With changing times, the perceptions about websites too have changed. Years ago, it was believed that having a website was enough to bring in a lot of recognition and business for the site owners. But now-a-days, the success of a website is largely dependent on multiple factors. Since, technology has evolved over the years; speed and performance have become two key factors deciding the success or failure of a website.
So, for a website to attain a good ranking on organic search results and get a generous pie of the web traffic, its design has to be compatible with almost all modern web browsers and digital devices. This ensures free flow of website traffic through different web channels across all popular search engines ultimately yielding positive results for the businesses. But the big question here is if there are any silver bullets to boost the traffic through web design. The answer is yes! There are a few insider tips and secrets that can help you boost your website traffic. So, without further ado, let’s explore 5 such web design secrets.
- Responsive Design Can Help You Win the Rat Race
Mobify.com reveals that around 80% users access the Internet and different sites through their smartphone devices. Quite naturally, it is essential for businesses to ensure that their websites are cross compatible across different platforms and devices such as smartphones, mobiles and tablets without falling off on the parameters of gridlines and rules. But how can your website ensure optimum viewing across all platforms? Simple, by opting for responsive web designs.
In fact, Kissmetrics reveals in one of its write-ups that mobile Internet is soon likely to outcast the use of personal computers! This statement certainly doesn’t seem hyperbolic as more and more people now use their smartphones and tablets for accessing the Internet. This clearly highlights the relevance of responsive web design in today’s world.
However, it’s not so easy to establish and maintain an effective responsive web design and you need to pay close attention to the key elements within each page. If you already have an eye for website designing, and you have time on your hands, then go for it. However, if you don’t have the time, talent or inclination for web design work, it may be better if you hire a professional instead. Not a fan of the huge fees? No worries. Try crowdsourcing your needs. For example, responsive web designs by Designhill allow you to have one single setup that is flexible and compatible with all devices – irrespective of the screen size and device type.
- Measures That Can Help You Speed Up Your Website
If you really wish to boost the traffic of your website, then you need to work around three major principles:
- Reduce the amount of server page building time
If you’re a PHP based CMS (Joomla, WordPress or Drupal) user, install Alternative PHP Cache (APC) on the web-server. This will help you speed up the actual PHP processing going on behind the curtains. However, you’ll still need a top quality hosting server to accomplish this as it is not supported by many hosting servers.
You also need to streamline your website for lesser database queries so that the amount of processing is reduced considerably. Caching greatly reduces server processing requests and queries. Therefore, it is smart to utilize caching in any form to speed up your website and enhance the traffic.
- Reduce the amount of data to be sent from the server to the browser
A number of techniques can be implemented to reduce the amount of data to be transferred from the server to the browser:
- Optimization of images without compromising on quality.
- Reducing the number of images.
- Focusing on compressions and zipped transfers.
Focus on simplification of Document Object Model (DOM)
Often, websites built through design tools tend to contain more HTML element than what’s required. Do you know that every HTML element adds up to the size of your DOM? The larger the DOM, the more is the time taken by the browser for processing those elements.
So, why not simplify the structure of your website by removing the HTML elements that aren’t required? This effectively speeds up you web page rendering time thereby improving your visitors browsing experience, which eventually helps you grow your web traffic.
- Replace Images with Text to Boost Your Traffic Manifolds
Are you using images to display your website title and other information? If you’re nodding your head in yes, then you would need to immediately change this approach. Remember, images are usually heavy to load and consume a lot of your server time. So, try doing away with them unless images are extremely necessary. Moreover, images hide important SEO information from search engine robots effectively lowering down your web page ranking.
So, if you wish to experience improvements in your site’s SERPs then try converting your text images to header text that contain relevant SEO phrases and keywords. Since heading tags are better placed with SEO, the ranking of your site automatically improves and the traffic to site automatically increases.
- CSS3 Background Gradients Is Better Than Background Images
If you are still stuck up with background images, then you are bound to experience a slump in your web traffic. As discussed in the earlier points, images consume a lot of your bandwidth and server time. So, do well to replace your background images with lightweight and attractive CSS3 gradients. If you aren’t too comfortable doing it on your own, use one of the many tools available on the Internet such as Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator to create a cross-platform CSS through a simple GUI. With Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator, all you would need to do is copy and paste the generated CSS code in your website style sheets and there you are, ready to take off.
Since the inception of HTML 5 and CSS3, many JS functions are now considered obsolete. Functionalities such as word wrap, menu drop down and front page slider are now easily implementable through CSS3. So, the golden rule here is to first check whether your page functionality can easily be achieved through CSS and HTML5, and then use a JS query accordingly. Do you know that some really super lightweight and superfast web sites are built using CSS3? Yes, it’s true! So, if you’ve long been planning to make your site come alive with huge web traffic, turn to CSS3!
Remember, customers essentially demand speed and performance from your site. Thanks to the Internet, the crossbar of expectations has been set by the average consumer whether they know it or not. So, if they do not get speed and performance that they expect and demand from you, they are simply going to go elsewhere decreasing your web traffic. Therefore, being heedful towards these essential web design secrets should be at the top of your list of priorities.
Arthesh Gobari is a graphic designer working with www.designhill.com. He has published several articles, blogs and columns on topics related to graphic design, social media, startups, SEO techniques and e-commerce. Follow me on Twitter