Today I was listening to a podcast on web development. The emphasis was on loading speed.
If we are heavy internet users and we develop websites, we don’t need reminders about download speeds.
But what about website owners? How would they know? How would you convince them that speed is slightly more important than flashy graphics?
Restaurants, hair salons, bookstores, local plumbers, artists or veterinarians, how can they maintain their site’s performance?
Should a website be beautiful or should it be effective?
I started wondering if websites should require less “design”.
So I thought I would review some of the sites I find especially original without having “too much”, all while preserving their effectiveness.
The first one I came across was: Sheila Heti
She’s a writer. (Author of none other than How Should a Person Be)
The simplicity of her website, including her own self-portrait is more powerful, to me at least, than if she had opted for a flashier look. It just disarmed me.
Yet originality is present on every page. A small photograph or illustration sets the mood: A banana here, a pistachio there, a pigeon, a puff.
This website should be, by all standards, Google Search Engine’s dream. Nothing heavy, no scripts, no specialized fonts. Yet it’s effective.
Minus points: it’s not responsive and it uses image maps.
Fixing these two things is easy, so when the time comes to redesign, I hope she keeps the essence.
Just for fun I put it through PageSpeed insights and… yup: it scores 99/100 on mobile and 100/100 on desktop.
This just adds to my determination:_learning code for making simple, effective, lightway and future-ready sites.
I’m re-thinking this whole learning process again.
I also wonder, in my front-end-developper-wannabe state, do we want to build faster websites for the greater good, or just to please The Google.
This site, Variable Skies, is on Bluehost, it uses a pretty lightweight theme but when I put it through the PageSpeed Insights tool, it’s simply embarrassing on Mobile.
Yet, it’s not the page itself, it’s the server response time. I’m not a systems manager so there is very little I can research (or want to research) on this topic, but I sure want to figure where to go from Bluehost.
Perch developers have talked a lot about cheap hosting on their podcast and the consequences of this. While not all of us can pay a VPS for our little blog, it’s something worth considering if you have a business.
If you have any interesting articles discussing why and how to make websites faster, please share them in the comments. And if you have a favorite simple website please do so too.