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1R Insights: 5 Tips for Improving Site Speed

1R Director of Technology, Samuel Friedman, provides his top 5 recommendations for site speed enhancements to support stronger conversion rates ahead of the holiday season:

Site speed is a hot topic year-round. As consumers ourselves, we expect a speedy experience.

A study from performance-improvement cimpany Yottaa shows that a 1-second improvement in average page load time can influence overall ecommerce conversion rates by + 2%. Given that typical ecommerce conversion rates are between 2-5%, one second can deliver a 50% improvement in conversion.

There are several things you can do to find that 1-second improvement.

1. Compress your images.

This may be a good place to start. If you are on Shopify, an app like Crush.pics (starting at $5 per month) works in the background and can be very effective. As an alternative, you could compress the images on your own before you upload (consider Kraken.io).

2. Put Javascript at the end of the page.

Downloading and processing JavaScript prevents the page from appearing. If you locate JavaScript at the end of your webpage, customers will see the page content faster (and the entire site will feel faster). This can be complicated, but the payoff can be significant.

3. Review your apps & third-parties.

Evaluate if there are any installed apps or third parties you are no longer using. Invariably, apps and third parties require customers to download (and process) JavaScript, CSS, images, and other assets. Removing anything no longer needed saves the correlated download and processing time.

4. Implement "lazy-loading" technology.

With lazy-loading, the user's browser will only download images when they scroll into view. This can speed up the initial page load. For anyone who is not sure about the difference between lazy-loading and other technologies, like infinite scroll, let's talk.

5. Look into minifying JavaScript & CSS.

There are several options for how to accomplish this, so feel free to reach out to a 1R member so we can evaluate your specific needs and make recommendations.

Speed and performance are a continual, ongoing focus post-launch. Typically, during the build-out of a new site, the focus is on an on-time launch with required features. Post-launch is a great time to examine your unique feature mix and how to implement some of the improvements above.