How To Improve Your Website Load Time In 7 Easy Steps


I hate to visit websites that takes more than 3 minutes to load. Time is money and most people will shun away from your website if your site has a terrible loading speed. Most online shoppers and web visitors will not visit a website for the second time if they experienced a slow and maybe unresponsive website. Most research have shown that most online shoppers will stay on websites which load under 2 seconds. They really mean business.

how to improve your website load time
image source 3dprint.com

Worry no more because I’m here to teach how best you can speed up your website load time. These are very easy steps which can be done without any hassle.
Before I begin I want to talk about some the benefit you can enjoy by increasing your website load time.

Reason Why You Should Improve Website Load Time

Why do you think most online giant companies like Amazon and EBay are investing so much to improve the overall speed of their websites? The answer is simple to increase revenue and stay in business.
Spending some time to optimize the speed of your website shouldn’t be a new problem to you. There are great values you can enjoy and some of them include:
1. You are able to enjoy an increase in revenue
2. Your conversion rate increases
3. You are able to face competition and also stay in business for a long period.
4. Improves your search engine ranking as well.

How To Speed Up Your Website Load Time

1. Reduce HTTP Requests

Before your browser displays any content, it makes some request to the web server. The web browser says, hey web server I need the HTML for this website, the CSS files, the JavaScript files, images, videos and any other files.
All these resources the web browser downloads takes some micro-seconds to download. So increasing the number of resources for your website means increasing the number of seconds the browser takes to download.
To solve this problem:
1. Reduce the number of resources for your web pages
2. Combine your CSS files into one
3. If possible insert images using CSS to reduce the size of your HTML files
4. Place your JavaScript files and Scripts at the bottom of your HTML files in order to download faster

2. Enable Compression

Compressing your web page resources can help increase the speed of your website. In fact Google even recommends compressing your website files. Doing so reduces some kilobytes which in return improves the loading time of your website.
This step can be achieved by zipping your resources using a tool called Gzip. The good news is that most web servers support it and all browsers have the capabilities to handle compressed websites with ease.
To learn more about Gzip compression and how to enable it on your server read this article on GTmetrix

3. Using Browser Caching

Browser caching is a temporary storage of static web page resources like images, CSS and JavaScript files on the user’s hard disk. What this does is to store some of web files the first time a visitor accesses your website and for subsequent visits the browser simply uses the stored files without making any HTTP request. In effect reduces calls to your web server and also speeds up your website.
If you update your website once in every month then you will probably set the expiring date to just month. To learn more and how to enable browser caching visit page on GTmetrix

4. Minify Your Web Page Files

One way of speeding up your website is by minifying some of your resources and even Google applauds it. The spaces, indentations and line breaks you insert in your codes also increase the size of your files. Minifying your resources deletes the spaces, line breaks and indentations in your codes to reduce their sizes for faster download.
There are a lot of tools you can use to achieve this:
To minify your CSS files you can try any of these online tools
To minify your JavaScript files you can try any of these online tools

5. Optimizing Your Web Images.

Images play important roles in on our web pages but they can also be a threat to your website loading time. There are ways of optimizing images and some of them include
1. Reducing the size of images. There several image processing tools out there that can help you accomplish this task.
2. Crop your images to the size you want to use. Doing so prevents the browser from downloading huge image size and later compress them to the size you want on your page.
3. Use JPEG and PNG image formats.

6.  Writing CSS The Right Way

There is no doubt CSS gives us the power to style our web page the way we want. But this same power can hurt you if you do not use the right way. Inline styling are great when used for some small basic styling but relying solely on them can have a negative on your website speed.
To increase your website speed time
Avoid using too much inline styles and inline tag styling because it increase the size of your HTML files.
Use external style sheets which load faster and very easy to update too.

7. Avoid The Number Of Plugin You Use

Using lots of plugins on your website slows down its speed and sometimes crashes. If possible limit the number of plugins you use to improve the speed of your site. Deactivate any plugin you do use on your website.

Conclusion
Implementing these methods of speeding up the load time of your website will improve the way your visitors interact with your website. It will be very sad to lose your loyal visitors or clients because of your slow website. Always use Google’s speed test tool and Yahoo’s YSlow to monitor the load time of your website. I wish you the best as you improve your website.


Best Resources To learn HTML And CSS As A Beginner


Resources For Learning HTML And CSS 

Achieving success doesn’t come by chance or by luck. Most successful people followed one key principle and they were able to achieve their dreams and targets. This key principle I’m talking about is planning. In everything that we do there must be some plan of action to direct us to our expected end.
I’m yet to read or hear about someone who managed to build a successful business or website without having any plan in place. We should develop the habit of planning our goals before executing any action. One benefit planning is we are able to meet our anticipated result if we follow our layout plan accordingly. Learning a new skill or subject also involves planning. The materials or resources you are going to read, time to study, how you are going to practice what you have learnt should be part of your study plan.

A Beginner’s Guide To Becoming a Front-end Web Developer

I know your problem and you’ve just got to the right place to find the solution. I am going to teach you what you have to learn in order to become an experienced front-end web developer. When I was a teenager I always wanted to have my own website, I love websites a lot. I got introduced to website builders and other simple tools to help build a website within few minutes. It was fun and very exciting but I wasn’t satisfied with the way I developed those websites. I always wanted to build everything from scratch, to get dirty with the codes.
I was introduced to the programming language used by web developers from a good friend and I decided to take the hard way to learn everything on my own. My spirit got high from that moment because I was embarking on a journey to become a self-taught front-end web developer and I going to teach you the best possible way of fulfilling your dreams too.

Who is a Front-end developer?

A front-end developer can also be known as a client-side developer, he is responsible for building and maintaining the final looks of a website. This very website you are seeing was built by a front-end developer. They use various tools and languages to achieve the designs they have developers or design made by graphic designers. Apart from building good looking websites they also make sure you have access to their web pages across all devices. The life of a front-end programmer is never easy and it’s also a very interesting job.

What Do I Need To Learn To Become A Front-end Developer?

To learn front-end development you have to learn its 3 pillars. That is HTML, CSS and JavaScript. These three language are the core requirement needed if you want to live and survive in the world front-end web development.

learning front-end web development - html, css and javascript

HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

Every website you visit has HTML, HTML is the backbone of all websites. HyperText Markup Language is not a true programming language like Java or JavaScript. It is made of tags or markups which are used to build the structure of websites. It serves as the building blocks of all websites. With the aid of HTML, developers are able to add images, links, build forms, add paragraphs, heading to their webpages. HTML acts like the bricks and mortar used for building a house.
HTML has been through several stages with the latest version being HTML5. HTML5 is very simple and easy to learn. HTML5 has got a lot of advantage and learning it will benefit you a lot. The latest version permits developers to add audio and video files to their webpages without writing any complex codes.

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)

Websites cannot live without CSS just like the same way we cannot live without food and water. The main purpose of CSS is to add some visual presentation to webpages. With CSS you can change the appearance of a webpage, change the font format of text, add background images and colors, building navigation bar and even create buttons to for pages. CSS straightforward and very easy to learn. But using it in your development process can be a bit tough.
Just like HTML, CSS has different versions as well, with CSS3 being the latest. CSS3 has change and helped the way front-end developers build. It has simplified difficult tasks and has made the development of websites very cool. The latest version permits front-end web developers to add animations to their websites, drop shadows and transitions to their webpages.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a true programming language used in web development. You should know that JavaScript isn’t related to the java programming language. Though the language can be used for websites it can also be used to create desktop applications. JavaScript is higher level client-side scripting language which can easily be embedded in HTML document to add some interactivity to websites. JavaScript does not use any compliers like other programming to run the codes. The web browsers interpret and executes any code written in JavaScript within your HTML document.
What JavaScript does is to bring your webpages make your pages respond to user actions. JavaScript has got a lot of uses on the web. Those web games, image sliders, image rollovers and animations are built with JavaScript. JavaScript can be a little bit tricky when learning but not difficult at all. It requires concentration and hard work to study and use its full powers.

Aside The 3 Pillars, Other Things You Should Know.

Front-end web development is not restricted to only HTML, CSS and JavaScript. There are other things which most front-end web programmers use when building stylish websites. Frameworks and development tools are those thing I am talking of.

Frameworks

Frameworks are developed to help programmer complete numerous task within a short time span. They are developed and managed by a group of experience programmers. Web frameworks aid web developers to complete multiple and difficult task quickly and easily. They also reduce the presence of bugs (errors) in your codes. CSS and JavaScript have got some popular Frameworks to which can be of great benefit to you if choose to learn them.
Angular.js, React.js, Ember.js, Meteor.js and Backbone.js are some of the popular JavaScript frameworks for front-end developers.
Bootstrap, Foundation, Skeleton, Ink, and Cascade Framework are some of the best and popular CSS frameworks you can choose to learn.

Development Tools

Development tools are tools to assist you when building. They include text editors, color pickers, image optimizer, responsive test tools and font converters. These tools shouldn’t be ignored by any web programmer because they help you spend less time when creating websites.

Challenges Associated With Front-end Development

Front-end developers face a lot of trials when creating those stunning websites. A java programmer builds his apps with the java programming language but a front-end developer has to build with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, then use other tools as well. So the life a front-end web developer isn’t easy at all.

Cross Browser Challenges

All web browsers render webpages differently. The manner in which one webpage looks in one browser will be different when viewed in another browser. Internet Explorer is the only browser that need special attentions when designing your page appearance because it is the only browser that cause problems to developer. Web developers have to struggle to test and tweak their designs in order for them to look equally in all major web browsers.

 Different Screen Size

The significant increase in the use of smart phone also means web programmers have to shift their attention to smart phones uses as well. Neglecting this means losing potential customers and clients for your business or your web app. Likewise, web visitors access websites with varied screen sizes. As a front-end developer it is your duty to test how your pages look across different screen size because someone might be viewing your website with a screen either smaller or bigger than your screen size.

Website Performance

We now live in an era where our access to information must be provided within a few seconds. No web user will for more than 10 seconds to read or purchase a product a product from your website. And this problem can go against you massively. As a front-end web developer you must ensure that your website or applications performs actively and very responsively. Your images and codes must be well optimized to guarantee your website loads very fast.

Tools Used Changes Constantly

It is often advised not to learn all the tools used by all front-end web programmer. As time goes on new tools will be built and old ones will begin to fade out of the system. When learning how to use frameworks and other useful tools try to stick with the popular ones and also be ready to adapt to any new changes that are developed in the future.

Resource to Help Your Learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript

1. Codecademy.com – Codecademy is an online learning platform that helps beginners to learn web development. Lesson taught by Codecademy are for free.
2. W3schools.com – W3schools is similar to Codecademy. The learning platform offers a step-by-step guide to teach beginners everything they need to learn about Front-end development.
3. Head First HTML and CSS second edition – this a wonderful book I will recommend to anyone who want to learn about HTML and CSS. This is a great book and I still rely on it.
4. Head First JavaScript second edition – this book has taught me a lot about JavaScript. I used this book when learning JavaScript. Written in a simple format, any beginner can easily learn JavaScript with this notable book.

Conclusion


Becoming a Front-end developer has always been my dream. Front-end development is a straightforward course. It takes time and effort to learn everything about front-end web development. My advice to you is start with the HTML, CSS and JavaScript before tackling frameworks and other development tools. Also do not forget about cross browser issues, web performance and different display size. I wish all the best of luck.

6 Good Web Design Habits Exhibited by Professional Designers

The life of a web designer isn’t as easy as people see it. We all have our ways of doing things to arrive at our goal or purpose. We exhibit all kinds of habit at our work place or space. Some of these habits can also be a hindrance which can affect our productivity level at some point. Others might not see anything wrong with that but to be a professional or an expert you must perform your duty in manner that older would like to emulate.  Performing your duties or work in a right way makes you a star in your industry. As a web designer you must work professional even if you’re a starter in the industry. By doing so any other web designer who take over from where you left will have no questions to ask you in the future because of the way you did your work. I have written this article to showcase some the good habits professional web designer use.

Web Freelancing Made Easy: 6 Hacks To Get More Clients

I just can’t imagine how you felt the first time you built a website. When I built my first web page, I felt so excited and wanted everyone to see that I was building a great website but it look very bad. When you started to learn about how to build web pages and website, you were very happy and working very hard you achieve that dream and yes I also felt that way. You coded a couple of pages and made some good looking websites for fun and others for free.

Upon completing the course the real problem jumps in, finding clients to build for. Finding clients to work with is the main problem many web designers have to deal with if you like to work on your own. People are happy when they work under the authority of others but other people want some flexibility in their work. They want to work under their own conditions and free from any form rules and regulations. If you are a web designer or a developer and you want to work at your own pace and in your own conditions at the comfort of your home, then you will face a lot of difficulties like 
getting clients to work with.

Web designing is great job and you can really make a lot of revenue if you work hard. But the problem most of us face is the ideal client we are searching for. Believe me, they are around us but it’s just that we are not searching at the right place. I have written this post to help you find the customer you are searching to work with. Not wasting much time let’s begin.

6 Easy Ways to Get Your First Client or More Clients as Web Designer or Developer

1. Signing Up on Freelancing Websites

The first place to seek for new clients is on an online freelancing website. These websites are like a market place where employers post projects to attract web designers and developers who are very interested to with them. There many freelancing websites where top companies are seeking for the services of web designers to build an online presence for their business. Some popular sites you can sign up on are Freelancer.com, Upwork.com and toptal.com

2. Building An Online Portfolio

Having an online portfolio is another way to reach to companies and individuals who are in great need of a website for their business. Many web designers are making a lots of income because of their portfolio. They are able to reach out to many people who are in need of their services. You can also be part of them by setting up your portfolio website showcasing the skills you got and the projects you have worked on. You will get a lot of clients if you are able you prove to them you’ve got the talent to build elegant website. A simple hack is to build some websites and then display them on your site.

3. Build Templates for Free.

A lot of web designers haven’t realized this trick, by building templates for free you can get lots of new clients to work with. Someone may download your template because it suites his business, maybe along the line he might want to work with you to build something stunning for his business. That’s it, single template you built for free has won you a new client for free with no hassle. This trick will take some time to get clients, other will be delighted if you build websites for them and others will also use your free template. To make this trick in your favor include an attribution link to your portfolio website or social media page and require the user not remove the link without your permission.

4. Write A Guest Post

Many of you may think writing a guest post is only for bloggers who want new visitors to their blogs. At this very moment, you are also searching for clients to build for right. Why don’t you write a guest post about something you know? Many bloggers are bringing in new visitors to their blogs by just writing a guest post. You too can also do the same by writing a post to attract new visitors to witness the amazing work you are doing on your online portfolio. You may never know the person reading your post might be needing a website. Writing a guest post isn’t easy at all. But it can become easy if you write about some of your interest. As a web designer you can make a guest post on tutorials or even write about some latest trends in web designing.

guest blogging
image source eitweguru.com

5. Start Blogging

Yes, blogging can really help you. There a lot of guys out there who need help urgently. They want to read on topics that can help them solve a problem or read an article to get them introduced to something they always wanted do. You are a web designer or developer you got talents and skills. Build your own blog and start writing about the things you know. You can write about websites, create tutorials or write about any other topic or issue the will interest people. The questions is how can I benefit from this? Once you have built a successful blog create an ad or a link to your portfolio website or better still you can tell your visitors about your profession and if they are in need of a website they should contact

starting a blog
image source prepare.io
.

6. Walk to them

There are a lot of small business which operate without an online presence. You can visit any small business around you and make them know the benefits of you getting a website for their business. This is a smart way of getting new client as a freelancer though it can be hard sometimes. You won’t lose anything if you try to talk to the owners small business who don’t have a website for their business.

image source marketingland.com

Conclusion


I have to bring my post to an end. Making good use of these hacks can help you get your first client and get more clients in you are already in the web freelancing business. If you have any suggestion or comment you send them below. Thanks for reading.

4 Easy Ways To Impress And Attract Clients As A Web Designer

Clients are hard to find these days. As a web designer you have to toil and work so hard in order to find your potential clients and later turn them into a long term customers. Successful businesses today apply ethics and strategic motives to attract and keep to clients for a long term. They are able to keep and have a strong business relationship with them. The strategic plans these business develop and use are nothing new or strange for you have to learn. We do them all the time but not in the right manner.

I have a business background and in fact I am a student at the University Of Ghana Business School. I know you will be asking yourself why I chose to study web designing. My answer is very simple, I love websites and web designing. Now back to my main point, making good use of these strategies as a web designer can help you also to attract and also keep your client for a long period of time. These strategies include good communication, product design, delivery time and discount. I going to explain all these terms for you to understand and how they can help you win more clients and make more profit.

1. Good Communication

Many businesses are able to be operation for a long period because of the communication they have established with their clients. Communication plays a key role in anything we do. When you visit any shop, you communicate with the attendant and he provides you with whatever you want to buy. The same applies in our lives and businesses, we talk to people and later we produce a feedback or perform an action. Having a good communication channel means both parties are able to understand and act according to perfection on the terms agreed on.

image source voyagecontrol.com
 As a web designer you must try your best to understand what your clients wants and requires of you. It is your duty to decode their instructions and act accordingly. There may be some situations where the communication maybe tampered by some barriers like noise or your inability to understand the message due to language. These barriers can be reduced or avoided if you choose the right communication channel. Doing so can build a strong bond with you and your clients because of the mutual understanding you have and also complying with their needs and wants.

2. Product Design

You can attract and impress your clients by the way you design and build websites. In my entire life, I’ve never met anyone who like and adores things which look ugly. People like and draw closer to objects which look beautiful and stunning. I’m relating product design to the overall look of your website. As a web designer there some practices you should avoid and which can also make you lose a lot of clients. They include the following

i. Avoid using many fonts
ii. Avoid the use of several colors
iii. Avoid the use of large image size. They slowdown loading speed and also affect the search engine ranking.

Many designers are able to maintain and attract new clients because of the elegant websites they build. Minimizing the amount of fonts you use can really make your web pages look good. Colors and images play an important role in the beauty of a website. Applying many colors to your pages can ruin the beauty you want to achieve. It’s like applying too many makeups on your face. The end results will be bad. The images you apply to your web pages should have some meaning and purpose. You just can’t use any image you’ve found for your pages, your images must relate to content of your website. It’s best to ask a friend or any person to have a look of the website you’ve built. By doing so, you can easily make changes any part of your design if they see anything wrong with it.

3. Delivery Time

Many clients and customers become frustrated and angry when the product or service they’ve invested in are not delivered to them on time. How will you feel if web designer fails to deliver a website you asked him build within two weeks? As a web designer you should try your best to fulfill the promise you made to your clients. Try your best complete the project before time. This can open another door to a new client if your clients are happy about your service because they will recommend you to other people. In case you won’t be able to deliver your service within the agreed time frame, let them know before the time reaches. Clients are very hard to find these days and letting them go so easily can be a huge blow to you.

image source pngall.com

4. Discounts

Everybody loves discounts and I’m sure you also do. People are likely to buy more if they receive discounts from their suppliers. Offering discounts to your clients is a smart move to beat your competitors to win more clients. Your clients who benefited from your discount plan will also recommend your services to others as a way to say thank you. You should also be cautious of the amount you give as discount. Give a reasonable amount so that you can also make some profit. 

image source stuffparentslike.com

Conclusion

Implementing these strategies businesses use can help you build a successful life as a web designer. If you own a web design business making good use of these strategies can help you make lots of profits and also have many clients. If you have any comment or suggestion concerning about this post please submit it as a comment below. Thanks for reading. 

Web Designing Made Simple: Free Tools For Web Designers

You can easily make your life as a web designer simpler and more productive by relying on tools used by top designers in the web designing industry. When I began learning web designing, I encountered some difficulties. Sometimes finding the right color for text or navigation bars generated some complex issues.

Creative developers are now helping web designers to save time and code efficiently by building tools to make their work easier. I have written this post to provide you with some free tools every web designers must know and use. This tools are very easy to use and can save you much time and effort.