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11 Proven Ways to Optimize Website Performance

4 minutes, 23 seconds read

Website performance optimization or simply, website optimization is a process of improving a website’s loading speed in the browser. It generally involves editing the website to optimize scripts, HTML, or CSS code and reducing the number of web page components like images, scripts, or video for faster loading. 

What is web performance?

Web performance is the speed in which web pages are loaded and displayed on the user’s web browser.

Website performance metrics

The following are the website performance metrics-

#1 DNS lookup time

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the phonebook of the Internet. Users access online information through domain names, like www.mantralabsglobal.com. Web browsers interact through Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. DNS translates domain names to IP addresses so that browsers can load Internet resources.

#2 Initial connection

It is the time for a handshake between the browser and the server to retrieve the contents of the page. Handshaking is a process by which two devices initiate communications (here- browser and server). It initiates with the browser sending a message to the server indicating that it wants to establish a connection. 

#3 Waiting time (TTFB)

It is the time spent waiting for the initial response, also known as the Time To First Byte. This time captures the latency (the delay between the instruction and data transfer) of a round trip to the server. It also accounts the time spent waiting for the server’s response.

#4 Download Time

It is the time spent receiving the response data.

11 Proven website performance optimization techniques

You’ll need to consider the following to enhance a website’s performance.

#1 Reduce DNS lookup time

Implement the following to reduce DNS lookup time-

  1. Reduce the number of hostnames, that are used to generate a web page.
  2. Host third party resources locally, which automatically reduces the DNS lookup.
  3. Use DNS Cache, where cache time can be defined to different types of hosts, so it reduces the lookup time.
  4. DNS prefetching: allows browsers to perform DNS lookup in the background while the user browses the current page.
  5. Defer parsing Javascripts, which are not needed while loading a web page but render blockers.
  6. Use a fast DNS provider: choose the DNS providers whose lookup time is minimal.

#2 Browser/Web cache

It is a temporary storage location on a computer for files that a browser downloads to display websites. Locally cached files may include any documents from a website, such as HTML files, CSS style sheets, JavaScript scripts, graphic images, and other multimedia content. When a user revisits the website, the browser checks for the updated content and downloads only those files or what is not already present in the cache. This reduces bandwidth usage on both the user and server-side and loads the page faster.

#3 Image Optimization 

It is a process of delivering high-quality images in the right format, dimension, size, and resolution while keeping the smallest possible size. There are different ways to optimize images. You can resize, cache, or compress the image size.

#4 HTML, CSS, and JS Minification

While moving the source of website production, minify the contents of source code (Uglify), to reduce the overall size of the page. It will enhance the download speed for the page content on the web browser.

#5 HTML hierarchy

Maintain the standard HTML hierarchy, which means- push all the render-blocking scripts to the bottom of the page and keep only required assets on the header part of the load content. This way, the user doesn’t have to wait to see the actual page because of render-blocking scripts.

#6 Use Sprites

Sprite images are the group of images, which are combined to create a single image for a web page. As the number of server requests affects the bandwidth and loses the page speed score, it is better to combine all the possible images into sprite images.

#7 Enable compression

The web standards suggest GZIP compression. It is effective for optimum bandwidth utilization while rendering the contents. Let’s say- the overall size of the assets is 900KB. Enabling GZIP compression can compress the content size to at least 600KB. This enhances the bandwidth and pages render at a faster rate.

#8 Use secure channels/protocols

Prefer using secured channels to load the web page contents. It prevents the malware intro into the page.

#9 Reduce the number of redirections

Use a very less number of redirections in the websites. The introduction of too many redirections will consume the DNS lookup time and affect the page load time.

#10 Use CDN

Use CDN paths for the static resources, which enhances the load time performance of the website. CDN is useful for pre-caching static resources, which helps in reducing the time-to-index and hence reduces the load time. Also, distributed data centers host CDNs. Therefore, the nearest CDN host will fetch the assets- boosting the performance of the website.

#11 Avoid hotlinking

Hotlinking is the process of directly using the content from another site into the source website. Avoiding this will affect the bandwidth of both sites.

Also read – Everything you need to know about Test Automation as a Service.

why do we need webpage performance optimization

Do you have any questions regarding your website performance? Feel free to comment or write to us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com & stay tuned for our next article on 8 Factors that Affect Page Load Time & Website Optimization Strategies.

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

Chart, line chart

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

Chart, sunburst chart

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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