Improving the speed of your website can benefit your business in many ways. Decreasing page load times will create a positive user experience, lower bounce rates, and keep visitors on your site for longer. This will ultimately help your site convert against its goals, whether these are to generate leads, promote services, sell products or something else.
However, this isn’t all. A fast site will greatly impact your businesses performance across the board. A quick loading site portrays a slick professional operation, promoting your company as a reputable business and a leader in its field. This will help your site stand out from crowd, impress your audience, and win over potential clients or customers.
Importantly, Google has confirmed that the speed of a website is one of the indicators it uses to help rank content. Therefore, decreasing page load times will help improve your website’s position in the search engines. This ultimately will help your content reach a wider audience, drive traffic to your website, and help your business prosper.
So let’s have a look at some key strategies to help improve the speed of your website.
Find Suitable Hosting
Finding an appropriate and reliable hosting service for your site can make the difference between a successful website and a failed business. But with so many hosting companies around, trying to choose the right one for your site can be a daunting task.
Always bear in mind that with hosting you get what you pay for. Shared hosting might appear great value, but the packages often come with restrictions and limitations that can impact performance and security.
Use a Content Delivery Network
Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is another effective way to improve the speed that your content is delivered to your customers. A CDN is a linked system of servers, located across the globe. So, when someone visits your site, static content like images and CSS files are served to them from the geographically closest server. This dramatically improves page loading speeds, and your rankings in the search engines.
Caching can greatly improve the load time of web pages. By caching data from your website, when a site visitor opens a page, a static version of your content is displayed. This enables pages to be loaded much faster than if page information was being requested from your server each time.
Select the Right File Type for Images
Selecting the right file type can make a big difference to image load times. Always use JPG as your default. JPG creates the smallest image type and is thus the fastest loading. PNG should be used for images that are text heavy, or if you need a transparent background.
Always follow the correct scaling procedure for images. For example, when using thumbnails, create a new resized version of the original image, using the exact dimensions necessary for your website. Don’t just change the image’s dimensions in HTML. An image purposely scaled to the correct dimensions will load quickly and look better. This will improve the speed of your website and give it a professional presence.
Minimize the Number of HTTP Requests
Fix 404 Errors
Missing files on your site generate 404 HTTP errors and will greatly affect site speed and efficiency. Always check for 404 errors, or use a tool to do this for you. Neither Google or your customers want to view 404 errors, or have to wait for slow loading content.
Optimise Your Database
It is important to optimise your database if your website is built using WordPress. However, this can be a difficult and extremely time consuming process. Always monitor your code for slow queries, and if you are on a dedicated server or a VPS, enable query caching and optimize your database server configuration.
Minify Your Code
Minifying your code will decrease your page size, reduce network latency, and decrease your loading times. To do so, remove HTML comments, CDATA sections, whitespaces, and empty elements. Cleaning up and minimizing in this way will help reduce file size and delivery times.
As you can see there is much you can do to improve the speed of your site. And the benefits are vast. So if you want to stop losing traffic and start making money, make site speed a priority today.