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How Speed Can Impact Your Client Base

On Tuesday, I discussed the value of using Facebook for your brand and your firm. Today, I would like to focus on the value of speed, particularly when it comes to how fast your website will load on a client’s device. The old adage “slow and steady wins the race” isn’t necessarily true when it comes to law firms and the internet. As far as the online community is concerned, the faster things load, the better. This can make things particularly difficult for law firms who are still relying on older technology, or who are living in the past in terms of site upgrades and online updates.

I have talked quite a bit about how important it is to make your site mobile, especially with the latest buzz about Google penalizing sites that aren’t mobile friendly, but this post is more about how your speed can impact your client base, and what you can do to change this. Obviously the number one fix for a slow website is to speed it up, but how?

Size Matters In Terms of Imagery

To begin altering your website so that it is more user friendly and faster for those looking for information about your firm, you can begin by changing the images that you have posted in the past, and take note of these new rules for any photos you will post in the future. Large images, videos, and other visual data that are too big, or require too much code can cause a problem, particularly for clients who are trying to view your website from a tablet or a smart phone. HTMLgoodies.com suggests:

Make sure the size matches your usage and set the size for each page with the height and width. Do not make use of scaling, especially from larger to smaller images. The image result might look fine on screen but the file size will be the same. To truly take advantage of the smaller dimensions, use an image editing program and scale the image accordingly.

By optimizing images, you can help to significantly speed up the loading times, and make it easier for clients to transition from one page to the next, without waiting forever on visual content before they can scroll or obtain any important information.

Combine And Compress

Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it to? If you don’t want to lose content, but your site is running way too slowly for a successful rate of traffic, it might be time to start combining images with CSS sprites, and enabling compression. Quick Sprout writes:

You can compress resources by using deflate or gzip to actually lower the number of bytes a page is sending over a network. Using the GZIP compression algorithm, popular web servers like Apache and IIS do this automatically on HTML, CSS and javascript.

To make this consistent across your website, you will need to order CSS key value in a way that is far more simplistic – think of alphabetizing them, for example. This can also be done for HTML attributes, and the same consistency will need to be made with tag quotes. Keep the same case for all letters, lose line breaks, and make Java minimal.

Bring In An Expert

There are a variety of tools that can be found online for free and for cash that can help you organize your site into a faster and more user friendly online vehicle. If you are struggling with following these steps on your own, or your site is maintained by a web designer, it may be time to talk to him or her about making your firm’s site more functional in terms of updating the code and losing some of the unnecessary bulk.

This is one time when keeping things simple is best, and your administrator or web designer will be able to take your suggestions and make some of their own to better your online presence. If your website support isn’t helpful in this area of expertise, it may be time to move on and find somebody more capable of maintaining the company site.

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