10 Simple Ways To Increase Website Speed
If you want to make sure that visitors spend a lot of time on your website, it needs to be lightning fast. In fact, according to Unbounce, the most successful landing pages are those that load in less than 5 seconds.
Not only do these websites experience a decrease in their bounce rates but also higher conversions.
The good news is there are a lot of things that you can do to increase the speed of your website. And many of these strategies are quick and easy to implement.
Let's take a moment to discuss 10 techniques that can lead to an immediate difference!
Compress Your Images
Sure, images are a big part of your visual brand, but have you given any thought to how much space they could be taking up on your site? You see, the larger your image file size, the longer it takes to load.
A simple solution to this problem is compression.
Compression makes the file size smaller. Platforms such as WordPress and Shopify offer compression tools.
In fact, these tools usually come in the form of plugins so that your images are immediately compressed when you add them to your website.
Cut Caching Time In Half With Browser Caching
There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes whenever someone first enters your website. Not only must your images load, but also HTML, coding, and every other page element.
The downside is that this process happens each and every time someone visits.
It's called caching and as you can probably imagine it takes a huge toll on performance. While this may seem like a complicated problem, it's not.
Just as is the case with compression, there are plugins that assist with browser caching and help to cut the time in half.
Get Rid of External Scripts
Does your website have a lot of widgets? If so, it's time to make changes. Sure, they provide your audience with Twitter updates or feature products from Amazon, but there's a good chance they're slowing your site down to a crawl.
The problem with these widgets is that they're often from third-party sites, which means that you have little to no control over them.
And this inevitably means that you are completely at the mercy of their individual load times. So get rid of widgets that aren't absolutely necessary for your success.
Take Control of Your Load Time With Dedicated Hosting
When it comes to setting up a website, most beginners opt for shared hosting. And typically this is because it's the most cost-efficient option. However, what many fail to realize is that it will eventually cost them a great deal in terms of speed.
While shared hosting may cost less, you have to share your bandwidth and server with every other website owner on that platform. And this is another instance in which you have zero control.
If their websites experience a huge increase in traffic, then it will affect the speed of your site. So switch to dedicated hosting.
Shorten Your CSS and Java Code
One of the best ways to improve the speed of your website is by altering your CSS and Java Code. CSS and JS default codes often contain a lot of whitespace. In fact, it's not uncommon to find lines of code that are redundant.
The problem is, the browser has to read through all of this. So if you want to speed up your site, search through these lines and get rid of all the unnecessary elements. The shorter the code, the better the performance.
Reduce HTTP Requests
If you want your site to load as quickly as possible, then you need to reduce your HTTP requests. This means that you should make sure that your HTML is as clean and simple as possible.
Your text should be plain and you should only use the images that are necessary.
If you don't have much coding experience, you needn't worry. There are several plugins available to help with cleaning up your code. They can even automate the process for you.
Of course, it's always better to redirect users to another page than it is to let them run into a 404 error page. However, what you may not know is that redirects can have an impact on the speed of your site.
That seemingly small lapse in time that it takes to be redirected is just one more second that your visitors will be forced to wait.
The best way to find redirects is with a redirect finder tool. Google suggests that you avoid linking to redirect pages. It also encourages website owners to never require more than a single redirect to get to another page.
Use Content Delivery Networks
Another great way to speed up your website is to use content delivery networks, also known as CDNs. This strategy can be especially helpful if your website is very large. So how does this work?
Traditionally, when people visit your website and request content, it's all delivered to the same server. However, content loads faster when it loads on the server that's closest to your visitor.
So when you use a CDN, whenever one of your visitors requests content from your website, the server will find the closest server to them and distribute the content to that location.
Split Up Comments
There is nothing better than getting loads of comments on your blog posts, however, the loading time could be slowing down your site. That's why it's a good idea to split your comments up into pages.
Platforms like WordPress allow you to break your comments up into groups so that your site will only have to load small groups at a time.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Plugins
We've discussed how efficient the use of plugins can be, specifically if you have little to no technical experience.
However, if you want to make sure that your website is always at optimal speed, you need to be careful about how many plugins you use. Only use those that are necessary.
More specifically, you should stay away from plugins that make several database queries and require loads of assets. This is another way to help cut down on your HTTP requests. Pay attention to the files that your plugins are loading.
As you can see, there are several ways that you can ensure that your website is running at top speed. Much of this requires you to maintain a website that has very little clutter, both on-page and in code.
It's a good idea to become proficient in coding so that at any time you will be able to look behind the scenes and find out what's taking up the most bandwidth.
However, you can easily carry out most of these strategies with the help of a few tools and plugins. And the best part is that most of this can be automated.