Our Site's Performance Vs Other Agency Sites
Background: In modern website design and development there is nothing more important than having a website that excels on mobile devices . Performance and accessibility being the most important of the measures. Over 70% of all website views and interactions will be done through a mobile device and this number is higher for restaurants, bars, and many small businesses. The number one factor in user bounce-rate is slow Performance. Accessibility has been high on people's requirements for moral and ethical reasons, but after massive lawsuits and judgements it is now a must for all.
The Exercise: To perform a side-by-side comparison of our website to other CT web design agencies' websites in performance, SEO, accessibility, and best practices.
The Goal: To determine where we stood against our peers in all four vital metrics and gauge our goal to be the highest scoring agency in all four categories.
The Audit: We opened a tab for every agency's website we found in a Google search for "Web Design CT" along with our own. We ran each website through a Light-House Audit, which is the industry standard, making sure that the cache was cleared before each run through , and mobile was the platform (Note: not that desktop isn't important, but we already knew our position in the industry for desktop performance. Our site paints in 100 milliseconds). Then we went through the numbers.
The Results: We beat every agency in 3 out of the four metrics (performance, SEO, and best practices). One agency that beat our score of 97 in accessibility with a 100 (more on that in the next section).
What we can do better: We build the fastest websites on earth. Our website's scores reflect that. Our accessibility score was great, but it was the one place someone beat us. After looking at the report it was determined we lost 3pts, thus keeping us from receiving 100, because Light-House did not like our color contrast in a section, believing it would be difficult for someone with vision impairment to differentiate between foreground and background. We do everything the industry recommends to be accessible to all and usually take action on the recommendations. However, after carefully inspecting the section in question, we believe the color choices do not restrict the accessibility of our website to anyone and the algorithm to score accessibility needs to be tweaked not our site.
Our thoughts: We couldn't post all results on our site, but there were three agencies that we thought had really good showings and came close in performance. We made sure they got on our website and didn't hide their high scores.. That said, we see the state of web design and development in CT as being behind the curve at best. Looking over these agencies sites was mind boggling and baffling. The modern tech available to power a website today and smoke mobile is night and day compared to what it was just four years ago (The JS revolution, micro-services, and JAMstack). However, our analysis is that most of these agencies employ developers that learned how to build a web app at least 5 years ago and have not yet embraced the modern paradigm. We saw some agencies using WordPress templates, hosting on dedicated servers (instead of on a CDN), and using a lot of fluff to hide a really bad website. Bootstrap use was rampant and jQuery was everywhere - both massive crutches for those that can't utilize JS effectively and slow a site dramatically. A number are using a WIX and WordPress and claiming to be developers. How can you know? Right click on any website, click on "inspect elements", and have a look.