Speed Matters Online
Learn why you have to update your website to stay competitive
We just redeveloped the entire NFY Interactive, Inc.’s website for a single purpose, to keep up with the rapidly changing technology which supports our business. If you are still leveraging an old or outdated website, take some time to read this blog to understand how much your business can be impacted without this critical update.
The internet is rapidly changing and we should expect things to accelerate over the coming years. Too many businesses are resting on websites which are outdated or prone to limited capacity. NFY Interactive, Inc. is setting out to help businesses rethink the coming shift in how the web can impact your company – positively or negatively – this is ultimately YOUR CHOICE.
Why it Matters
We looked back at how often we have redeveloped our own website, changed branding, etc. and worked to dissect the different reasoning behind each change or update. We found that in almost every case, the common denominator was simple – the tech or technology platform that we developed the previous website on is simply outdated. Our goal each time was to modernize our website to leverage new options, new technology and of course faster thing-a-ma-bobbers (ie. more technology).
This latest website iteration was created for a number of reason; but all related to new technology or opportunities to maximize / amplify our presence online.
- WordPress. The WordPress CMS (content management system) is always evolving. In fact, there have been 3 releases in 2022 alone… 5.9, 6.0 and the latest version 6.1; aka Misha. In all, 800 contributors helped to add new features and leverage new technology to maximize the platforms capacity.
- PHP. The current PHP 8 was released back in November of 2020 and many websites have been upgraded and the backend support tied in. This latest website updates help ensure that we are maximizing why PHP 8 was deployed and this helped speed up our website.
- Compression and SEO. One of the biggest shifts was to convert a significant majority of the website content into WebP (file format); an image format developed by Google to replace JPEG, PNG and GIF. The reality is that the quality is VERY good and provides considerable compression over previous versions. Given it has been around since 2010, it has clearly become the leader for website image formats. In the process, we also developed nearly 10k pages of geo-targeted landing pages. While this isn’t going to drive considerable business our way, it will continue a long-standing tradition of meeting customers where they are.
Where is this ALL headed? Well honestly, we believe that a full spectrum frictionless experience is coming for all. However, we also believe that this will be supported by VERY fast high quality websites; which ensure search engines like Google can hand off an experience through website visitors. We know there is some inconsistency in a both ends argument, but our model has always been simple – backstop your brand, control your content and build the best version you can.
It is critical to state that we do not believe that SPEED alone and leveraging technology exclusively are the KEYS to success online. The most critical part of any website is the ability to support your brand and convert visitors into clients. Ultimately, that is ALL that matters – your websites ability to CONVERT.
A few of the most critical elements that we integrated during the REBUILD were centered on generating “more eyeballs” (visitors) and to ensure we have better systems and tools in place to convert them. This was done through a more comprehensive marketing stack; which integrates better analytics, tracking, chat, online forms, auto-responses, marketing automation and more.
These SMALL pieces form a much larger marketplace optimization strategy to help our business grow. These mechanisms act as a force multiplier to help NFY Interactive, Inc. continue to generate quality visitors and leads. This comes through numerous channels: paid, organic, social and more.
We have covered why we did this (technology) and what this covers (force multiplier). When we set out, we knew we’d make the site faster – simply by improving the version of WordPress… Updating the network… and installing the most current versions of plugins. What we didn’t know were the final details – how much did we REALLY improve the experience for search engines and our website visitors.
The most important thing is to have a before snapshot; which provides some key data to help us understand where things are. In our case, the SPEED has always been great – mostly because we keep things light and we host on an enterprise account with WPEngine. We leverage their powerful network, content delivery network and general optimizations. We logged the “BEFORE” details to make sure that the changes did improve the website, but we also had a decision to make – IS IT WORTH IT?
The answer came quickly because our top-level goals was to expand our reach and convert more visitors. So the development became about upgrading antiquated systems so we could accomplish our goals. We do not believe EVERY website has to be rebuilt… No. Good websites that can accomplish the primary goals of the business are a HUGE win and something we love to adopt. Often because we can hit the ground running… But, We like to provide a realistic expectation. Mostly so that the work we do is viewed as a jumpstart or amplification to the brand and online presence.
To START, here are the key STATS on the website SPEED:
- Overall Grade: A
- Performance: 91%
- Structure: 94%
- Large Content: 1.6 seconds
- Total Blocking: 42ms
- Layout Shift: 0
These are all very good scores and typically we wouldn’t redevelop a website like this unless there was a deficiency that could not be met without redevelopment. As a general rule of them “We don’t allow PERFECT to be the enemy of GOOD”. If you have something we can work with and integrate a proper marketing stack and strategy – then you may not need to redevelop your website.
Where we landed was a bit MORE than even our initial expectations. While we expected certain aspects to improve – some of the key factors even suprised us. The final results.
Key STATS on the website SPEED after completion:
- Overall Grade: A
- Performance: 100%
- Structure: 98%
- Large Content: 618ms (less than 1 second)
- Total Blocking: 0ms (instant)
- Layout Shift: 0
Not for us, but for you. It is no surprise that things are slowing down at the time of this blog writing. Twitter just changed owner and laid off half the staff, Facebook has frozen hiring and is laying off ~10% of their staff. We will continue to see layoffs, hiring freezes and more. Ultimately, we are watching inflation continue to increase, interest rates skyrocketing, stock markets shifting and the bond market dropping. Historical impact to our country’s economy, all at a time when many businesses were closed due to the pandemic and regulations from Covid.
So WHAT’S NEW or what is different or can we even be OPTIMISTIC right now!? The answer is a loud, booming and echoing YES! It is simple… Every market goes through cycles and everything changes. While we don’t have a crystal ball to say when – what we do know is from the past. NFY Interactive, Inc. has been in business for 23 YEARS. That is not luck, it is by design and through hard work and dedication to our business and our clients.
The same way we dug through each of our website updates in the past – we did the same with the numerous market downturns we have experienced directly and with our clients. They key take away is EXACTLY why we wrote this blog, why we invested time into the redevelopment of this site… THOSE THAT DO NOW WILL NOT ONLY SURVIVE, BUT THRIVE.
If your website is just Meh. If you aren’t looking at the internet as a tool, an equalizer or an AMPLIFIER; then we’d love to chat and change your mind. NOW is the time… as others pull back and scale down – NOW is the time to make your brand, your product, your service known.
It’s simply really. What’s next will be a decision that each business owner has to make for themselves. Large companies could have entire departments downsized and removed in the future. For us, the decision was simple… 23 years today.. 24, 25, 26… and beyond.
We’d love to help explore your business, your challenges, your goals and your future – let’s review the legacy you can create and leave for others.
NFY Interactive, Inc.
Austin, TX. 78738
ATX: (512) 522-0959
SAN: (619) 764-6146