Home sliders – Are homepage sliders a web design crime?
- May 2, 2023
- Speed optimization
In general, yes. Some home sliders are decently fast but, in general, having a slider in the above-the-fold part of your homepage is a web design crime.
You can add sliders wherever you want, just not in the above-the-fold section of the page. You can use them for photo galleries, featured product/categories, client logos or testimonials, etc. Everything will be fine as long as the slider is placed lower down the page.
You can even keep that same gruesome slider that you wanted to have at the top of your homepage. It’s not a crime to use it as long as it’s placed lower down the page. Just don’t put that ton of render-blocking CSS and JS that you call a slider at the top of your homepage!
Home sliders have the following problems:
- Sliders get ignored
- Sliders are distracting
- Sliders are confusing
- They squeeze out relevant content
- Most important of all: They significantly slow down your page and make you lose money
- Everything looks the same without them
- Bonus: They even cause global warming
For every extra second, a website is estimated to lose 11% of traffic and 7% of conversions.
Performance matters! Therefore, you should always keep in mind that:
a) Your website goal is to attract and convert customers. It’s meant to be a business machine.
b) What benefit does it have to create a design masterpiece if most of the visitors won’t even get to see it? Due to its slow display speed, they will end up clicking the “back” button and bouncing off your site completely.
c) You’re beautiful home slider is annoying most people because of how long it takes to load. It’s an annoying piece of art. The fact that you’re losing traffic, conversions and therefore losing money is just the natural result of annoying your customers.
As a WordPress speed optimizer, I have seen many websites with all kinds of design elements, themes, and plug-ins. If I could choose one single thing that I’d like to see removed from web design usage, that thing would be homepage sliders. Now let’s take a look at the reasons why a banner might be more suited than a slider on your homepage:
1) Sliders get ignored
Studies have shown that almost nobody watches sliders, especially past the first slide. Humans are very good at scanning a page and identifying the areas perceived as adds and banners and subsequently ignoring them.
The image above shows how visitors almost completely ignore the slider banner area of the page and move toward relevant content.
2) Sliders are distracting
Website visitors are generally goal-oriented rather than stimulus-driven. Distractors, such as your super slow and useless banner, affect the completion of the primary goal.
3) Sliders are confusing
When looking for something on a website, you might try a particular path. Then you realize that was not what you were looking for and go back. You might then try to use a different path that you recall due to your previous visit to the page. Unfortunately, now the page has changed or is constantly changing.
Sliding banners and “random” banners can hurt navigation and can make information foraging complicated.
4) They squeeze out relevant content
Genuinely relevant content for both your visitors and your own goals ends up being pushed down the page due to your home slider. When it comes to laptops that means being pushed out of the screen.
5) Most important of all: They significantly slow down your page and make you lose money
When it comes to website speed, the most important thing is how fast your upper part of the page (above-the-fold content) loads. This is why “best practices” speed testing tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights and GtMetrix penalize you for having render-blocking resources.
A slider, no matter how well optimized, will still have to load a ton of JS and CSS. It will also have to load a couple of images, images that can not get lazy loaded. All those things need to load right at the beginning of your page, significantly slowing your above-the-fold loading time. From my experience, having a slider at the top of a page usually ends up slowing that page by 1s+. And that’s with the slider optimized to the maximum. That’s a lot!
Consider the fact that all websites optimized by TurboWeb end up between 0.5-1.5s speed index. This means the time in which the above-the-fold content loads. Adding 1 second to that number, especially on the homepage, is not something that you want to be doing.
6) Everything looks the same without them
You heard that right! Have you tried replacing your home slider with the banner image of your first slide? You will be surprised by how identical your website looks in terms of design, without the problems that a home slider brings.
7) Bonus: They even cause global warming
Before rushing to use a home slider because it’s popular and everybody does, you should consider the benefits and also the downsides. More often than not, the downsides outweigh the benefits. We’re not the only ones in the speed optimization community that are strongly against sliders. GtMetrix and WPRocket also hold strong negative opinions about them.
An Even Better Option: Hire a Professional Speed Optimization Expert!
If you want your website to reach the absolute limit regarding speed, hiring a professional service is the way to go.
Here at Turbo Web, we offer the best speed optimization service on earth for just $299.
All websites optimized by us end up standing below 1.5 speed index. So please show us your URL, and let’s get in touch!
Wordpress speed optimization expert. Preffered freelancer on freelancer.com, meaning being among the top 1% freelancers on the platform.
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