E-commerce tips: Future proofing your Magento website for better UX

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E-commerce tips: Future proofing your Magento website for better UX

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 06:13
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What is an e-commerce site without mobile-ready designs? Obviously antique! Mobile devices are the present and the future of e-commerce and marketing. Mobile users took over desktop traffic a long time ago. Irrespective of your website builder platform and CMS, you need to take a step towards optimizing your website for your mobile using customers right now. A good mobile-ready site is easy, light, fast and navigation-friendly.

What are responsive website designs?

You must have already heard about the responsive website designs (RWDs) that are winning Google and other leading search engines over. These are designs that provide optimal viewing of Magento websites on mobile devices of all screen sizes. Unless you have been living under a rock, you must already be aware of the highly variable screen sizes of mobile devices people use on a regular basis. The average US adult citizen has about three mobile devices including an iPhone or an Android phone, an iPad or any other tablet. Responsive design for any Magento website uses a collection of fluid grids to make the websites flexible and ideal for almost all screen dimensions.

What are adaptive website designs?

People and developers hear extensively about responsive website designs, but that is not the only way to get your e-commerce site ready for Mobilegeddon. Adaptive web design is the lesser popular step-sibling of responsive design. AWD does not depend on a single layout. It uses multiple layouts for several screen sizes. There are limits to the specific dimensions, and the developers create specific layouts by screen sizes. The concept is quite easy to understand – as per the requirements of an AWD, there may be three distinct layouts for three types of devices, mobile, tablet, and laptop. The site can detect the type of the device or its screen size and chooses the layout that fits best.

RWD vs. AWD: which one should you pick?

At this point, most Magento developers are ready to ask the million-dollar question – "which design is right for our e-commerce website?" Adaptive designs are simpler. They pre-define different layouts for each screen size possibility. This is great for smaller websites and newer websites that do not have many components. At the same time, adaptive websites can only render on the screens that the developer has accounted for. Unlike responsive website designs, an adaptive website design might not be a perfect fit for a mobile screen. This makes them less flexible. Choosing an adaptive layout for an ecommerce website developmentcan decrease the user satisfaction in case of mobile traffic.

The Magento responsive websites have only ONE layout that adjusts as per the requirement of the screen size. Therefore, responsive designs are lighter. On the other hand, adaptive designs need the site to load all possible layouts before the screen size analysis is complete. This certainly increases the loading time of adaptive websites. Responsive websites are much snappier, and they contribute to higher user satisfaction for similar website designs.

What does Magento prefer?

Since AWD is not future proof, Magento prefers RWDs. There are several Magento themes like Luma and Magento Blank that use responsive website design elements. Magento developers ensure that the themes remain 100% responsive yet feather-light by using CSS and JavaScript. A Blank theme is a great option if you are looking towards creating a website with customized features, responsive product galleries, intuitive pricing options, completely responsive header images or banners with live links to product pages.

Why is RWD with Magento simply majestic?

Implementing multiple breakpoints in the Magento CSS scripts is very easy. Both the Luma and Blank themes implement multiple breakpoints at 320px, 480px, 640px, 768px, 1024px and 1440px. You can always edit these, add new ones or remove default ones to create new switching points from mobile to desktop versions.

Contrary to other builders, Magento primarily focuses on a mobile-first approach for its popular responsive themes. This automatically means that the website designs for mobiles get the main attention and the developers simply extend the mobile styles for the higher breakpoints. Therefore, there is never any need for the sites to load the extra styles. When your user accesses your website from a mobile device, they will experience a fast and glitch-free loading.

How to optimize your Magento RWD further for better loading speed?

While it is true that Magento is changing the way e-commerce sites are adopting responsive website designs, it is also true that in comparison to the basic desktop website version, RWD can be slower. Any RWD uses a single codebase. This can become quite large for a fully functioning and large e-commerce site. That does not mean retailers are skipping RWD to prioritize speed. They are using a few hacks to speed up loading, and here we are about to divulge the secrets for you.

  1. Always load the priority content first on your page and leave the images for Lazy Load. Using Lazy Load effect can help create the impression of faster loading that can keep the customers on the page for quite a while.

  2. Reduce the latency of your website by improving the core code.

  3. Forego custom fonts for web fonts. This will reduce page loading time more than you think.

  4. Rely on dynamic website designs no matter how much the rest of the web harps about static website design trends. Rely on server-side technology for delivering content or rendering images.

  5. You should invest in a reliable CDN or other third-party acceleration providers. This will help you optimize your website performance across multiple device types.

It is needless to say that website speed depends largely on the choice of your hosting service provider. Choosing a dedicated server, hybrid cloud server or a VPS can save you much trouble in the long run although any one of these options may cost you significantly more than shared hosting.

2018 is seeing an explosive growth of mobile business and marketing. Your website deserves some love from the mobile shoppers around the world. You need to take a little effort to create responsive design for your Magento e-commerce store simply because Magento makes it easier than any other builder platform. The Magento developer guides and blogs have all the information you need to convert your now-desktop-only site to a mobile-optimized site in less than an hour.

Author Bio

Charlie Brown is an freelance writer and blogger. Who's planning to take up Computer Science to enhance his knowledge and passion when it comes in blogging, and his appreciation about our technology.