As the internet continues to grow and evolve, consumers are now accustomed to a fast, seamless user experience online. Think about when you visit a website for the first time. What do you expect? Good engaging content, fast load times, logical content flow… there’s plenty more to add to the list but you see where we are going here.

When a potential customer visits your website for the first time, it’s important that they see content as soon as possible once landing on your homepage. This enables people to start interacting and engaging with your content immediately, assists them to understand how you can help them to reach their goals and ultimately completed a conversion. A crucial factor in web development, both here in Australia and globally, are page load times. Slow loading times can cause frustration and in the worst-case scenarios, cause a visitor to leave your website before the page even loads. Think about it, the internet arms people with options at their fingertips - we’ve trained users to believe the problem to their solution is a button click away which means, web development and marketing teams need to play by the rules of this game.

Delivering web page content involves the server not just providing the HTML of the page (this is what determines the structure of a web page), but many other assets such as stylesheets as well. Stylesheets make web pages look good and can reference further elements to load such as Javascript code and images. Each additional asset that is served to the browser, sees an extra round-trip of communication occurring, adding delays to the page rendering and ultimately, slowing down how quickly the page is served and impacts the end user’s experience.

The Woven team (and you’ll find most web development teams in Australia and around the world), use Google PageSpeed Tools. One of the key recommendations of this tool is for web developers to optimise Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) Delivery. By doing so, this means stylesheets are required to display a page as part of the page request, consequently, reducing round-trip communication. While using this technique can improve the speed of the initial request made, it can also cause problems, as the team here at Woven have observed. 

An important part of web development sees web designers spending a lot of time analysing their CSS delivery to ensure they’re providing a trimmed down stylesheet that is appropriate and ideal for embedding. The complexity of the stylesheet is a factor as it might cause display issues due to missed rules and may result in a large stylesheet that causes a decent increase to the page size. It’s also vital to note that the increased page size that is the result of embedding the stylesheet, can degrade the user experience as a consumer continues to use your website. Consider this: if every page embeds the stylesheet, this adds extra time to every single request, bypassing all of the optimisations that may be provided by caching.

The web development team here at Woven have developed the perfect solution thanks to Pronto Avenue CMS, which provides optimised content without the extra design investment or increased page size that tends to accompany the traditional solution web teams look towards in this situation. Instead of embedding a cut-down CSS with every single web request, Avenue detects first time visitors and serves the embedded stylesheet only upon their first request. Once this first request loads, the full stylesheet is loaded from then on, from a seperate, cacheable URL so that it’s ready for any additional page visits. As a result, visitors enjoy a fully optimised page speed experience, all without the hours of design work and increased ongoing bandwidth rates.

Woven has built the Avenue CMS with performance and usability at the forefront of our web development team’s minds. Don’t ignore a website that isn’t registering the page load times you’re after - if you’re interested in improving your website’s speed but don’t know where to start, our experienced team can help and we service customers Australia-wide.

Contact Woven to start the ball rolling towards faster website speeds.