ianscott

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I've been in web development since 1998. Back when we hand-coded everything - and built e-commerce sites with PERL and cgi. We built websites back then with internet users using a 14K modem. Small images, usually progressive jpegs.

From MY perspective, I am seeing a LOT of new "web developers" who have no clue. Like Conor wrote above, regarding 2 MB images, I see a lot of this useless image file size on websites, and web developers doing things to try to "make a site look good," but in reality, it's just a pain for visitors to find the information they are looking for.

I recently took over a site that was built by some guy who does video and decided to call himself a web developer - he built the site with Divi (in my opinion, unless it's changed recently, a totally bloated and site speed slowing tool), and EVERY image on the site was over 2 MB! There were about 12 images on the front page alone. Instead of resizing them and optimizing them, he had just used the original images.

The home page literally took over 20 seconds to load on a fast network.

There are far too many lazy "web developers" (and to call them that is really not correct) who don't know anything about optimizing web sites. And this is true for lots of optimizations including SEO, optimizing for accessibility (heck many so-called web developers have no clue that in Ontario, all websites in the Province will be subject to their accessibility regulations) by next year.

Website speed is not only important for SEO (sure, it's perhaps a minor bit), but also for data costs as well. When you'e got a web page that means downloading tons of MB's of files, that's expensive to the end user, on mobile.

Further, where I live, there are still many people outside of town who do not have access to high-speed internet. Many web developers totally forget about this fact, or don't care.

I have my own solutions that work well including simply creating static sites where that works. But image optimization is a big thing that many people today don't seem to bother spending the time on.
 
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j_holtslander

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There are far too many lazy "web developers" (and to call them that is really not correct) who don't know anything about optimizing web sites. And this is true for lots of optimizations including SEO, optimizing for accessibility

There's no shortage of amateurs out there. I see stuff like this all the time.

Related: Four stages of competence

Divi does have a lot of bloat but if its optimized professionally and hosted on good infrastructure it can be quite fast.
 

ianscott

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There's no shortage of amateurs out there. I see stuff like this all the time.

Related: Four stages of competence

Divi does have a lot of bloat but if its optimized professionally and hosted on good infrastructure it can be quite fast.

Thanks for the reply, J. Regarding Divi - maybe it can be optimized - I wouldn't know as I prefer to spend my time doing what I already know works well, and using tools that don't need more time spent optimizing.

I see a lot of websites that seem to have the goal of impressing with looks - and indeed, the first time a visitor sees the site, it might actually appear to be impressive, after it finally loads. But they soon get irritated with the lack of ability to actually get to the information they want, or in the long download times, etc. I am not saying websites do not have to be attractive, but this has been way overdone in some cases, and to the detriment of actually thinking about users doing what you want them to do; get information or view and buy products/services.

I sometimes have to have discussions with my clients when they say, "Hey, I want my website to look like that one!"

"Umm.. no. Really, you don't, and here's why...."

As far as hosting on good infrastructure, this is another area I am quite familiar with. When I started my business back in 1998, it also included a small "hosting facility" including Linux servers.

It was not really economically feasible to maintain that or even grow it, but the experience of managing and hardening servers, as well as the experience of knowing what can be done on various systems, has been invaluable.

So this comes up in discussions with my clients - and part of my business is choosing premium hosting which I can manage myself, on a variety of dedicated or VPS servers, instead of any shared hosting plans.
 

ianscott

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SEOs can teach web developers a lot. The reverse is true too.

Absolutely! It's one of the reasons why I'm privileged to have experience in both areas, as well as Linux server admin experience as well.

But, I really believe that many people who call themselves "web designers" or "web developers" really are not. Some of them are perhaps great with creative graphic creation, or in the print niche, but have no ideas about basics of optimization, and think that their experience in print design simply carries into the web design. It doesn't.

I've seen a lot of these agencies that do great at print design, then go and get a theme, and call themselves "web designers" and give zero thought (because they don't know perhaps) to image optimization, server resource usage, and website speed issues.
 

Eric Rohrback

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I'm fairly good with HTML / CSS, and I learned out of necessity because if you're in SEO and don't know basic coding functions, then it could make life difficult. I have more fun with the Technical SEO puzzles, so it only makes sense to learn those languages.

Designers have a tough time with building websites, because they only understand what design looks good and not core functionality of the site. A lot of times if a developer gets the assets in a .psd file, then their job is to simply build what was approved. Vicious cycle.

Divi could be good if you know how to tweak the settings towards performance. I'd never allow a developer to build a client site with a visual builder though. Did that in the past and it's a disaster. Never again. I do build some test sites that I play with in my spare time in Divi because i'm not a real developer and I don't pretend lol. It's quicker for me to pull something like that together so I can get it out the door and test whatever I need to.

The only way to really fix the issue is to get the designer, developer, and SEO teams in the same room and review the wire-frame before design. Then review the design to talk though functionality. Then again to review the dev site on a staging server before going live. Everyone needs to learn a little bit about what the other departments are working with.

If design is contracted out, then the SEO and developer need to review the design to figure out how to implement correctly (e.g., do you use JS or CSS for certain elements? Which would require less resource calls?).

If people don't want to learn, then that's on them. If it's an agency building a site, there's no excuse for living in a silo. If the company's core skill is print design/graphic design and they're trying to slap together websites, they should be called out on it. The only way to do that is to continue educating and sharing information with business owners & marketing teams.

Marketing still lives the the wild west. There's really not too many regulations around what someone can or cannot do. It's kind of crazy.
 

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