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Improving Site Speed

Posted February 4, 2011  |  written by  |  About InkHead.com
Site Slowness

Image from Hilton Pond Center.

Don’t you hate when you’re shopping online, and a website takes forever to load? All you want to do is order a few items, but the process takes much longer than it should because the pages render slowly or searches time out. It can be a frustrating experience, very often enough to put a bad taste it your mouth about that company. We here at InkHead Promotional Products hate it too, so that’s why we recently performed some much-needed site maintenance that has resulted in significant improvement to the site’s responsiveness and speed.

Why Are Sites Slow?

Generally, site latency (a fancy word for “site slowness”) happens as a company’s online inventory (and thus the database supporting it) grows. I know I lost some of you after uttering the “d-word,” even though I dropped it in a parenthetical statement, so let me put it in the simplest terms as possible.

Improving Site Speed

Image from the Towers of Jacksonville.

Imagine that you have a personal library. When you have 10 books, it takes 5 minutes to select the book you want. Let’s say you expanded your library to 20 books. Now that you have twice as many choices, it takes you longer to choose the book you want to read. It may not be twice as long, but it will certainly be longer than 5 minutes. Think also about the number of ways you can search for a book in your library: by author, by title, by publishing year, etc. As you can see, there are a number of different combinations you could go about finding the book you want, and that process will only take longer with the more books you add.

Now imagine that you take the time to alphabetize the books in the library. With the books are in some kind of order, you can locate them more easily and quickly, as opposed to having to check each book whenever you decide to read one.

Speeding Up Sites

InkHead did something similar over the weekend to the database that supports our online catalog. Without delving too deeply into the specifics of the database maintenance, our site engineers have made search results and product pages load much faster. In fact, when you apply a product filter as you browse the site, the page will return results 80% faster than before! It’s just one more example of our tireless efforts to provide you with the absolute best shopping experience possible. Just because we’ve won the PPAI Gold Award for Technical Innovation and eCommerce for the last three years running doesn’t mean that we can start resting on our laurels.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of your website’s purpose, site speed is critical, especially in times such as these, when other options are just a Google search away. This is even more important for shopping sites since most search engines now offer their own shopping comparison engines, making it easy for you to glean results from a number of sites at once. InkHead site engineers took a moment to “alphabetize the books” in the online catalog, and now the site is much faster. We hope this makes it easier to find just the Business Promotional Gifts you’re seeking.

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