How to Improve Your Real Estate Website Performance
Creating a converting IDX website for your real estate business is probably the most important stage in your online marketing campaign.
Having said that, a lot of effort and investment is usually dedicated to a good IDX website.
Considering the fact that a website requires so many features on the front-end, that is the client-side and what the users actually see and interact with, and Back-end(server-side), it will be challenging for maintenance.
Now, proper coding and development considerations can save you from a lot of Run-time complications. Also, you can deal with future issues with a few changes.
Here, we will discuss a few ways you can improve your IDX website with coding:
1. Reduce image sizes
Images are important design features of my website, especially the homepage. Designers often try to create high-quality images to impress visitors.
Honestly speaking, there is nothing to argue there but the size of these images is usually overlooked.
High-resolution images are often large and this can seriously affect the loading speed of your website.
Make sure your images are of good quality and a reasonable size. Alternatively, you can use newer image formats such as Jpeg XR or WebP to save the quality at lower sizes.
A CDN or Content Delivery Network is a system that provides website and content data from a server near the user. This way, the loading speed of your website considerably increases.
WPL CDN, for instance, brings this unique feature to the next level. Plus, WPL CDN is compatible with almost every MLS in the US and Canada. Please read What is WPL CDN to get more information about this system.
3. Reduce HTTP Request On Homepage
An IDX website loading time is important for two basic reasons: User experience and the reputation of your brand.
Recent studies strongly suggest that almost half of mobile users and a third of PC users will leave your page if loading time exceeds 5 seconds.
The main culprit here is often the number of requests to the database. Here is how you can fix this:
- Delete unnecessary files, images, and objects especially from your homepage
- Consider Lazy loading in which some plugins will help you load data only when the user scrolls down to them
- Merge your CSS and JS codes. For this, you need some help from a developer. This will reduce the number of unnecessary calls to the database.
- Use Filtering options to limit repeated calls to the server.
Basically, caching in the browser could be mentioned in section 3 above but to me it merits its own.
Caching or precisely browser caching comes in handy when you have visitors coming back to your website.
Enabling browser caching will help automatic caching of data by a browser.
There are plugins out there for this feature but a natively optimized website is more recommended since too many plugins can adversely affect your website performance.
5. Code For Mobile-Friendly Website
Given the fact that more users are going online through their mobile devices, you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. In other words, your images, pages, search boxes and IDX showing features are all optimized for mobile users.
You can use Google’s tool to see if your IDX website is mobile-friendly or not.
Some experts also suggest that you design your IDX website for mobile first, that is, all your features are designed primarily for mobile configurations.
6. Loading Asynchronous JS Codes
With the rise of third-party features such as social media and commenting services on your website, you may face speed or response issues down the road.
If the third website doesn’t respond for some reason, you are to blame because the user is on your website.
7. Check Your Hosting Plan
Given the size of your online presence and growth, you need to revise your hosting plans. A shared hosting plan which works just fine in the beginning may not be practical anymore once your business grows.
Especially with an IDX website where there might be more than one server involved (some MLS host data on their own servers), you need to choose a responsive host.
Realtyna’s web hosting plans, for example, are offered based on the number of active listings. This means you can choose according to your MLS and save costs.
Actions we discussed above can all improve the performance of your IDX website. But we all know what say; Prevention is better than cure.
That being said, those wishing to have an IDX website for their real estate business are strongly recommended to natively optimized websites like Realtyna’s WPL to make sure everything is already taken care of and adequate support is available if anything comes up.
Want to know more about your website performance and SEO? Then check out the following blogs:
- What is SEO and how it can help your IDX Website
- SEO in action: How to increase your SEO on IDX website