July 2020 Homepage Optimizations

Why are we making changes?

For most clients, the majority of traffic funnels through your homepage first. It’s almost always the first impression that you make on new users and is often the page that receives the most views. Pages with longer load times may lead to higher bounce rates and lower average time on the page.

Google is updating its search ranking algorithm to place a greater importance on site speed and performance

Google is also continuing to emphasize a mobile-first philosophy. Across all of Finalsite’s schools’ websites, an average of 40% of all traffic comes from mobile devices. Performance issues are often amplified for users visiting your homepage on a slower cellular connection.

What are we doing to improve?

  • We’ve completed a transition to network and hosting partners like Cloudflare and Google Cloud Platform to leverage their proven reliability, speed, and security.
  • Homepage videos set to autoplay with hidden play/pause controls will now loop after 30 Finalsite_Page_Speed_Equation__1_.jpgseconds. Loading large videos and playing them every time a user visits your homepage slows down the load of the page.
  • Homepage videos set to autoplay with visible play/pause controls will pause after 30 seconds, and the user can hit play to resume the video. Interacting with the video shows the user is engaged with the video and is purposefully watching it.
  • Homepage image slideshows will display up to 20 images; if more than 20 images exist in the slideshow, we will prevent them from loading to avoid slowness. Limiting the load of images each time a user visits the homepage will again positively impact the load of the overall page.
  • On all pages, we will not load images “below the fold,” meaning below the part of the page that is visible to the user. We will load those additional resources when the user begins to scroll the page. This “lazy loading” will happen without any noticeable effect to the user.

Do we have an option to disable homepage optimization?

While we strongly recommend leaving this feature enabled, there may be situations where large videos need to be auto-played in full. If you’d like to disable homepage optimization, please submit a Support ticket to help@finalsite.com

We are continuously working to enhance our software to ensure Finalsite users are getting the best experience and results possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Finalsite’s Support Team with any additional questions or concerns.

 

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