Speed-Index.com, The Beginning and Backstory

"We're live!  It's live, the new website has finally gone live!"  These were a few of the comments from over twenty years ago, when I was working at my first technology startup.  At the time, we were selling detailed data about underground storage tanks that was geocoded across the United States.  We were selling into a highly specific market, the environmental industry.  We were using mapping technologies to aggregate, display, and sell data in order to save time for environmental enginners. Instead of spending 1-2 weeks researching and preparing reports, engineers could simply log onto our website, enter and address, and instantly receive the data they were looking for in a pdf format.  For the late time, (mid to late 90's) it was really exciting to work there and to learn all about the latest in website technology and doing business online.

My job was to upgrade the existing website.  Re-design all the pages, create a new look for the entire website, and to embed the mapping, checkout, and the password protected pages.  For a new developer, it was a daunting task, but a senior programmer helped a lot!  Learning new skills and technologies was great, but we ran into an unforseen problem, the website was slow!  Existing customers praised the new design, but complaints started to roll in that the site took too long to load.

 It was an eye opening experience to really think about the end user.  The website was organized very well. Everything was properly linked and was easily accessible, but the major problem was, we were sitting inside the network.  The physical web server was sitting in our office and I had gotten used to fast load times, but that was not the case for people across the country. For many of our customers, the site was taking over 20 to 30 seconds to load.  The site had many ey-cathing graphics, but that all came at a cost. Namely, speed.

Once the site was live, the senior programmer and I methodically went through the website, removing unnessary code, re-writing slow code, and optimizing graphics, in order to make the site load faster.  It was a challenging list of tasks, but was a very rewarding exercise to hear the clients give their approval.

After many years of building professional websites, speed is still an important factor for websites. Optimizing a website for speed may be more important now, considering Google has published indicators mentioning that site page speed is important for website owners to consider.

If you are interested in having the Pro Media Performance review your website, feel free to contact us below for a free 30 minute consultation.

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