Website speed matters! And that’s why a quick-loading site performs way better than a slow website when you look at it across various marketing metrics. Think of conversions, site engagement, lead generation, and organic search results. Their success depends on site speed.
A slow website means visitors will take off because they do not have the patience to wait for it to load. And this could be a possible reason why you are losing business!
A Forrester Consulting research commissioned by Akamai revealed that 79 percent of site visitors would jump to the next competitor’s site when they experience slow loading web pages. Also, the study shows that 40 percent of shoppers will abandon a web page if it does not load within three seconds.
A slow website can have adverse effects on user experience. But there is hope; you can speed up your site. Here’s how – from an SEO’s perspective.
- Enable Caching
Put differently, caching is putting existing data in a short-term storage area. It means that it will be quicker to access the copied data compared to re-loading the original data. In this case, the loading of different system resources found on the server is significantly reduced.
You can design an application such that your browser will cache every file downloaded from the server. The time your browser takes to recall resources (such as stylesheets, scripts, images, fonts, and so on) found on a web page will be reduced, and therefore pages will load faster. Your SEO scores will improve and better user satisfaction.
- The Right Web Hosting Company
Your website host plays a significant role in improving your website’s performance. And the two major features you should consider in a hosting service are its resources and hard-drive.
More RAM and bandwidth will inevitably boost the speed of your site. Going for a dedicated VPS or server will provide more resources rather than opting for the standard shared one; which will block other websites from having an impact on your web performance.
When it comes to the hard-drive, a solid-state one will provide more dependable service compared to standard hard-drive. As a result, quicker load time and stable performance.
- A Worthy Web Hosting Plan
If you are like many start-ups, you will choose a shared or an open hosting plan – because of its easy usability and affordability. It could work well provided your anticipated daily web visits does not go beyond 1000 visitors per day.
But if your website attracts a significant flow of traffic, you may need to upgrade to other plans. As you move up from shared hosting to cloud servers, virtual servers, and dedicated servers, the prices may increase, but you will have more resources for your site. Such added support will allow functions such as custom apps or video streaming, which may not be the case in shared plans.
With so many resources dedicated to a site, its overall performance improves and therefore making search engines ‘happy!’
- Optimize Your Images
Images may be worth several hundred words, but if you have failed to plan for their loading time, they may be the cause to a slow website. If your site has a lot of images, and huge ones, its loading time will increase.
Another common mistake is using images broader than the content space within the theme. Take, for instance, your page spreads out for 1000 pixels’ and your image is 2000 pixels, web visitors will need to load extra data than the required. It implies that the page and image loading time is increased unnecessarily.
You can use plugins and graphic editing tools to reduce the size of your images without affecting their quality. Luckily, there are website hosts that resolve this issue for you. They create several sizes of your image, and you can select the size that fits inside the content area.
Whenever possible, use PNG and JPEG formats for your images, and always crop them to get rid of unnecessary elements.
By planning the size of your images, and reducing their numbers, you’ll serve them more quickly to your visitors.
- Apply Content Delivery Network
Popularly referred to a CDN; it is a worldwide distributed setup of servers that house and distribute content on your website. Every server in this network is known as a PoP (point of presence).
So, instead of your website transmitting content straight from your site server, it does this from a PoP. Consequently, a CDN reduces the physical distance between the content and the web user. Subsequently, your once slow website is considerably upgraded.
- Minimize Plugins
Plugins or add-ons are additional software you install on a website.
Firstly, evaluate your active add-ons and disable the ones you do not use. Whereas you may not be using a particular plugin, its CSS or code is still actively loaded. And this causes your site to slow down.
Secondly, seek an alternative to what a particular plugin does for you. For instance, you might be using an add-on to add AdSense ads. But with several lines of codes, that is, in the function PHP, you’ll still achieve a similar result without adding a plugin. Such simple modifications will help you chop some seconds in your website loading time.
Back in 2006, Amazon released a report that showed the impact of speeding up its website. For every hundred milliseconds Amazon increased its site’s speed, it recorded a one percent growth in returns. Then Google stated that website page speed was a concern in the way they rank web search results. As seen, it is vital to fix your slow website now, and the recommendations listed above would streamline your site and enhance performance to keep up with search engines good books!