There are many reasons why you would want to have a faster website. The most common reasons include:
Improved search engine positions. Google, et al, will rank websites with fast loading times higher than those with slow loading times (a generalisation, as search engine position has many factors). So having a fast website will go a long way in improving your position in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Reduce your bounce rate, keep your visitors. It is common knowledge that if your site takes more than 2 seconds to load, you’ll be losing about 40% of your visitors (eg they will decide to move on and bounce off your website). So speeding up your website will reduce you bounce rate, and keep more visitors on your site.
On-line buyers are impatient. If you have an e-commerce site, then speed is even more important if you want to attract sales and build your business. There are many stages for a visitor to an e-commerce site, and these need to kept fast to ensure you don’t lose customers and sales.
Check your speed
One of the best ways to start the process of speeding up your site is to use a tool such as Google Page Insights, by running a scan using one of the services linked below it will generate an in-depth report on the parts of your site that is affecting page speed.
Common speed mistakes
One of the most important areas that can help your site speed is the hosting of your website. With slow hosting your site will never fly. With good hosting you have a chance. Shared hosting is usually slow, while dedicated hosting can give superior results.
Theme / Framework setup
If your site is built on a slow theme/framework, then it’s tough to get grade A results. If your theme is slow you’ll need to consider upgrading to a better performing one.
One of the most common elements that will slow down a site is images. Most images on a site should be compressed, 51% of internet traffic is through a mobile phone which is more likely to have a slower connection. Having uncompressed images on your site could cause users to leave due to slow load times or the layout of the page constantly adjusting each time an image has finished loading.
A solution to this problem is to set up automatic image compression and lazy load images. By doing this you can drastically increase page speed and save user bandwidth by only loading the images that they need to see.
Scripts and Analytics
- Locally host google analytics
- Turn off scripts that are not needed
- Set up defer and async on scripts that need to be loaded.
Caching & Minification
- Caching and Minifying commonly used files.
- Switching to light weight plugins and themes.
- Use HTTP2
- Optimize font files. (hosted locally)
- Switch to a faster server if possible (E.g. LiteSpeed)
- Optimize icons by using a service such as Icon Moon.
- Enable Gzip or Brotli compression on the server
- Use a CDN (only in some cases)
- Database clean up (Removing post revisions etc….)
- Moving widgets / forms to other pages to reduce load times.
- Use the latest PHP version.
- Remove JQuery and switch to vanilla JS if possible.
- Turn off unneeded pingbacks in WordPress.
Making your site as fast as possible has so many benefits. Increased visitors, better experience, reduced costs and better searching positions are all good reasons to make site speed one of your top priorities.
If you’d like to get some details on how we can help you make your site faster, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss the options.