New Explore Minnesota website is accessible, mobile-friendly and optimized for search but needs speeding up
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13 February 2020 (Edited 13 February 2020)

Faster-loading images should fix the speed problem
ACRO Global
ACRO Global
Digital Tourism
Marketing & Advertising

Boothbay Harbor - Boston
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As the result of a digital marketing audit conducted in 2018, Minnesota state DMO Explore Minnesota Tourism this week launched a new version of its website ExploreMinnesota.com.

Objectives of the redesign were to improve accessibility and mobile-friendliness.

How did the developers do? Here are results we got from tests of the home page:

Accessibility

Evaluating against WCAG 2.0 (Level AA), open-source AChecker developed at the University of Toronto finds Distinguishability errors related to the use of italic text. That's not a bad result coming from this analyzer, and the fix is easy.

Mobile Friendliness

The Google Mobile-Friendly Test rates the home page Mobile Friendly but notes that some resources - including an XHR request by Googlebot that was blocked by robots.txt - couldn't be loaded. Not bad.

SEO

To speed up launch, new sites often go live without a lot of attention to SEO. But this one is in good shape from Day 1, getting a score of 93/100 from SEO SIte Checkup. Complaints include empty IMG ALT attributes (AChecker saw this also) and use of inline CSS styles. Very good for a new site.

Loading speed

Now, the bad news. Google PageSpeed Insights scores the home page 11/100 or (really) SLOW (where SLOW is below 50/100). Lab Data show a Time to Interactive of 20.1 seconds.

Opportunities this test finds include:

  • Properly size images, potentially saving 6.75 seconds
  • Serve images in next-gen formats (JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, WebP), potentially saving another 6.15 seconds
  • Other recommendations include avoiding multiple page redirects, avoiding enormous network payloads, speeding up JavaScript, avoiding excessive DOM size.

Bottom line

Good for a new site, just needs some tweaks.


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David Boggs    - David
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External Article: https://www.exploreminnesota.com/


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