It’s that magic question, isn’t it? How do I speed up my website? Unfortunately, there’s no single quick fix for your website speed, however, we will go through some tips that will drastically improve your website performance.

Why do I need to worry about my website speed?

There are two main reasons you need to worry about the speed of your website, and both these reasons will impact your lead generation & customer conversions – so yes, it’s pretty important. The first is that people don’t like to wait. In today’s society, we want everything instantaneously, and there’s no exception for loading a website. People want answers to their questions and they want them yesterday. Approximately 40% of customers will leave a website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds – sounds crazy doesn’t it?

The next reason you should consider speeding up your website is that it’s what Google wants you to do. Google’s purpose is to deliver the most relevant information to their user in the quickest time possible, so if your website is slow why should Google recommend you? Google wants a good user experience across the board.

That sounds scary, how can I speed up my website?

There are a few things you can do yourself to fix your website speed and if it becomes too complex ask your website designer if they can help out.

Run some page speed tests

The first thing you should do is set a benchmark. Run some page speed tests through tools such as Pingdom or GT Metrix to work out how fast your website is currently loading. These are fantastic free tools that analyze your website speed and return suggestions on how to speed up the website also. Run these tests a few times and work out an average. You should be aiming for a website speed of around 2 – 3 seconds.

Optimize your images

One of the easiest things you can do to speed up your website is to optimize your images. What this means is to reduce the file size and compress them. There’s a couple ways this can be done. We like to use JPEGmini which is an installable program on your computer which allows us to bulk optimize before uploading images to a website. This is a paid program though.

Another option is to install a plugin (if you’re running WordPress) such as EWWW Image Optimizer or WP Smush. These allow you to bulk optimize images that are already loaded onto your website.

And finally, if you only need to optimize a handful of images you can use Tiny PNG.

So why does this work? Optimizing images and reducing their file size means that the website doesn’t need to try to load as much content to the page. You could reduce a page that’s say 6mb of data to 1.5mb of data.

Add caching

What is a cache? A cache is essentially a copy of your website stored on your computer for easy access. When caching is implemented it means that when you’ve previously visited a website, your internet browser will load the website from the cache instead of loading every single file from the website server. This can make a huge difference to website speed load times. If you’re on WordPress, you can use a plugin like Speed Booster Pack or WP Fastest Cache – there are so many different plugins that do this.

Minify & Combine your scripts

This is one that you might need help with from your developer. Essentially, when a website loads, it doesn’t just load a single page, it loads 10’s – 100’s of different scripts or files to make the website work. For example, you can have a script for a slider on the home page, another script for a contact form etc etc. Every time another one of these scripts loads, it takes more time for the website to be processed. You can use plugins like mentioned above to minify and combine HTML, CSS & JavaScript scripts. However, this has the most likelihood of breaking your website, so if you are doing this yourself make sure you have a backup and keep checking back on your site to make sure nothing has broken. If you previously added caching, make sure you clear your cache (Ctrl + Shift + Del on Chrome) to make sure your browser is loading the newest version of the website.

Enable GZip Compression

Talk to either your website developer or website host about this one. But what GZip compression does is compress your website to allow it to load faster.

Move your hosting

If you’re still having issues, you may need to move your website hosting to a company that has servers based where your customers are based.

 

If you are looking for additional WordPress plugins, you can find some at 5 Essential WordPress Plugins For Your Website. Once you’ve finished with the above steps, run the page speed testing tools again and see how you’ve gone. Be sure to run them a few times to get an average result. Let us know how you go, and feel free to tell us in the comments below what your load time was and what it is now – we’d love to hear from you.

7 Website Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Business Before You Even Start

7 Website Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Business Before You Even Start

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