The Need for Speed

The Need for Speed

15 Feb 2017 Sam Haakman

You can find plenty of articles on the web talking about how websites are getting heavier year on year, ironically usually on sites covered with bloated scripts and unoptimised images.

Most will quote Amazon saying that a 100ms increase in load times correlated to a 1% drop in revenue, but I can't find anywhere that Amazon says this so perhaps this "fact" is worth taking with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, common sense would say that the longer people are waiting on your website, the fewer will stick around to actually purchase your product.

Unlike these people quoting "Amazon" the HTTP Archive is a substantive resource, analysing hundreds of thousands of websites every month, and their data suggests that the average webpage is near as makes no difference 2.5 megabytes in size in February 2017.

With all the technology around to squash and compress files on the internet, web developers still manage to make their pages larger and slower year on year.

So, what are we doing about it?

Obviously at Fastrack we like to be on the bleeding edge of these techniques to give our users the absolute best experience possible, so we employ a few choice procedures to do our part in building a more streamlined internet.

Fast Infrastructure

We use ultra fast AWS servers to make sure that our sites are reliable and blisteringly quick to load. Heavy back-end lifting doesn't slow down our architecture. We're experts at optimising servers for speedy web content delivery too, so these servers perform at their best under our guidance.

Intelligently distributed assets

We use Imgix to optimise the bulkiest parts of our sites - the imagery. Imgix can serve images in ideal sizes for any situation, with intelligent compression and formatting to yield tiny file sizes that are still huge on detail. Imgix also incorporates content distribution technology to bring these images physically closer to the user so they load super-fast.

Trimming the fat

This is where the real wizardry comes in. For most web developers, the internet is like a candy shop. There is so much cool stuff we can do on the internet, sometimes having the self-control NOT to do it is the difficult thing. You don't need a bulldozer to plant a flower, and you don't need a heavy web framework to create a beautiful website. We take the difficult path in order to surprise users with delightful online interactions.

An eye on the scale

It doesn't take much for a sleek, optimised website to become a hulking monstrosity, so we utilise external page testing tools like GTMetrix and Pingdom's Website Speed Test to keep our sites trim and toned throughout development

If your current site is in need of a refresh or perhaps a firebomb, Fastrack is on the scene to build you a site that will outrun the competition.

About Sam Haakman

A rare breed of developer with skills in both design and programming, Sam builds sites that are both pixel perfect and semantically delicious. Sam loves bringing designs to life by sprinkling a bit of magic on them in the development process, building expressive, delightful websites that clients and users both love. 

When the last stray semi-colon has been tracked down and work is complete for the day, Sam spends his time watching anime, tinkering on cars or playing bass guitar.

Want to see what we can do? Let's have a conversation!