How do you reduce website bloat?

Why is my website slow? It is a common question developers, designers, bloggers and even your visitors ask. No website is immune from having speed issues.

How Do You Reduce Website Bloat
Photo by Farzad Nazifi on Unsplash

What causes website bloat?

How you designed and built the site affects its speed. Things like images, videos, CSS and code can impact your site. Even your server can affect how the site performs.

What can you do to speed up your site?

1. Optimize your images

You may be using images created in file formats that aren’t designed for the web. They may be large in file size as well. You can use an optimize tool to shrink the file size down without noticeable loss in quality. When you optimize an image, it loads faster on your site.

2. Get rid of unnecessary images

Check your web server for unused images. Unused images can affect user experience and performance of your site. If you aren’t using these images, delete them off your server. WordPress users can clean up their images using plugins or manually. If you have Windows, you can use Powershell to find and remove used images.

3. Optimize your videos and other files

Large files can slow a web site down. Files like videos or PDFs get quite large. You can optimize them before uploading. For PDFS, you can use Adobe Acrobot Pro’s PDF Optimizer to make them faster for the web. With videos, you can use a video hosting service like Vimeo or YouTube to host your videos. Then, you can embed them on your page.

4. Optimize your CSS

CSS files can get large and unruly after a while. Optimizing and managing them can be a challenge. It can be hard to find unused styles. You can use a tool like Helium CSS to find them. By getting rid of unused styles, you can reduce the size of your CSS.
Some of your styles are used more often than others. Print styles are used when a page is printed. You may want to separate them into their own file. With frequently used CSS, you may want to consider using inline styles instead. Before uploading your CSS, you can use a minifier to reduce the amount of whitespace it uses.

5. Check your code for speed issues

Are you using old code? If you are, you may need to rewrite, refactor or even replace it. Look at older code and decide if you need to keep it. If not, remove it.

6. Review the content of your page.

You may have too many items on your page. Do you have old or outdated content? If so, you can remove them. Review the rest of the items on the page to see if you can remove some content and still achieve the same goals of the page.

Summary

Preventing website bloat can be a full time job. By changing your development process to include optimization. You can prevent it from getting slow.

Creating notification bar for emergencies and announcements

What is a notification bar?

A notification bar is a horizontal bar that appears at the top or bottom of your website. You can display emergency messages or announcements to your visitors. Messages about closings, updates, news or sales offers.

Create a Notification Bar for Website
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

How can you add a notification bar to your website?

It depends on how you want to do it. If you like to write code, you can make it yourself with HTML and CSS. If not, you can add a plugin or a third-party tool to your website.

1. Make your own

Are you using Bootstrap? Bootstrap has alerts. You can create your own bar with Bootstrap alerts. If you are using a different CSS framework, you can write your own.

See the Pen
Alert Animation (feat. Material Icons by Google)
by Ryan Young (@rcyou)
on CodePen.

2. Use a plugin to display message on your WordPress site

If you have a WordPress website, you may not want to edit your theme. Instead, you can add a plugin. WPBeginner explains how to use the plugins Optin Monster or Simple Notices for displaying important messages on your blog. If you are already using the plugin Advanced Custom Fields, you create custom emergency messages with it.

3. Use a third-party tool

You can choose to use a third-party tool like Getsitecontrol. They offer different ways of creating announcement bars for your website. You can add a sticky announcement bar or a slide-in banner that appears from the side.

Emergencies can occur at any time. You need to have a way of communicating with your customers and staff. Whether you make your own or use a tool, you can ensure that everyone can keep up to date on what is happening.

How to Pick Colors for Better Readability

Have you thought about the readability of your website? The colors you choose can impact how readable people find your website to be. If people can’t read your website, they may become frustrated and go somewhere else. How do you choose the best colors? By testing your color combinations for contrast.

How to Pick Colors For Better Readability
Image by vixrealitum from Pixabay

What is color contrast?

Contrasting colors or complementary colors are from different segments of the color wheel. For example, red is a warm color and blue is a cool color. They appear on different segments of the color wheel which makes them contrasting colors.

By using contrasting colors in web design, you provide enough contrast between content and background so that your website is readable to as many people as possible. You want to make sure your buttons, body text, logos and other content has the right amount of contrast.

1. Choose a color palette

For some projects, you may have a pre-existing color palette to work with. If you don’t, use a tool like Material Palette or Colormind to choose a color palette. Or choose from these 90 Accessible Color Classes to build your palette.

2. Find a color contrast analyzer

You can find many color contrast testing tools on the web. Pick one that works for you. Here are a few to test out:

3. Pick your primary colors

Is your theme light or dark? You want to pick colors that work best with the types of colors for your theme.

4. Choose colors for the body text

You may need more than one color for the body text. Each color can be for a specific task like headers, body and sub-headers.

Buttons and links tell users that you want them to do something. You want to pick colors that draw attention to them and easy to read.

6. Establish color combinations

You may need to add error messages, calls to action or other areas for users to pay attention to.

7. Check your results

After you build your website, use the accessibility checker in the browser for any additional issues. If you find problems, use a contract analyzer and retest.

Learn more about readable colors

How to keep improving your UX Design skills as a developer?

Not creative? It takes creativity to solve programming problems. Design is about solving problems, not making things pretty. You can learn UX Design. Design is a learned skill. You can get better at it.

Improve Your UX Skills
Photo by Daria Nepriakhina from Pixabay

How do you keep improving your skills? The same way you improve your programming skills. You learn about design principles, practices and tools. Then, you build something.

Understand design principles

Design principles help you to make websites and apps that are aesthetically pleasing, easy to use and behave the way the user expects them to.

Learn and Use UX Design Tools

Developers like their tools. You can find design tools that help you do tasks like wireframing, prototyping, animations and more. Which tools do you use? That depends on your needs and preferences. Here is a short list to help you find the tools that may work for you:

Take a UX Design Course

A UX Design Course can give guidance on best practices, basic principles and techniques for creating software that people love to use.

Read up on UX and Design

Keep up to date on changes in UX and Design by reading books and blogs.

Blogs

Books

Build Something

Take an app that you built previously and redesign it with what you have learned. By redesigning it, you can see what works better.

Keep experimenting. You can get better by practicing.

Choosing fonts for your next project

Choosing fonts for your project can be a challenge. How do you pick fonts that work? The fonts that you choose can either help or distract your users. You want to pick fonts that are easy to read and fit the personality or mood you want to convey.

Choosing fonts for your next project
Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

Where do you start?

Pick fonts that match the purpose of your design
Whether you are creating a blog, tutorial, app or business website, you need to pick fonts that match the mood or personality of the project. Fonts can have distinct personalities or moods — casual, serious, playful or elegant.

Decide on a visual hierarchy

Fonts help you to design a typographic hierarchy. You decide how the fonts work together. The three levels we need to consider are primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary level is your headlines. Secondary is used for subheads, captions and pull quotes. The tertiary level is your main body text. These levels help users to scan quickly and focus on the information that they need.

Choose fonts that work with your project

No matter what type of project you are making different fonts work better than others. Fancy and decorative fonts may be a better choice on a blog than your business website.

Create contrast

Pick fonts that complement each other. Mix style, weight, size, spacing and color to achieve the desired effect. For example, pari a bold, chunky font with a tall, thin one.

Limit the number of fonts used

Try keeping the number of fonts to 2 or 3. If you design needs more, add one font at a time.

Use a font generator

A font generators can help you to pick out fonts or experiment with new ones.

Practice

Build sample pages or apps to test out different fonts to see how they work. Keep experimenting and reading blogs for suggestions on font combinations.

Read more