Nobody enjoys waiting around for a website to load, least of all your customers. A slow website could be holding your business back and be driving prospective customers away at a rate of 7% per one second of load time. Learn how to maximize your earnings with these tips on how to improve your website speed.
Thanks to the popularity of apps like Uber, people are slowly becoming more impatient.
A 10-minute taxi wait used to be acceptable; now you’ll get annoyed if it takes over 3 minutes. The same is true of websites.
Website speed is crucial to making sure you keep your visitors on your website. A slow website will see many turning back for another option.
The average page speed load for a media website is 9 seconds in the US, but research tells us that 53% of people will leave if it hasn’t loaded in 3 seconds.
Your website can even suffer in search results ranking if it doesn’t load quickly, with page load speed being an important factor in whether Google will rank your webpage higher in its search engine results.
As page speed is so important to websites, we’ve created this article to help you understand how to improve your website speed.
Why Page Speed Is Important
If you thought your website page load speed wasn’t important, you’d be wrong.
Just a one-second delay in your page-load speed means:
- 11% fewer page views
- 16% drop in customer satisfaction
- 7% loss in conversion
Yikes, that’s a big difference. It looks like just a few extra seconds can make a massive difference to your website and business.
That means that making — and keeping — your website fast is so important, not just for your customers but for your bottom line.
How to Improve Your Website Speed
Improving your website speed is important, and there are a number of ways you can speed up your site.
1. Reduce HTTP Requests
When a webpage loads, up to 80% of the load time comes from downloading the different parts of the page. That’s everything from images, stylesheets, and scripts.
Your HTTP request is a combination of all of these different elements, so the more different elements there are, the longer it will take for your pages to load.
Step one of figuring out how to minimize your request is to figure out how many requests your site is making. You can then use this as a benchmark.
Google Chrome’s development tools is a great tool to use to see how many HTTP requests your site makes.
Just right-click on the page you want to analyze and then click ‘Inspect,’ then click the ‘Network’ tab.
Reducing the number of requests will speed up your site, look through all your files and see if they are all necessary.
2. Combine and Minify Files
These are a big deal as they determine the way your website looks. They also add to the number of requests your site makes everytime you get a new visitor.
Reduce this number down by minifying your files. This means getting rid of unnecessary formatting, whitespace, and code.
Plugins such as WP Rocket do a great job of making that process really simple. With that plugin installed go to static files and select the files, you want to minify.
3. Use a Lightweight WordPress Theme
If all that tech talk was a little complicated for you, an easy way to reduce down the website size and optimize your speed is to go for a lightweight WordPress theme. Themes that are bulky and complicated have more elements on a page.
Like we mentioned above, the more elements there are to load, the longer the page will take. If you start off with a small, lightweight theme you can then add in functionality you might need with plugins.
You could even hire a developer if you wanted to add extra functionality without bloating your site with excess features.
4. Send Your Website On a Diet
When your pages are loading slower than you want, it’s usually because your page is overweight. The solution is simpler than you think, it just needs to go on a diet!
Check your website and keep an eye out for things that might be bloating your site and having a knock on effect to the speed such as:
- A lot of unused CSS files on the server
- Image files too large
- Excess HTTP headers
- Too many spam comments
- Too many plugins installed
These might seem like simple tips, but they can make a big difference in the speed of your website in the long run. Trimming the fat from a lot of small places can add up to a sizeable difference over time.
5. Cache All You Can
The great thing about modern WordPress plugins is they can do most of the hard work for you. Third-party plugins can be a great way to cache information on your site to speed up the load speed.
WP Super Cache is a popular choice among bloggers, and it essentially helps to cache the latest version of your webpage. This reduces the need for generating any dynamic content during repeat website visits.
6. Get a Faster, Web Host
The final step is to go directly to the source. After analyzing everything else on your website, if speed still isn’t where you’d like, you can look at changing your hosting provider.
Companies like Brixly Web Solutions can help your website connection speed jump up dramatically. A web hosts connection speed can make a huge difference to the page load speed of your website. Generally, a budget website host isn’t going to give you the performance levels a more expensive cloud hosting solution might.
Consider switching hosting providers as a great way to speed up your site.
Time to Speed Up Your Site
Having a faster web page can mean a lot of advantages for your site. A better chance to rank in Google, better user retention and improved traffic can make a big difference to your site and your company.
If you want more help and support on how to improve your website, then check out some of our other articles here.