Improve Your Website Speed
Your website may look great, but is it fast enough?
Website speed can have a significant effect on your business’ success, here’s why:
- Website speed can significantly effect your search ranking.
- Websites that take long load times have a much higher chance of visitors abandoning your website, leading to missed enquiries and sales.
Is your website slow? Here we look at how you can check your website’ performance and what you can do to boost website speed. These tools will help improve your visitors online experience and your website ranking.
Use Google Speed Checker Tools
Before confronting your websites speed issues, it is beneficial to take advantage of Google’s Speed Checker and other site speed tools tools. These tools can provide valuable insight into what changes you need to make to improve your websites load times. We recommend these tools:
- Google Speed Checker – This a great tool for checking the speed of your website on mobile and desktop devices. It also provides a rundown of different things you can do to improve performance.
- Test my mobile site speed – This Google tool focuses on the mobile version of your site, giving your a speed rating over mobile network connections and a range of improvement tips.
- GT Metrix – Similar to Google Speed Checker, with GT Metrix you can define where your server is located, to provide more accurate results. You can also delve into even more stats and figures.
Use Localised Website Hosting
It is recommended that your website is hosted on a server local to your business. For example if your business is in the UK, a London based server is suitable. Using a local server reduces the amount of time taken for the customer to connect with your website. If your website uses a server based in the United States, the distance can add unwanted seconds to your websites loading time.
Use a Responsive Website Theme
Whether you are building your website from scratch or using a pre-designed theme, it is essential that your website is responsive. A Responsive website ensures that the customers website experience will be optimised for the device they are using. For example a Desktop website will be designed for bigger screens, whereas the mobile version will be optimised for the smaller screen. With more people searching via mobile devices, make sure careful attention is paid to all versions of your website, not just the traditional desktop view.
Scale Your Website Images
Raw photos and images are traditionally big files, which can add unwanted seconds to your websites load times. We recommend that before uploading photos, software such as Photoshop should be used to to create an 8-bit version of your images. This process significantly reduces the size of your images without effecting quality. For further reduction reduce the dimensions (size) of your images to the actual size you intend to display them online.
Further image optimisation can be achieved onsite using tools such as imagify. This plugin allows you to choose exactly how much optimisation is applied to your images, and can shave valuable milliseconds off webpage loading times.
Use a Professional Website Cache Tool
Websites can become bloated with scripts and code that will have a negative affect on your websites speed. Without cacheing software these scripts are loaded by your website first, making your customers wait for your website to become operational. Website cacheing tools are effective in dealing with many of the issues that may arise when using the speed checker tools.
Website cacheing tools such as WP Fastest Cache and WP Rocket can be used to reduce the size of scripts and ensure they load after the website is operational. Functions such as lazy load also ensure images only load when they are visible to the website visitor.
Use a Content Delivery Network
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help to increase the load times of your site. Instead of serving images from your own server, a CDN can reduce the strain on your website by hosting images and media files elsewhere. Content Delivery Networks such as JetPack and CloudFlare are affective at reducing the load on your server and allows it focus on other content.
Smart Website Design
In theory an elaborate website design can be appealing to showcase your business. However, over complicated, image heavy websites can have a negative impact on the user experience and site speed. Your brand shouldn’t be sacrificed for the benefit of site speed, however speed shouldn’t suffer from over elaborate websites. A smart approach to website design gets the right balance between showcasing your business and optimising the user experience.
Speed Up Your Website
These tips will help increase your websites speed to improve user experience and boost your rankings. If your business needs professional advice and support to help speed up your websites performance, get in touch with us today.