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Music Festival Websites Are Killing My Browser.

Andy Robertson

When a website visitor searches and finds a music festival website with the intention of buying a ticket there is nothing worse than slow loading pages that potentially cause browers to hang. It seems to be an endemic problem specific to music festival websites primarily caused by video and audio files so how can festival organisers mange this? 

Slow loading webpages have a negative effect on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) leading to a poor Domain Authority (a search engine ranking score developed by Moz) score and low rankings in organic search. For any music festival marketing team managing their online presence this is a key consideration in analysing website traffic and the effectiveness of online advertising spend.

Slow loading website pages cause a reduction in page views, a decrease in customer satisfaction and ultimately a loss in conversions to ticket sales. This is often referred to as the overall user experience of a website and can be improved by building a website using specialists in UX/UI (UX design refers to the term “user experience design”, while UI stands for “user interface design). How a website is constructed and served will largely depend on the skills and expertise of web developers used and the type of hosting configurations utilised. Coding errors can cause speed problems but they can easily be rectified.

The main cause of slow load speeds for the bulk of music festival websites is due to their over enthusiastic use of large media files and images. The easiest way to manage hi-res images is to reduce their size usually by using some kind of compression tool. Combining this with using an appropriate format means that the image size can be reduced without impacting on quality.

Using video content from YouTube or Vimeo is quite common and usually involves just embedding their code on a website for the media to be served and played. Video has a great impact on page load speeds and is best manged by optimizing those media files. MP4 and WebM have become the standard formats for YouTube and Vimeo and both are supported by Chrome and Firefox. The steps to optimizing video is to firstly to manipulate the video file by:  

  •  Using a compression tool.
  • Converting the file to HTML5 supported formats.
  • Setting up the ability to stream the video directly from a server.
  • Using a content delivery network. 

Once the video file is fully optimized some work is required on the webpage where the video will appear and includes: 

  • Specifying the video size.
  • Deferring the loading of videos until the page load is complete.
  • Prioritising mobile users. 

In the current era of more and more sophisticated technology and sufficiently skilled people to implement that technology music festival organisers should really start addressing these issues. Managing the media content delivered on a music festival website can potentially reduce page load times with the result that website traffic becomes more engaged and conversions to ticket sales improve.

For organisers planning their festivals using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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