If there’s one thing we know about successful web design and performance, it’s that constant improvement is required. What worked well six months ago may have been overtaken by technological or competitors’ improvements. That’s why maintaining effective web performance is always an ongoing concern.
We have seen Hyatt, the Best Western and Orbitz be consistently at the top of the Keynote Desktop Lodging Index over the past year.
In the past month though, we saw Hyatt make even further improvements. While the improvements are noticeable, the technique is something we would put under the “good housekeeping” category. Any major site owner should be doing this on a regular basis too.
Hyatt further optimized its site by reducing the number of objects from 47 to 33 on the home page. It also reduced the number of domains serving content to the page from 12 to just three. These would include domains such as Google Ads, DoubleClick ads, etc.
In effect, Hyatt has removed all third parties from the initial rendering of the home page, and instead pushed them down to the end of the page. This improves the guest experience by preventing third party content or functionality from delaying the main home page to load. This has a noticeable effect on the “feel” of the site and improves the perception of performance.
Best practices like this often get missed as sites rapidly change over time, aiming to attract and retain guests with new bells and whistles. For IT teams with site performance responsibilities, keeping track of how pages adhere to these rules can be difficult. But technology is evolving to make this easier. Tools like Webpagetest.org can grade your site based on a handful of criteria. Keynote’s Web Monitoring Health Score also rates pages for compliance to rules like the use of third party content. In Hyatt’s case, its Keynote Health Score went from a “C” to a “B” with clear improvement in the Third Parties score.
By following recognized best practices, Hyatt delivers consistently high performance, which many major sites should follow. It’s a credit to Hyatt that they continue to look for ways to keep improving performance, but then that is probably one of the reasons they stay in the top rankings.
Anyone can also sign up for a free weekly email delivery of the Index. Use it to track how your company’s performance is doing against the competition, or just to follow what some of the major names are setting as performance standards. Keynote runs a large number of US and global Indexes, across a range of industries and government, which many organizations use as the benchmark to achieve their own optimum Web performance.