How To Speed Up Your Website
Sometimes in life, being slow is a good thing.
But when it comes to websites, it can be a disaster.
The smart people at Google know this. In fact, they are so aware of how important it is to user experience, it’s one of the major ranking factors.
You see, humans are impatient. We want everything done yesterday. So Google know that if over 50% of people visitng a website don’t get the page to load within 2-3 seconds, they bounce. Gone. Never to be seen again (not by you anyway).
That means a bad user experience from using Google search and so Google penalise you through loss of rankings. Not good.
It also means all of the hard work you’re doing to provide a great product/service, money you are paying for advertising or marketing, is going to waste.
The good news is that there’s lots of geeky things you can do to actually improve your website speed.
Check out Google PageSpeed Insights, add your website address and you will be given a mobile and desktop speed score. If either of these scores aren’t over 85 – you need to fix it and FAST!
More and more people are using mobiles to search online, more than desktops and laptops combined. If your website is slow, mobile or otherwise then Google will not want to list you.
How to Fix Your Website Speed
This extra speed can give your visitors a much better user experience and Google can reward you with more traffic and better Google rankings.
I’m going to list a number of ways you can speed up your website, but the guys over at Crazy Egg have gone really in depth to show you EXACTLY what to do.
If you’d just prefer us to do it for you, you can hire us here.
9 Things You Can Do To Reduce Website Load Times and Improve Speed
Reduce plugins – plugins are a guilty pleasure for many of us. They do cool things and make our lives easier. Sometimes however you can add code rather than a plugin to do the same thing. If you don’t need a plugin, delete it.
Reduce redirects – redirects send HTTP requests which in non-geek terminology means more “stuff” to process. More stuff = more time and more annoyed customers, waiting for your website to load.
Reduce server response time – you can use the PageSpeed link to see what server response you are getting. .2 of a second is recommended.
Minimize HTTP Requests – A simple way to look at this is to make your website simpler, with fewer elements. The less components on your page that have to load, the faster it will ultimately be.
Optimize images – If you website is full of oversized images because you were concerned reducing quality would effect the aesthetics of your site, you’re probably going to be able to save a lot of resources here. You can make massive changes to image size without sacrificing quality and ending up with nothing but pixels.
If your image only needs to be 200 pixels, crop it to that size. Everything else is waste. If your image doesn’t need to be a .png, use a .jpg instead and reduce the image quality before you export.
In your HTML, look for <img src=””>. If it’s empty just delete it. If you need an image there, make sure it’s the correct URL. This relates to http requests that aren’t needed and slow your site down.
If you are using WordPress then you can use a plugin like Smusher that will reduce the file size of your images without losing noticable quality.
Enable browser caching – Quite simply, when you visit a website there’s various components that you have to download in order to see the website properly. These can be saved and stored in a cache on your computer. If we pretend the first time you visit a site takes 3 seconds and you download 30 components. The next page you visit or the next time you visit the website – you may only need to download 10. This might make the page load in say 1 second, increasing the speed significantly.
Prioritize content above the fold – you can split your css into 2 sections so the top part loads before the latter. This way the important part loads first and faster.
Enable compression – Using a tool like Gzip can reduce the number of HTTP request you make by also helping to reduce bandwidth. Just make sure your server is setup to enable compression by contacting your hosting provider.