In a world influenced by visuals, deciding whether to focus on page speed or aesthetics can be tricky. But how?
Now more than ever, audiences are picky about colours, fonts, and media. That’s why social media platforms are doing well. Those sites understand that visuals win.
But does the aesthetics first rule still apply to your website? Wouldn’t heavy images and graphics mean that your site loads slowly which will chase off your audience? Won’t that skyrocket bounce rate and tank your SEO efforts?
Funnily enough, the same audience that cracks up laughing at celebrity videos on Instagram will be the first ones to run if your website loads for as little as 20 seconds. As you can see, page speed vs aesthetics is tricky.
What’s worse is that speed and aesthetics are often at odds. You must decide from these two equally crucial elements what your focus will be. So, which one should you choose?
This article will help. Here, we will weigh the pros and cons of both elements and help you decide which to prioritize for your website.
So, let’s get to it!
Aesthetics: The Pros & Cons
Frankly, visually pleasing websites are thrilling. Think about some of your favourite online destinations, and you will find that they are sexy.
So, we understand if you want to prioritize beauty over performance. Regardless, let’s show you the pros and cons of such a decision.
You Can Stir Interest And Emotion
Undoubtedly, if you want your website to be an instant hit, your site must be attractive. Otherwise, how are you going to compete with your competitors for the same customers?
While users might not even go into the depth of your websites on the first visit, they will check your layout, graphics, and images. For that reason, it is wise to make your website as visually appealing as possible.
For e-commerce websites, for example, attractive designs can stir feelings of happiness and urgency. With that, your visitors will commit to your offerings.
It’s An Opportunity To Strut
For once, you can pull a peacock and gain the attention that you seek. Imagine a peacock without its beautiful feathers; would you notice that it does what it does?
So, for creative industries, an attractive website is your opportunity to strut like the peacock. While you are at it, you can experiment as much as possible to show your prospects what they can expect from you.
You Can Create Unique Designs That Lead To Lasting Relationships
Your only chance to be unique is with aesthetics. Websites that work fast, no diss intended, lack a selling point. After all, they all perform equally admirably.
On the other hand, aesthetics can be in different forms. You can use yours as an extension of your values. In other words, you can think of designs as another element for your marketing strategy.
When your design and marketing devices work, you will bring on new customers and build a relationship with them. With just page speed, that wouldn’t have been possible.
Page Speed Can Suffer The Backlash
Higher resolution media files mean larger page sizes. Unfortunately, such cases will lead to a slow load speed for your website.
Slow page speed by itself can tank your SEO efforts. It is frustrating when your website is slow, especially on mobile devices. When that happens, your bounce rate will increase until the point Google notices it and de-rank you on SERPs.
Aesthetics Can’t Ensure Your Conversions!
There is a thin line between aesthetics and distraction. If you are not very careful, you will invest heavily in graphics and forget that conversions are all that matters.
Regardless of the emotions and colours; if there’s no point to commit your audience to make a purchase, you have wasted your money. An attractive website, though brilliant, can’t boost your sales like a call-to-action form.
Heavy Graphics Can Complicate Your Offerings
In addition to distraction, aesthetics can complicate your good deals. Not every user will be computer geniuses, especially the seniors. So, when you include odd elements on your page, such an action might lead to losing your cherished customers.
Besides, not all hardware can run your complex graphics. Do you know that most of your visitors are likely to check your website first on their mobile? So, what happens when your latest design doesn’t work or seem disjointed on mobile?
The answer is simple; you will lose the trust of your prospects and existing customers!
Even with the listed cons, don’t discard aesthetics just yet. Let’s check page speed features too to help you choose right.
Page Speed: The Pros And Cons
Page speed shifts toward the functionality of your website. For that reason, don’t expect elaborate designs here, but a site that loads fast and is equally accessible and usable.
To help you better understand the importance of page speed to your website, we have highlighted its pros below. We also included the cons.
Fast Pages Aid Conversion
The main aim of businesses is to make sales as fast as possible. As such, your website should be as simple as possible – and straight to the point.
To that end, you should point to the conversion parts as soon as possible. And the only way you can achieve that is with a fast page.
Fast Pages Lessen Your Bounce Rate
Fast pages mean your visitors won’t bounce off your website. And when the bounce rate is low, your accounts will smile. That’s not all; you will be well placed on SERPs to attract even more sales.
Furthermore, a fast page is a must for mobile. In other words, when you have a quick load time, the chances are that your website is mobile-friendly. When you consider that most traffic comes from small screens, you will see that you’re making the appropriate investment.
Fast Pages Mean Convenient Updates
A fast page means minimal elaborate designs that are the best for your updates. “But wait”, you ask, “What updates?”.
Well, you might need to do promotions on your deals from time to time. Such changes will attract more customers. In that case, you need a website with fewer complications – a functional and fast site.
An overly speed-optimized website, truth be told, will feel bland. At most, it will appear like the typical corporate sites. While that might be perfect for clients of the same mould, you will chase young audiences that want aesthetics and love to see your unique selling point.
You Will Spend More To Attract Visitors
While a visually pleasing website naturally attracts audiences, an overly functional kind will struggle. Indeed, the former might not convert, but it will at least stir attention.
For functionality (speed), you will spend more to get visitors to your website. You might even need brainstorming to start explaining why you’re different from the numerous corporate websites offering the same deals like yours.
Safety Can Be Boring
Remove the aesthetics, and your website will look too safe and uninspiring. While that might be good for conversion, you will struggle to hire the best developers and designers.
No one wants to work on stall sites; creative websites attract creative minds. In other words, your brand story and feel will nosedive.
So what now? Even a fast loading website can’t do it all. What should you do?
Find A Balance Between Page Speed And Aesthetics
Regardless of what you have read, aesthetics matter just as much as speed to user experience. While the two crucial elements might be at different ends of the spectrum, you have to find a balance between them. But how?
- You don’t have to speed-optimise all the pages on your website. Instead, focus on the ones with high traffic and directly in sync with conversions and your sales.
- Don’t serve the same speed to all your pages. Instead, select 1, do a test and distribute the load time based on the results. Note that 2 seconds is not a must!
- More importantly, not all aesthetics elements are bulky. You can always find less heavy alternatives that are equally effective. For example, you can use CSS interactives instead of large-sized GIFs.
- Page speed and aesthetics, though crucial, are not the only elements that contribute to your conversion and sales. Consider the other factors too!
Overall, you can’t enforce all these changes we have stated yourself. The A/B testing, for a start, requires time and resources that you probably don’t have.
More so, the chances are that you don’t even know about graphics and web design. If you do, do you have spare time to experiment?
So instead of wasting your time, engage an expert like Digital Treasury. Rest assured that we understand the importance of page speed and aesthetics to websites. We have appropriated the elements on our site and for our clients in and out of Australia. So, we can help you.
Reach out today, and let’s discuss the specifics!