Speed and Access for Success: Why Your Organization Needs a Fast and Accessible Website
Blog post by Jeremy Logan
When it comes to web design, there are two key factors that can make or break a website: page speed and accessibility. If your website is slow or difficult to use, visitors will quickly become frustrated and leave. On the other hand, a fast and accessible website can help to engage your target audience and keep them coming back for more. In this blog post, we'll explore why these two factors are so important and provide tips for achieving both.
Why is Page Speed Important?
Page speed refers to how quickly a web page loads, and it has a significant impact on user experience. In today's fast-paced world, people expect websites to load quickly, and if they don't, they will likely leave and look for a faster alternative. In fact, according to Google, 53% of mobile users will abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load.
But page speed isn't just important for keeping visitors on your site – it also affects your search engine rankings. Google uses page speed as a ranking factor, so if your website is slow, it may not rank as high in search results as faster sites.
"Web performance is user experience. And user experience is everything." - Jeremy Keith, Web Designer and Author."
Tips for Improving Page Speed:
- Optimize Images: Large image files can slow down your website, so make sure to compress images before uploading them to your site.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN can help to speed up your website by caching your content on servers around the world, reducing the distance that data has to travel to reach users.
One framework that has become popular for building JAMStack websites is Next.js. Next.js is a React-based framework that provides a range of features designed to improve website performance. For example, Next.js can pre-render pages at build time, which means that visitors will see a fully rendered page as soon as they land on your site, rather than waiting for the page to load.
Overall, by leveraging the JAMStack architecture and frameworks such as Next.js, non-profits and small businesses can create fast, scalable, and accessible websites that provide a great user experience.
Why is Accessibility Important?
Accessibility refers to the ability of all users, including those with disabilities, to access and use your website. In the US, one in four adults has a disability, so ensuring that your website is accessible is not just the right thing to do – it's also a legal requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
But accessibility is also important for improving user experience for all visitors. For example, using good contrast and readability can make your website easier to read for everyone, not just those with visual impairments.
Tips for Improving Accessibility:
- Use High Contrast Colors: Use colors with a high contrast ratio to make text and other elements stand out. This is especially important for users with visual impairments.
- Use Descriptive Links: Instead of using "click here" as a link, use descriptive text that explains where the link goes, such as "Learn More About Our Services."
- Provide Alternative Text for Images: Screen readers can't interpret images, so providing alternative text descriptions can make your content accessible to visually impaired users.
Page speed and accessibility are two critical factors to consider when creating a website. By optimizing your website for speed and ensuring that it's accessible to all users, you can improve engagement, reduce bounce rates, and ultimately, achieve your goals as a non-profit or small business. So take the time to implement these tips and create a website that is both fast and accessible