When you manage a website, you probably are no stranger to big changes that improve content, enable more features, increase load speed, and attract a better audience.
Often though, small modifications that take little effort and potentially have a big impact get overlooked. We have listed some of the most commonly overlooked optimizations you can implement in no-time.
Test your website with Google Lighthouse
Google Lighthouse gives an overall impression of the quality of your website. It is an automated open-source tool designed to help you improve the quality of your web pages.
Among other factors, Lighthouse audits crucial aspects like performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, and search engine optimization (SEO).
The tool offers you numerous suggestions per metric that will optimize the page quality.
Make sure your site is GDPR compliant
The amount of websites that are not yet compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) might surprise you.By now, you should have a cookie and privacy disclaimer on your website.
If you are about to implement one, make sure it well written and easy to read. Your visitors should be able to understand which data you will and will not collect through cookies. Make sure they are able to block the cookies they do not like without sacrificing the usability of your website.
Do you have any forms on your website? Then you should know where the captured data is stored. Even better: make sure that a visitor can request the data you have collected about them and delete it.
If you are not sure about any of the above when it comes to your website, you should perform a GDPR audit. You are always free to work with one of our experts to get a detailed report, if you do not know where to start.
Fuzzy on what GDPR is exactly? This video might help:
Use technical standards HTML5, CSS3, W3C
Even though your web pages might look nice in most popular browsers, your website might perform poorly in some browsers or isn’t even using the market technical standards (HTML5, CSS3) of the official world wide web consortium (W3C).
To guarantee compatibility with most important browsers and minimize issues with search indexes, make sure all HTML used for your pages is compliant.
Leverage HTML5 features in your webforms to limit development time
HTML5 has many useful features that strangely enough aren't used often. It allows you to specify the type of field in a form you would like to show and will format it accordingly.
For example: a phone number is locked in a specific format, so the browser will automatically recognize any deviations.
The big advantage here is that, without any extra development required, browsers will handle the error message that is supposed to be displayed automatically.
Give every image an alternative description (ALT tag)
An oldie, but still a goldie: make sure every image on your website has a meaningful alternative description (or ALT tag, as it is more commonly known).
Implementing this offers a real win-win scenario. Visually impaired often use software that describes page elements. It will describe the images shown based on the alternative description you have provided. By offering a clear ALT tag, you will make your website a lot more accessible for these users.
Simultaneously, search engines also look at these tags when ranking your website. ALT tags it will give you extra search index bonus points. In other words: alternative descriptions are crucial for the SEO of your website.
A security audit scan: can you remember your last one?
We all agree: website security is important. Nobody wants to be "that web manager whose website got hacked".
That being said, when was the last time you performed a security scan on your website? We are afraid that more people than you can imagine will have to admit they can't remember.
So let’s not postpone it any longer! There are many easy and quick to perform methods to do a lightweight security audit.
Start using modern image formats
Still using JPEG or PNG formats for images on your site? It is time to revisit these images and convert them! Modern image formats like WebP are designed to decrease load times and make your website perform better. Your images can load up to 25% faster!
Offload your static content to a content delivery network
When all resources that make up your website (HTML, CSS, images) are being served by the same single platform, there is a good chance it will bottleneck your visitor’s surf speed.
To maximize the number of streams a web browser can use to load your website, one option is to offload all static content to a super-fast network. This network, which is optimized for static content delivery, is logically called a “content delivery network" (CDN). This seems like a major task, but even with little effort you will be able to improve your website’s performance.
Stop hack attempts before they reach your site with a WAF
Some CDN's (above) also implement web application firewall (WAF) features. These firewalls inspect all network traffic that wants to access your website before it hits your server. Should a certain network package or visit be marked as suspicious because it tries to hammer your login page, it will stop all access for this visitor.
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