Speed up a game site, performance matters
Century: Age of Ashes was developed and published by Playwing. Their marketing team hired us in order to speed up the website for Century: Age of Ashes. In this case study, we will explain technical metrics at a high level for a broad audience and non-tech savvy people. We will describe how we narrow down problems in order to effectively address them.
Why is the speed of a Game site so important?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has a strong influence on website performance. The faster your game site is, the better for SEO. Google ranks websites based on technical measures such as server responses, graphics rendering times, and algorithm execution times. These metrics should be below specified thresholds for Google to compare webpages.
In a world where mobile is king for consuming content, mobile SEO must be on equal level with, if not better than desktop. The difficulty is that mobile devices have lower specifications than desktop PCs. Games are popular for showing graphics content in 1080p, 4k, or even 8k definition, such as videos, concept arts, and clips. Over 3G or 4G networks, such resources take time to load.
Identify the bottlenecks
First, we need to identify bottlenecks: resources that take a long time to load. There are several online tools available to help with this. PageSpeed Insights is a well-known example. By submitting a website, it will provide a global performance score and information. The initial problems are usually unoptimized videos and images. The most typical solutions include re-encoding videos and resizing images to fit a website.
Then we go further into the source code to find inefficient algorithms. This part is determined by a variety of factors, including technology, frameworks, plugins, and many others.
Fix, Test, Analyze. Do it again and again.
The steps are straightforward. A quick fix sometimes can produce better outcomes than a longer and more complicated fix. For example, we noticed that the video took some time to load and play, therefore our attention has been drawn to that particular element.
We can notice in the first sequence that the video appears 4 seconds after the website loads. In the second sequence, this is what we get after re-encoding the video with the appropriate codecs and file format. The video starts to play right in the first second, we reduced page loading by 3 seconds and prevent user frustration.We also addressed some more technical issues, such as unoptimized algorithms and plugin loading, which were slowing down the website.
Organic traffic has grown by 45% few months after this work.We also decreased the number of frustrated users as the load time was reduced from 4 seconds to 1 second.