Four Tips to Speed Up Your Website

In today’s world, it is imperative to have a website that not only looks but loads fast. Did you know roughly 40% of your website visitors will abandon your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? With over half the searches performed on mobile devices, your site speed has become essential. This article will discuss techniques and online tools that will help you optimize your website for top load speed.  

The first thing you need to do is benchmark test your load speed. Speed testing can be completed with online sites such as GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools, and Page Speed Insights. These tools are excellent and provide a lot of detailed information and suggestions on how to increase your load speed time. However, I would spend my time and effort on fixing the most critical issues. By fixing these issues is where you can expect the biggest gain in your load speed time. 

Tip Number #1 Webhosting 

Your website hosting matters for a lot of reasons such as uptime, tech support, and security, but one aspect that often gets overlooked is how fast are the servers the hosting company is using. If you’re looking for low-cost hosting, then you probably shouldn’t expect much, but here are a couple of sites that offer reliable hosting with fast servers WPX, WP Engine, and Kinsta. You can measure the speed of the server buy its response time. The quicker it responds, the better for your load speed. 

Tip Number #2 Compress Your Images

Everyone wants to have a beautiful website, so they add all the images and videos to their design. What they don’t consider is how this affects the performance of their site. Having lots of pictures puts a strain on your hosting. Let me see if I can give you an analogy that makes sense. Think as your hosting as a one-lane highway. Larger files will take longer to drive down this highway, causing traffic and congestion behind it. 

Now, I’m not telling you to don’t use images on your site because we both know it’s needed to market your products and services effectively. What I am saying is only to use images when required. When using images, make sure to compress the files. Compressing reduces the file size, this is achieved by will removing metadata information and reduction of picture quality, but it will hardly be noticeable to the eye.

Tip Number #2 Minify Code Files 

Like we mentioned above about the images you want to minify and compress your CSS, JavaScript, and Html files for faster load speed. If you have a dynamic site, this can be achieved via plugins. Essentially what the plugin will do is combine all coded style sheets or JavaScript files into bigger files. Yes, I know this might not make sense, but it’s done to reduce the number of calls your website hosting has to complete to load each file. Also, minifying and compressing will remove any unnecessary spacing characters within the code. 

Tip Number #3 Use a Content Delivery Network

The use of a content delivery network, also known as a CDN, is highly recommended, mainly if your company sells on the national or international level. A CDN is a setup of servers located strategically in different parts of the country or world. When some visit your site, the closest server to them will load your media files, thus reducing the time and distance those files have to transfer. Here are some of the more well-known content delivery network sites KeyCDN, MaxCDN, and Cloudflare. If you are starting, I would recommend using Cloudflare. They offer a free version that is more than sufficient for many small businesses. 

Tip Number #4 Install A Caching Plugin

For my last and final tip, I would recommend installing a cache plugin. Plugins are made for dynamic sites, so if you have an Html site, you can skip this step. Cache plugins are designed to generate static Html pages of your website and save it on to your server. By doing this, it increases load speed because it is converting your more substantial coded PHP site and converting it load as a lighter Html version. The information is stored, so the hosting server doesn’t have to keep performing the same task. My favorite cache software is WP Rocket; it’s one of the top-performing plugins. However, there are plenty of decent free cache plugins for those you who don’t have the budget. 

There are lots of factors that go into speeding up your website, but the four mentioned above are critical for your website’s performance. 

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