Keep it simple
To make your visitors happy, keep your website simple. Doing so will make your website faster, easier to use and easier to maintain. In this article, I will show my frustrations with the current state of the web and how you can make your website simpler.
An example how the web is like
When you visit a news website, you are being greeted with a pile of bloat, that I don’t care about as a visitor.
After their landing page is loaded, you are being greeted by a full-screen consent banner. You have to accept to be tracked by over 180 companies. After that I stopped counting. Then you scroll down and images are loading slowly. Most interesting articles are premium content, so you have to pay for it. Ads are everywhere. The website is just slow and bloated. When you read an arcticle it’s even worse.
This is just not visitor-friendly. I don’t want to wait 3 seconds until I see anything. I don’t want to be tracked by 180 companies. I don’t want to pay for premium content. I don’t want to see ads everywhere. I just want to read the news. I have not even mentioned accessibility.
Other websites are even worse
How to make your website simpler?
In this section I will show you how you can make your website simpler.
Make static content static
Images are a big part of the web. They are also a big part of the weight of a website. If you can, avoid images. If you can’t, optimize them. Use next-gen image formats, like WebP and lazy loading to only load images when they are needed. Also use responsive images to only load images in the size they are needed. and compression to reduce the size of your images.
Remove huge ad libraries
You could try out contextual ads instead of tracking ads. These ads are not based on your visitors, but on the content of your website. This way you don’t have to track your visitors. They can also be just implemented server-side. A similar form of ads are sponsored posts or sections at the end of your articles.
Removing ads completely is even better for your visitors. Of course, this is probably not an option for you, but some websites are doing it. For example, The Markup is a news website without ads. They are funded by donations.
In Germany there is also taz.de, which is a news website with almost no ads. They are funded by donations. Another great example is netzpolitik.org, which is a news website about politics and the internet. They are also funded by donations and have absolutely no ads.
Tracking is also a big part of the web. It’s not only bad for your visitors, but also for your website. If you use privacy-friendly analytics, like Plausible or matomo, you can remove the consent banner. The script by Plausible is under 1 KB big and therefore very fast. These solutions are also open source and you can self-host them.
Let’s use the web for what it was made for: To share information, not bloat. Let’s make the web simpler, faster and just better for our visitors. Let’s make the web a better place.
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