My current client — who wishes to remain anonymous, for the time being at least — is having me analyse their website for ways to improve overall performance. It's turning out to be an interesting and rewarding task.
The website, which is based entirely in Domino, is showing its age. Time moves quickly on the web and the site is woefully behind, not only in appearance but in meeting performance expectations of the average user. The time it takes your homepage to load is really important in the age of broadband. Gone are the days when everybody had dialup and knew to expect a wait. Nowadays nobody wants to wait at all.
The client gets most of their business through Google referrals to their site - whether by direct search or Adwords. The problem is that new visitors with an empty cache were having to wait an average of about 30s and anything up to a minute for the page to load and the navigational menu system to appear. Only the patient ever get to see the site and I don't doubt lots of people give up and leave.
After two days on the project I've gotten the average load time of the homepage down to six seconds while keeping all functionality and maintaining the overall appearance of the page.
Next week it will be "Speed Week" here on codestore and I'll deliver 5 tips talking about how to analyse and improve the load time of your websites. Have a good weekend and be sure to tune in on Monday.