Seven Speed Optimization Tips For Your Website

The first few seconds that visitors spend browsing a website are often the most critical. If a site is slow, users may leave in search of a better site.

I’ll share with you some tips to ensure that your website is running at peak speed and performance, but first, it’s important to understand how speed can impact the success of a site.

Why Web Speed Optimization Can Be Critical

In addition to decreasing your bounce rate and encouraging users to engage, optimizing the speed of your website can help in three main areas:

• Conversion: Conversion is when a visitor accomplishes a goal on your site, such as registering, purchasing or downloading something. Fast website loading speeds may mean higher conversion rates. One company found that even “a 100-millisecond delay in website load time can hurt conversion rates by 7 percent.”

• Usability: The speed and ease with which customers can use your website can affect whether they want to spend time on it. A slow website can prevent users from having a good experience.

• Visibility: Google considers website load speeds when ranking pages for search. Websites with slow load times may rank lower.

How To Optimize Your Site

Now that you understand how critical site loading times can be, here are seven tips to help you increase the speed of your site:

  1. Reduce Image Size

Images are an essential component of having an aesthetically pleasing site, but large files can dramatically decrease website performance. To maintain image quality but boost speed, reduce the size of your images. There are a number of tools that can help you do this. We love Smush for WordPress websites, and for non-WordPress sites, you can use free tools such as TinyPNG. Smush automates image compression on any files uploaded to the site’s media library, so it takes any manual work out of the process. TinyPNG is fast, reliable and easy to use, and it provides a good compression-quality balance. You don’t want a tool that compresses so much that the images lose noticeable quality.

  1. User Fewer Plug-ins

Plug-ins for incorporating specific features are common on websites. However, the more plug-ins a site has, the longer it can take to load. Run performance tests to help determine which plug-ins, if any, may be slowing down site performance. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have excellent performance measurement tools built in. To access these tools in Chrome, for instance, just open“Developer Tools” and load the “Network,” tab, and you can see the load time for each file on the site. For each plug-in, ask yourself whether it’s really needed. If not, remove it, and run the test again to see whether your loading speed increases. We’ve seen sites with 30 or more plug-ins drop their load time by 75% by simply removing old or unnecessary plug-ins.

  1. Enable Website Caching

If many people access a site at one time, it can cause database servers to work slowly to deliver the page. A great way to increase speed is to cache the current version of your site on your web host’s content delivery network. This means that a copy of your website will be saved on servers in different locations, so when someone tries to access your site, the content will be loaded from the closest server, and it will load faster. Most web hosts provide a setting to enable caching from within a control panel. Alternatively, you can install plug-ins to accomplish this.

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