How to speed up your website [2020 revised]

How to speed up your website [2020 revised]

written by Team Results

15 ways to speed up your website

If your website is slow, you are losing sales.

A 100-millisecond delay in load time can cause conversion rates to drop by 7%

According to Google, more than half of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.

Think about that. You invest in SEO, Google ads, Facebook ads, fancy copy writing to get as many visitors to your website as possible.

People are clicking on your website, but more than half are leaving BEFORE your page loads….

That is just plain wrong!

 

You work hard to build persuasive offers, you have an amazing product that can help others — so you need keep visitors on your website  by ensuring that it loads quickly enough for them to actually see your message.

There’s another critical reason your website speed is important. Google will penalise your website in the search results if it is slower than your competitors. So you could be spending hours on Blogging, spending big bucks on SEO, only to be hurt by something as simple as your site speed.

What’s the solution?

How can you speed up your website?

 

Here are some of the many ways to increase your page speed:

1. ENABLE COMPRESSION

It is a great idea to enable file compression to reduce the size of your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files that are larger than 150 bytes.

Generally, you shouldn’t compress images this way. Instead, compress these in Photoshop so can retain control over the quality of the image.

2. CHOOSE A FAST WEB HOST

Hosting can have a huge impact on your website speed. You can check the speed of your own hosting provider using this simple tool by dotcom-tools. It isn’t too difficult to change hosting providers, a reputable host will guide you through the process.

3. MINIFY HTML, CSS & JAVASCRIPT

It is wise to remove spaces, commas, and other unnecessary characters, believe it or not, it can dramatically increase your page speed. Remember to remove code comments, formatting, and unused code. Here is a link from Google regarding this topic.

4. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF REDIRECTS

Each time one of your pages redirects to another page, your visitor faces additional time waiting. It is also a poor user experience.

Click here to get a faster website

5. REMOVE RENDER-BLOCKING JAVASCRIPT

Google suggests avoiding and minimizing the use of blocking JavaScript.

In technical speak, when a user visits your website, their browser has to build a DOM tree by parsing HTML before it can render a page. If their browser encounters a script during this process, it has to stop and execute it before it can continue, this slowing your website.

6. ADD EXPIRES HEADERS TO LEVERAGE BROWSER CACHING

Expires headers tell the browser to request a specific file from the webserver or to get a version of a page from the browser’s cache. Expires headers speed up your site in two ways.

1.        They reduce the need for users to download the same files from your webserver twice.

2.       It reduces the number of HTTP requests that need to be made, further speeding up the time it takes for the page to load.

Remember, it will only speed up your site for users who have already visited your website.

7. LEVERAGE BROWSER CACHING

Browser caching works by storing certain pages (or parts of pages) when a user visits your website. For example, the logo on your website is unlikely to change from day to day. By caching this logo image, we can tell the user's browser to only download this image say, once a week. Every visit that user makes within a week would not require another download of the logo image.

In a nutshell, by telling the browser to store certain files and not download them each time a user returns to your site, saves time and your web server bandwidth.

If you’re using WordPress, an easy way to cut your page loading speed is to install a caching plugin like WP Total Cache or WP Super Cache.

If you are not a developer and all this seems a little overwhelming Click here to get a faster website

8. IMPROVE SERVER RESPONSE TIME

Lets start by saying that the optimal server response time is under 200ms.

Your server response time can be impacted by the amount of traffic you receive, the resources each page uses, the software your server uses, and the hosting solution you use.

To improve your server response time,

1. Check Your Hosting

2. Choose Your Web Server Carefully

3. Optimize Your Web Servers

4. Reduce Bloat

5. Optimize Your Database

9. USE A CONTENT DISTRIBUTION NETWORK

How does a content distribution network (CDN) work?

Essentially, copies of your website are stored at multiple, geographically diverse data centers so that users have faster and more reliable access to your site. Check with your hosting provider. We like Squarespace because they automatically optimize delivery of your content using a global CDN, which ensures that your pages load quickly for your visitors no matter where they are in the world.

10. OPTIMIZE IMAGES

Large images slow down your web pages which creates a poor user experience. Optimizing images is the process of decreasing their file size, using either a plugin or script, which in turn speeds up the load time of the page.

Be sure that your images are no larger than they need to be. As a general rule of thumb save your photographs as JPEG and your graphics (and screenshots) as PNG.

If you are not a developer and all this seems a little overwhelming Click here to get a faster website

11. USE A GOOD WORDPRESS THEME

They say that prevention is better than cure. This is definitely the case with website speed.

To prevent many of the speed issues in the first place, you should opt for a good host, a good CDN, and good theme/design.

When designing your website, clarity and simplicity is always better than fancy, complicated designs. Not only for page speed but for user experience.

When someone lands on your website, what are they trying to do? Help them do that thing as simply and as quickly as possible.

When choosing a theme, if in doubt, go minimal.

12. SWITCH OFF ANY UNUSED PLUGINS

If you are using WordPress, plugins are typically the biggest culprit for slowing your site down. Take a look at your plugins, if there are any that you are no longer using, delete them…. Easy!

13. SPECIFY A CHARACTER SET

It can be useful to specify a character set in your HTTP response headers. This means that the browser won’t have to spend extra time working out which character set you’re using.

14. DISABLE IMAGE HOTLINKING

When other website’s ‘hot link’ to your images it steals bandwidth, thus slowing your site down. To prevent other sites from ‘stealing’ your bandwidth, ask your developer to add a snippet of code to your .htaccess file.

15. FIX ANY BROKEN LINKS

Broken links are a drain on bandwidth and also a pain in the butt for website visitors. Fixing broken links can also increase page views and decrease bounce rate…. Which will ultimately influence your conversion rate.

Use Google Webmaster Tools (crawl errors tab) to identify your broken links.

HERE’S THE BOTTOM LINE:

If all of this is a bit overwhelming, here’s what you can do:

Step 1. Get your free speed test report at GTmetrix.com

Step 2. Give it to your web developer and ask them to fix the areas identified in the report

Step 3. Sit back, relax and enjoy your fast website (and better Google rankings, more website visitors and more sales!)

 

JAMES HANNAN

StoryBrand Certified Guide | Business Made Simple Coach | Social Media Wizard

Results and Co - Part of the Rise Group

Storybrand Guide Australia

Storybrand Guide USA

Storybrand Guide UK

Aus: +61 402 916 266

US: +1 615 551 7163


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