Your website visitors can be impatient and a lot of them will give up after a few seconds if it takes too long to find the information they need so keeping your website running fast is one of the best ways to ensure your visitors stay on your website.
Search engines like Google give priority to websites that load quickly, especially on mobile devices. So before you start looking at expensive hosting there’s a few things you can do under-the-hood to ensure your website is optimised.
Below we share 5 ways you can make your website load faster:
1. See how your website is performing
Unless you take the time to understand how your website is performing, how will you know how your visitors are engaging with your content? There’s a great tool online that we use every day to investigate potential speed/loading issues and optimise as needed.
Head on over to tools.pingdom.com and enter your websites URL and hit the ‘START TEST’ button.
After a few seconds you should see your performance summary displayed and from there you can get a better understanding of how your website is performing. A good rule of thumb would be around 3 seconds and a page size of under 2mb
You may not have full control over all the different things that the performance tool checks but one thing you should have control of is the quality and size of your images. Scroll down the bottom and change the ‘Sort by’ to ‘File size’. This will show you what files are the largest and 99% of the time it will be an image file.
Head to the next step to see how you can optimise your images for quality and speed.
2. Optimise and compress images
Images are the number one cause for slowing down your website, luckily, it’s one of the easiest things to fix.
There’s a few different things you can do to make sure you’re your website is optimised however if you’re not familiar with graphic design tools like Photoshop the easiest thing you can do is run it through an online image compressor which can dramatically decrease the size of your images.
Head on over to tinypng.com and drop your images on to the webpage, it can take a few seconds to compress but once finished you can download the compressed image file and upload to your website.
As you can see in our test below we were able to reduce the image size by 3mb
3. Drop the Bloat
If you’ve built your own website or your website is a few years old, it might be time to review the content on your website and see what can be removed that doesn’t have a direct impact on providing value to your users.
Do you have any plugins that you no longer use? Do your pages have videos, images and content that are not relevant to your business anymore.
Don’t be scared to remove things that may be effecting the performance of your website, and if you can’t remove them then look at ways they could be improved.
“A website achieves perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
4. Cache your website
As scary as it might sound, caching your website can provide huge performance benefits.
Cacheing is basically when a computer stores a copy of a file so it doesn’t have to load it again. That might be images files that the user doesn’t have to download again every time they load a page on your website. It could also mean the web server doesn’t have to build all of the components of a web page every time that page is requested. It takes time for the server to pull that information in from a database. Cacheing creates a snapshot of that page and spits it out without thinking in a much shorter time.
If you’ve built your own website on a CMS like WordPress there are dozens of plugins that you can use with little to no experience to cache your website. If you’ve had your website built by a developer get in touch with them and see if they already have caching enabled.
Lastly, If you’ve tried the above four points and your still not seeing any improvement in your site speeds it’s time to review your hosting. You get what you pay for and if you’re still paying $2.95 per month for your hosting then you can be certain that this will be having a direct impact on the performance of your website.
Just remember, the speed of your website affects almost every metric that drives revenue into your business. Bounce rate, search ranking, conversion, page views and visitor satisfaction so make sure you do everything you can to stay in control.