Looking to enhance website performance, driving both traffic and maximising lead conversion? Then dive into this edition of the ‘Starberry Insight’ blog to learn exactly why ‘Gatsby’ is the perfect digital framework for developing estate agent websites.
On the latest edition of the ‘Starberry Insight’ blog, we explore website development for estate agents and what we believe to be the most valuable digital framework. No matter the CMS, API or database, Gatsby offers a fast and flexible structure for efficient ‘Jamstack’ website development.
With the internet becoming increasingly mobile-friendly, the expectations for faster website performance only grew. Alongside the dynamic-content that website users have become accustomed too, the need for a framework that gracefully manages all of this while maintaining speedy load-times has become more necessary than ever.
Today we highlight the importance of a digital framework like ‘Gatsby’ and present the many different ways it can help your agency achieve optimal web-performance.
So Why Is the Gatsby Framework So Important?
To understand the importance of ‘Gatsby’, to website development for estate agents,
We must first take a look at the journey of the internet and what led to today’s user expectations.
In the early stages, most successful websites had layers between the user and HTML mark-up, these separated layer’s (HTML for structure, visual style to CSS and behaviours to the scripts) brought about faster downloads, shared resources, backward compatibility and more.
However, with an increase in the amount of content being rendered at any given time, a system to manage it all was required, and so came along CMS. Content management systems greatly improved upon page-publishing, as platform’s no longer relied on file-transfer protocols - giving developers better control in the content being displayed.
Web-applications reached a point of being able to source data directly from API’s. Once again, the gap between content retrieval and its website presentation – closed even more, with an impressive increase on page-to-page navigation and overall UX.
These same applications however came with disadvantages:
• Increased complexity: The increased amount of content, brought in by these applications, only made page-loading longer.
• Change in SEO Criteria: The metrics that search engines used to calculate rankings, evolved to calculate the overall UX. Elements such as page-loading times or smooth web-content navigation could now affect a website’s SEO position.
• Security Issues: Most of these earlier website models were single-page applications (SPA’s). SPA’s are typically more prone to malicious cross-site scripting attacks, when compared to a multi-page application. This is due to functionality being highly reliant on client-side scripting. Moreover, SPA’s also rely on API’s to present data, during these data-request exchanges, exposure can occur to other user’s - if sufficient authorisation isn’t implemented.
The digital world evolved rapidly, SPA’s slowly faded out as multi-page applications became the new norm. Moreover, with a popularity rise in mobile-oriented browsing, the demand was higher than ever for systems capable of managing dynamic content refined from external CMSs, presented all together within a more convenient user-experience.
Estate agents should consider all options when looking to deliver such optimal experiences. However, today we want to explain why you may not have to look any further than ‘Gatsby’.
What Can Gatsby Do for Estate Agents?
Is your estate agency looking to offer a faster UX, but not wanting to rebuild from scratch?
Estate agents have access to a diverse set of features that support faster web-development, especially for those not wanting to rebuild their entire website again, ‘Gatsby’ can offer smoother scalability.
Gatsby’s incremental build feature can reduce web-developers build times by 95%!
This is due to the fact that it is only ever the individual pages that have been changed that actually get built, this solves the issue of long build times. Moreover, it offer’s the website a more streamlined process when publishing-content, overall enhancing the user experience.
Both ‘deferred static generation’, which only builds essential page’s and postpones other’s until a user visit or server-side rendering which rebuilds individual pages on every other visit – come together for increased control over how the website renders content. In turn allowing for controlled scalability and adaptability without having to start with a blank digital canvas.
Is your agency interested in an enhanced front-end performance without a compromise on security?
Unlike Gatsby, many other applications and scripting solutions, create pages that are not fully-optimised. This poor result in optimisation could occur for many reasons:
• Redundant features, injecting redundant code into build
• Complex page for development.
• Unresponsive imagery
• Overuse of plugins.
All of these issues can lead to web-pages flooded with content that are essentially invisible to search-engines. Impacting organic rankings then traffic, which ends up negatively affecting your website’s conversion rate.
Gatsby utilises a unique rendering function that efficiently manages content to be seen and the indexed as necessary. Creating an improved front-end performance, as an organic-ranking increase results in more lead-conversions.
Furthermore, Gatsby protects these web-builds through hosting different access URL’s, which reduces a hacker’s ability to take over. Even minimising DDoS attacks through hosting via global content delivery networks.
Are you looking to improve your estate agency’s SEO positioning?
Google’s latest SEO metrics include ‘Core Web Vitals’ - essentially just a fancy term for performance, responsiveness, and visual stability. Search engines prioritising elements such as content load-times or a web-page’s reaction time to user interaction, make Gatsby’s efficiency more important now than ever.
Gatsby’s has a plug-in network pulling in data from numerous API’s CMSs and databases, each working in tandem to load data from their relevant sources. Contributing to Gatsby’s ability to efficiently load content and reflecting back on devs ability to maintain quality on-page experience on any back-end.
Do you want to maintain high-end performance across your leads devices?
Gatsby is highly platform-agnostic, creating a simple and inexpensive post-build experience for website development. Gatsby’s diverse compatibility allows for significantly faster experiences to be upheld across the most popular of CMSs - Wordpress, TYPO3, Drupal etc.
As technology progresses rapidly, so will the expectations of an estate agency’s leads. Gatsby’s agile scalability allows for estate agents to consistently launch more powerful websites that always match the standard of website quality.
The “headless” CMS framework that is ‘Gatsby’ transforms website-development. From its faster build time, efficient content-loads to features such as the ‘Gatsby Cloud’ - made up of contemporary CI/CD elements that enhance update deployments and site rebuilds.
The digital framework has a lot to offer estate agent’s to create that powerful ‘Gatsby’ real estate website. If you're interested in discovering all there is about ‘Gatsby’ and how it can help your agency convert leads, book a meeting with us, today!