The speed of your website has never been so important. In fact, in 2018, it can make or break your business. This is why it’s so important to increase your website’s load speed as much as humanly possible.
But, unless you’re a master coder or UX expert, that is much easier said than done.
To help you tighten up your site and get it running super speedily, we’re going to share six tips that are sure to increase your website’s load speed.
But first, let’s look at the context.
Why Speed Matters
As internet users, we have come to expect fast experiences. So much so that today, research from Google has revealed 53 percent of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three-seconds to load.
As a result of this, Google and other search engines want to satisfy our need for speed and as such now officially use page speed as a ranking signal.
This means that slow websites slip down organic rankings, are quickly forgotten by users, and overall provide a terrible user experience that reflects poorly on your business. Fast websites, on the other hand, receive ranking boosts, delight users, and keep them interacting for much longer.
Tip #1: Perform a PageSpeed Audit
Before you try to improve the speed of your website, you’ll need to understand its current level of performance. Thankfully, Google provides a free PageSpeed Insights tool that uses real-world data to show you how your website loads on both desktop and mobile.
The tool also gives you a series of key recommendations that are tailored to your website. According to your level of technical ability, you may be able to do this yourself or be better off hiring digital marketing experts to help you.
Tip #2: Compress Your Images
Did you know that images make up an estimated 61.3 percent of the average download size of a web page? As they’re usually the biggest offenders, getting your images in check is clearly one of the best methods of speeding up your website.
To make sure your images are as light as possible, you’ll need to compress them. This can be done using a wide range of techniques. If you have it, Photoshop allows you to do this effectively — there is even a free alternative produced by Adobe called Photoshop Express.
There’s also a wide range of free online editors available to help you make sure your images aren’t too large and heavy so as to turn away, instead of entice, your visitors.
Tip #3: Minify Your Code
Website builders and themes can result in messy code, and this can have a serious impact on the load speed of your pages and website.
Minifying code is simply the process of cleaning up and optimising your customisations. If you don’t have the technical ability to do this, you might want to explore some free tools and alternatives that can help you. WP Rocket, for instance, is a WordPress plugin that makes the minification process simple.
Tip #4: Invest in a CDN
Your website is hosted on one server, but you can also leverage a series of servers if you want to speed up loading times even further for your visitors.
A Content Delivery Network does this by caching a copy of your website on a vast global network of servers. This can dramatically speed up your website, but note, investing in a CDN is certainly not cheap.
Tip #5: Embed Videos
Video content is huge and only growing in popularity. However, hosting your own videos takes up a lot of space, makes your site load slower, and can even be much more complicated than embedding them.
All these reasons mean that a great thing to do in general, while also being a great way to increase your website’s load speed, is to host your video on a third-party platform like YouTube or Vimeo and simply embed them on your website.
Tip #6: Reduce the Number of Plugins
Because plugins are so simple to install on WordPress, some websites simply keep adding them and the number can quickly reach a dangerous level. What this looks like is your website becoming slower and susceptible to security issues — and if you’re unlucky, something happening that your users find out before you.
A great way to increase your website’s load speed is to perform an audit of all the plugins that you’re currently using, and to get rid of any that are not absolutely essential.
Always Focus on Speed
We hope these tips have helped you get on the way to a faster website. Remember that because it’s so important, you should constantly monitor the speed of your website and any knock on effects it can have to its conversions and performance.