Is your website taking more than three seconds to load? If so, then you are bleeding approximately 50% of visitors. Furthermore, the longer it takes for your site to load, the higher the bounce rate.
When a user new to your site lands on it, how fast it loads affects the experience they have. Thus, a website loading slow tends to discourage people from spending time on it. So how do you improve your site’s speed? Keep reading for seven practical tips you can implement to gain better speeds.
1. Optimize the Images You Use
Interspersing images in your page content is a sure-fire way to deliver richer content to your users. However, how you use the images on your site can impact how slow or fast it becomes.
Before you put up an image, you have to determine the right format to use.
Portable Network Graphics (PNG) images are typically high quality. While they are gorgeous to look at, their file sizes are also huge. In comparison, the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) image format has a slightly lower quality and a corresponding file size.
Therefore, balancing between the level of quality and size of the image is critical if you want to up your load speed. If you reduce image quality by 10% to 20%, it won’t impact the quality heavily but will significantly improve your site’s loading speed.
Making the images you use mobile-friendly is also essential in improving your speed. As you deploy responsive site design for better user experience, the pictures should also be responsive. A scalable vector graphic can help you utilize images that load quickly and look great on any device.
Moreover, compressing your images is a primary tool to help you keep an eye on image sizes. When you compress a picture, you reduce the actual file size before loading it on your website. As a result, it takes less bandwidth to display it, which makes your site faster.
Don’t forget to cache everything on your webpage for at least 30 days. That way, if a user requests the same information, including the images, the data can load instantly as it’s not being redownloaded.
2. Investigate Your Hosting
There are three types of hosting, and each has an impact on your site’s speed.
Shared hosting is where you share computing resources with other sites on the same server. It’s cheap but at the price of speed.
Virtual private servers (VPS) hosting enables you to hive off a section of a shared server. Consequently, your computing speed does not adversely influence that of others and vice versa. VPS is a step up from shared hosting, and it gives you better speeds if your traffic is intermittent.
Dedicated hosting is the highest hosting tier where you have your server and don’t share any computing resources with anyone. Due to this exclusivity, it is costly and most suitable for sites that consistently carry heavy traffic.
Depending on the kind of traffic your site encounters, you need to match your hosting to traffic to avoid slowing your users down.
3. Manage Your Ads
Monetizing your website should always be a target but not at the expense of your user experience. At the point where you have too many ads, the site slows down and with it goes your users. You, therefore, have less traffic to monetize.
With each ad you set up, you introduce another HTTP request that needs time to process. The more advertisements you pile up, the more requests your site has to make.
If these ads include rich media (which is the trend nowadays), then they can overload the number of HTTP requests needed, which slows down your site.
Aim to balance between ads and optimal performance to ensure you don’t compromise your site’s loading speed.
4. Use a Content Delivery Network
A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of independent servers distributed in various geographical locations. The aim of a CDN is to deliver content to your users with high performance and high availability.
When you leverage CDNs, the node that is at the nearest data centre to the user delivers the information they need. As a result, the content takes less round-trip-time, serving a visitor’s request faster.
5. Clean up Your Code
Code that isn’t streamlined tends to slow down websites more frequently than the owners might realize.
When designing your site, avoid making the common mistake of having excess white spaces. Empty new lines, inline stylings and unnecessary comments are other mistakes that make your code unclean.
When you clean up your code, you can then compress it for smaller file size. That, in turn, tends to increase your page load speed which ultimately reduces your site’s overall loading time.
6. Minimize Flash Content
Flash has been an essential technology that many website owners rely on to build interactivity into your platform.
However, the downside of this tool is that the file sizes are typically bulky. To make it worse, the bigger the file, the longer pages on your site will take to load.
As a result, Flash has fallen out of favour today, and you should consider reducing the size of files associated with it.
Better yet, you can ditch it entirely by turning to HTML5 alternatives.
Such a move will reduce the size of the file necessary to make your content interactive. The smaller the file sizes, the faster they will take to load.
7. Database Optimization
Complex content management systems (CMS) and the plugins associated with them impact your loading speed.
If the CMS you rely on has more intricate plugins, it will increase the overall size of your database. The bigger the database then, the slower your site will operate.
Therefore, you need to apply the relevant optimization measures for each CMS to avoid bloating your database unnecessarily. Such a consistent effort will optimize the amount of stored data, which can improve your site’s speed.
Your Website Loading Slow Is a Death Knell
The speed of your site is exceptionally mission-critical to your success. For every agonising minute you make your users wait for the information they need, the harder it is for them to stick around.
Thus, you need to investigate the causes of your website loading slow to understand the elements you need to tweak, and in what direction to make the changes. A fast loading site makes for a better user experience, which in turn makes for better conversion rates.
Samson Web Design looks to translate your business goals into a tangible web design that drives your sales. Talk to us today to discover useful web design custom made for your business.