The speed at which your website loads can be an important part of increasing web traffic and improving conversions on your website. Nearly 50% of all internet users expect a page to load in under 2 seconds or less. Furthermore, every 1-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
A slow website can lead potential customers to your competitors, making it harder for you to compete in today’s fast paced internet age.
If you are not sure if your website run’s quickly, paste your website’s URL into Google’s PageSpeed Insight Tool to gain valuable insight into your website’s performance.
If you need help making your website load faster, try the following 5 ways to improve your sites performance.
Resize your images for website speed:
When someone visits your website, they have to load all of the images on your site. This becomes problematic with certain site builders like WordPress, that allows you to upload images of any size.
If you’ve been uploading images without considering their size, you more than likely have some gigantic pictures on your web pages that are slowing down load times like homepage banners etc. If you think that this could be a problem on your website there is an easy fix. Most photo editing software come with some ability to shrink the size of images to be more friendly to Internet load times.
If you’re on Windows you can resize your image in a free program like Paint, or on Mac, you can use Preview to resize images. If you have access to a more advanced photo editor like Fireworks or Photoshop you will have access to the “Save for Web” feature, which allows you to use a slider to reduce the size of an image and see the visual changes, as you do.
There are also some free web tools available that will shrink your image for you. You can try Smush.it, TinyPNG, or search the web for a different tool to help you reduce the size of your images. Once you reduce the size of the images and re-upload them onto your website, you are sure to reduce the load times for future visitors.
Improve website speed with a CDN:
A content delivery network (CDN) is a series of servers that helps deliver web content to the end user based on their location. In other words, CDNs help deliver web content to visitors faster by having the web content transition to servers closer to the end user, resulting in improved site rendering speed and performance.
For example, if you have a business based in Ireland, a visitor from Australia would have a lot longer load time because of the distance that the information has to travel. By using CDNs you can cut down on the amount of time it will take to load your web pages, by spreading the information across several servers around the globe.
Cut down the amount of unnecessary plugins on your website:
Website plugins are a great way to customise your website and increase’s functionality. It can be very tempting to download and install an unlimited amount of plugins, but doing this can seriously compromise your websites speed and increase loading times for your users.
We highly recommend looking through the plugins you currently have installed on your website and determining which ones you absolutely need and which ones you can go without. Delete the ones you don’t need and make sure the plugins that you are keeping are high quality. Cheap plugins that aren’t updated can use a lot of large scripts that will cause your load times to increase, so make sure your plugins are up-to-date and made well.
Browser caching for website speed:
Browser caching is when a visitor is able to keep the downloadable files from your website stored in their browser. If you want your website to load as fast as possible you’ll want to enable browser caching to your visitors. This means that the next time that person visits your website the page will load faster, as they will only have to download the updates that have been made to your website because they already have the rest of the files downloaded. Browser caching not only cuts down on load times for all of your visitors, but it also reduces the amount of bandwidth that is used for both the visitor and the server side.
The easiest way to enable browser caching on your website is through third-party plugins. There are many available, but you may want to check out WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, or WP Rocket first. Feel free to research your own browser caching solutions, but each of these plugins are proven browser caching options that accelerate website performance.
Make sure you have the right web hosting plan for your needs:
Picking the right web host provider and correct web hosting plan can drastically improve your website speed and overall reliability.
There is no right answer because everyone’s website demands will be different. Choosing a supplier that allows you to change plans easily allows your website to adapt to a sudden or steady boost in web traffic over time.
Following the above tips and keeping your website optimised can ensure your customers aren’t stuck on long loading screens.