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4 Ways to Make Your Business Website More User-Friendly Shoot for function, not fashion.

By Nathan Resnick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Gone are the days when businesses just used websites to share information and promote their products. Now, businesses use websites to provide an ultimate customer experience and increase traffic conversion in the process. In order to give your customers the best experience, you have to make your website as engaging as possible.

Maybe the most important aspect of that experience is speed -- no one wants to look at a page that takes five minutes to load, even if it's beautifully designed. Sometimes, the structural design of the website determines the loading speed of the website. Before you make some arrangements in the coding of your website, though, you must first test its speed to know what needs to be changed. Pingdom is a great tool to check how fast the loading time of your website is, and programs like Bitcatcha let you monitor your web hosting performance. There are even some programs that pinpoint which parts of your website are slowing things down.

Basically, a website's speed can be attributed to the coding, the server and the storage place of the codes. Now that we know more about speeding up a website, let's look into three simple steps that will help you make your website faster and easier to use:

1. Simple, functional design

Right now, the trend for websites is to use simple imagery with little text because that's what attracts people. Also, most modern websites keep all information on just one webpage (in other words, the website doesn't have to redirect from one page to another). Javascript is usually used in order to achieve this feature. The good thing about doing this is that it engages your user and also minimizes loading times.

Related: Six Ways to Create a Memorable Customer Experience

2. Compress your code

Another way to help speed up your website is to compress your codes. You can do so by downloading a zipping software like Gzip to mash all your files together in order to lessen the HTTP responses that your coding would need to do. Having more HTTP responses to the server would slow down the website because it fills up the server with more traffic. Lessening the traffic speeds up the website as a whole.

Related: 5 Things That Belong on the Front Page of Your Website

3. Use a content delivery network (CDN) to enable content caching

A CDN is a tool that can store your website's data and blast it to different servers around the world. For example, if you live in California and you have some visitors in Asia and Europe, the CDN will cache all your website's data and distribute them to Asia and Europe servers to speed up their user experience. By doing this, your visitors in Europe and Asia won't have to request access from the main US server in order to access the site as this adds to the loading time. A good CDN is said to increese site speed by 50 percent and reduce bandwidth by 70 percent.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Webmaster

4. Make it easy on users

Here are a few basics:

  • Lessen the number of fields in the forms. If you want your users to sign up to your website, you have to make things easy for them. One of the best ways to do that is to lessen the fields in your forms.
  • Make sure your Google PPC ad is consistent with content of the website. Your website won't make a good impression on the visitors if your content isn't the same as what your ad tells it to be. Always check for consistency before you post.
  • Use microcopy, the fine print that adds to your main copy. For example, if you have a call to action that says "Subscribe to us Now," then you can have a microcopy below the call to action saying, "We make sure to keep all our subscriber's information classified."

Those are some tips to use when trying to enhance the UX of the website visitor. Staying ahead of competitors is all about user experience because there are so many other websites out there for potential customers to see. Yours has to stand out by affording customers the flexibility and ease they want.

Nathan Resnick

CEO of Sourcify

Nathan Resnick is a serial entrepreneur who currently serves as CEO of Sourcify, a platform that makes manufacturing easy. He has also brought dozens of products to life over the course of his career.

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