Website Optimisation: It’s Not Just SEO

Website optimisation is a description that encompasses a lot of different areas on your website. It isn’t only the search engine optimisation side of your web design. Here are some website optimisation ideas for you to look at.

Website optimisationWebsite optimisation ideas

You need to use images – and maybe also videos – on your  website. As much as anything, this helps keep visitors interested.

The images you use on your site need to be optimised for search engines and humans.

Start by giving your images meaningful names so that the various image searches can have a good idea of the content of the image.

There are also image tags for title (the hover-over text that sometimes appears when you move your mouse over an image) and also an “alt” tag which tells people with images switched off what your image is about.

Humans like nice looking images but they also like the file size of those images to be small enough to download fast. This goes even in these days of fast broadband internet access, maybe even more so as people expect sites to load almost instantly and gigantic images won’t do that.

Page load times are a factor in website optimisation. Which means big images won’t help your website optimisation efforts.

You should also make sure that all your images have their height and width declared. This allows web browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox to leave the correct space for the image if it doesn’t download immediately. Otherwise your page design will shift all over the place until the images download fully.

CSS files have come into their own in recent years. They help you separate the content of your website from the presentation of that content (how it looks).

But you also need to go through them if you’re serious about website optimisation.

A lot of website developers make their CSS names meaningful. Which is good if you’re coding a page but means that there’s a lot of extra characters on the page, potentially adding to the page load time.

Your main CSS file almost certainly has extra white space in that could be trimmed. Remember that your CSS file is loaded every time your website is reached so cutting its size will help with your website optimisation.

Carriage returns on your web pages also take up space. Sure, they help your HTML to be human readable, so there’s maybe a trade off there, but all those extra characters affect your website optimisation. Just be careful that removing them doesn’t break your layout in some of the earlier, less standard compliant, versions of the web browsers. Testing is called for (sorry!)

Just for fun, view the source of Google’s home page. It’s a pretty extreme example of how to cut down page size and Google are forever trying to deliver everything ultra fast, so their own website optimisation is another part of that equation.

When you’ve got your file sizes trimmed as much as possible, the next part of your website optimisation is to take a look at what your visitors experience when they reach your site.

Your website should be simple to use and pleasant to look at (or at least not downright ugly).

Any menus on your site should have obvious names rather than industry jargon.

Your menus should also work regardless of whether people are using a mouse, a touch pad or a finger to browse your site. Yup, a finger – just watch any iPhone user!

And if you’re getting a lot of visitors using mobile phones, make sure that you deliver them content that is optimised to be seen well on these small devices. Your technical person can advise on doing that side of your website optimisation.