that identifies pages that load too slowly on your website. Once you know which pages are the cause of your problems, you can work through the following tips to try and fix the problem.

  • Compress, combine and minify CSS and JS files.
  • Compress and properly format all images.
  • Leverage browser caching.
  • Reduce HTML, CSS and JavaScript file sizes.
  • Minimise and make as few HTTP requests as possible.
  • Use a CDN (content delivery network).

All of the above is pretty technical, so even though there are plugins/software out there which can handle some of it for you, you do have to know what you’re doing, otherwise you could break your website without even realising.

Small business web design in Brisbane doesn’t have to be complicated, you just need to find a web development team that can give you a quality site with fast loading pages.

How long does it take to create and build a website?

Professional web design in Brisbane is a specialised job, requiring many years to accumulate the necessary experience and skills to create bespoke web designs for a range of different industries. As a company specialising in website design and development in Brisbane, GO Creative has built a formidable reputation for building quality, high converting websites, but even with all of our experience, this cannot be achieved overnight.

Understanding the website design and development process

To understand what goes into the designing and development of a website, you need to be familiar with the overall process we go through here at GO Creative.

1. Planning

Planning might not sound like an integral step in the website development process, but the more you plan in the initial stages of the project, the more likely you are to save money and time down the line.

During the planning process–sometimes called the discovery process for reasons that will become clear–we conduct thorough research around the industry of our clients, including their competitors’ websites. We leave no stone uncovered ensuring we understand the goals our clients want to achieve with their new website, understand their offerings and unique selling proposition and familiar with their target audience. Of course, this also includes gathering information from the client about what they want in their website and what sort of functionalities they are looking for as well.

This stage can take a few hours for a super simple website in an uncomplicated industry, or it can take days. It all depends on the amount of information and availability of the information.

2. Website wireframe design

Once we know what we’re going to be building, the next stage of website design and development is the building of a wireframe. Think of the wireframe as the digital scaffolding that closely resembles what the final website will look like and how it will work. From there, it gives our graphic design team and website coders a plan to work off. We ensure that all requirements are incorporated and that the website includes everything the client needs and wants.

3. Content creation

Often, the creation of content can take the most time for a website and not just because we seek feedback and approval from our client at every stage of the development, From written content to images and videos to audio files, there’s often a lot of content that needs to be created, sourced, and put together. The length of time that this stage takes will be highly dependent on how much information we have to work with from the beginning versus how much our copywriters and content creators have to source or create themselves.

4. Optimising the user experience

Once the content is finalised we are able to focus on the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). This important yet lesser known stage ensures that the website we create doesn’t just look great but functions in a user-friendly, easy, and intuitive manner. By playing around with mock-ups and testing every function and piece of coding out we can make sure everything is going to work as optimally as possible come launch date.

5. Coding

Now comes the time for the actual website development, i.e. coding. Without going into the technical details here, the complexity of the website and the number and type of functions the website is required to have will affect how complex the coding and consequently how long it takes.

6. Testing

During the beta testing stage, we provide a ‘soft launch’ of the website without promoting it to the public. This gives us the opportunity to iron out any existing chinks and ensure that everything is modified and fixed in time for the actual launch. Think of this stage as the quality control of the website design and development process.

7. Website launch

We made it! Now it’s time to launch the website. While you may think that it’s as simple as pressing the big red button and the website simply appearing online, there’s actually more complexity to the task at hand. The various components, plugins, apps and coding takes time to roll out, but once the launch is completed your website will be roaring and ready to go.

How long does website design and development usually take?

All things being equal, it usually takes 1 to 2 weeks (depending on our workload) from the initial consultation stage to final completion of your website. This time frame however, is based on a simple website with a handful of pages and not too much in the way of specialised functionality.
The more specialised the design and functionality of your website, the longer it takes for the site to be completed. Obviously this varies between companies who specialise in web design in Brisbane, but in most cases this is a sensible time frame to keep in mind.
The one tripwire in the design process is actually the client’s content, because the longer it takes to receive this from a client, the longer the timeframe to completion. You might be surprised to learn that this is the biggest hold up to going live with your website, and sometimes we wait a few weeks for the client’s content… and in extreme cases we have waited years!

Speeding up the process

You want your website up and running as soon as possible, but it pays to have all your ducks in a row before we start the design process. This means you need the following information available either at the first consultation, or as soon as the project starts:

  • Branding, colours and logo (or ask us for graphic design help)
  • A summary of the purpose of your website
  • An overview of your ideal customer.
  • Some idea of the functionality required (payment gateway, finance calculators, tables etc)
  • Photos, images, videos, and text already available or in progress

If you want to finish the website as quickly as possible, you’ll need to make fairly snappy decisions as we work through the design process, so we can make any changes and have your site live ASAP.
For help with web design in Brisbane, contact us on 07 3333 2932 or get a free instant online quote.