Without doubt, a fast website is essential to run a successful online business or website. As technology has significantly advanced, average internet connection speeds have also increased worldwide. As a result of this, in recent times website speed has become crucial as web users are becoming less tolerant of slow loading pages. Faster load time is surely a guaranteed way of generating more traffic to your website and making more sales. Google has also clearly stated that it ranks faster sites higher in search results. So your website speed can help you improve your SEO if you pay full attention to it.
Amazon, for instance, has reported a 1% increase in revenue for every 100milliseconds increase in their site speed. Research by Aberdeen group has shown that a 1-second delay in page load time yields 11% fewer page views, 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and 7% loss in conversations. This research dates back to 2008, and you can be sure a greater effect would have summed up since then. In this article, we will be taking you through 6 ways to speed up your website and therefore attract more traffic.
If you are running a website with high-quality contents, you are likely to have large pages. These large pages are bulky, usually 100kb or more and are slow to download. Compressing these pages by zipping them is surely the best technique you can use to speed up their load times. Compression can help you save up to 70% on your HTML and CSS files which your visitors won’t need to download.
The implementation of compression varies as it is a server setting and it depends on the server you are using. You can contact your hosting company for more information on how to enable compression on your server.
Make use of CDNs
CDNs (Content Delivery Network) are networks of multiple servers that are located around the world. CDNs can host and deliver the static files of your website more effectively since they are located all around the world, and they provide web contents to users according to their geographic location. Without a CDN in place, your users will have to access your server at its central location. As a result of this, your site speed might become slow if most of your users are located far away from your central server. Furthermore, if you're using a single server, it could get overloaded, and your site may crash.
Hence with CDN, your site will become much faster, and you will drastically improve your page load time and save a lot of bandwidth as it allows your users access to a cached version of your site from the servers that are closest to them rather than requesting directly from your servers.
Enable browser caching
Browser caching is a technology that allows a website visitor’s browser to store copies of elements on your site on the hard disk or temporary storage so that, when they visit the site later, the content can be called up instead of sending a new HTTP request. As a result of this, your users experience a faster load time as the resources required to load the web pages are considerably reduced.
You can set all cacheable recourses like JS, CSS files, image file, media files, PDFs, etc. expiry to a minimum of one week or up to a year later on. Do not set the expiry to more than a year because it violates the RFC guidelines.
You can also consult your web developer for ways in which you can incorporate browsing cache into your server-side scripting.
Optimize your images
One of the major causes of slow website speed is the use of images. An accumulation of images that weigh so much can slow down your website. Therefore, optimizing your images is certainly the best way to eliminate this threat. You should also pay attention to image format, size and src attribute especially for images larger than 50kb.
Large or oversized images take longer to load, so you should optimize your images before uploading them. This can be easily done with Photoshop or any other image manipulating tool.
Get rid of unnecessary plugins
Nowadays, website owners are tempted to add more Plugins than they need as the Plugins are available and can be acquired for free. Every Plugin you add requires resources, and more resources lead to slower load speed. Before adding a new Plugin, you must keep in mind that the addition is at the expense of your site speed. Also, you should ask yourself if the gain you'll get from the Plugin is worth trading your site speed for.
If your site becomes slow later on, this is likely to have been caused by a Plugin. You can perform a Plugin run-through by disabling your plugins one by one. You can run your site after disabling each Plugin through a tool like GT Metrix, which shows your website speed. You can identify the Plugin that is responsible for your slow website once you discover that the speed has increased drastically after disabling a Plugin.
Use an effective and updated CMS
A CMS (content management system) is a software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content. CMS is crucial to your website’s performance. And it is important always to check whether a new version has been released. This is because script developers keep working on improving their code so as to make the speed faster. So having an updated version could help you eliminate the threat that prevents your site from loading quickly.
There are lots of CMSs out there, but WordPress is one of the most reliable of all. WordPress offers an easier updating process through the updates tab of the WordPress dashboard. One click and your site will install the latest update.
Having a fast website is essential to be successful on the web in this age. Hence, taking the time to make adjustments might be the best step for your website and business. When you make these adjustments, you stand to gain a lot. Your users get satisfied, it improves your SEO, Google ranks you higher, it increases your traffic, conversion rates increases and your sales also increases.