Having a slow website is a problem. In fact, a slow site can cost you business! According to the statistics, 79% of online shoppers will not go back to a website if they are having trouble with the loading speeds. To make matters worst, 47% of users expect your site to load within 2 seconds and a further 40% of users will leave your site completely if it does not load within 3 seconds. And it’s not just usability that is affected, but your ranking on search engines will be lowered too. Simply put, you may be losing a substantial amount of new customers thanks to your website’s loading time. This is why it is so important to get this fixed.
With that said, speeding up a slow website is easier said than done. For many of us, we are not experts in website optimizations so making the necessary changes can prove difficult. Accessing your website speed, however, is easy enough to do. Simply head to GTmetrix and type in your URL for a full report on your website speed and some information on the likely culprits for your site running slow. The reasons for slow speeds on your website differ from site-to-site and there is rarely just one underlying cause. Despite of this, there are some things that you might be able by to do by yourself to pick up that loading time. Here are some tips on speeding up your website.
High Performance Web Host
One of the most frequent causes of a slow website is due to the web hosting company. Many web hosting companies like to pack many customers onto one server, which only serves their companies profit and not, unfortunately, your site performance. If your website is on a shared hosting account then the likelihood is that your site is on a server with hundreds, or possibly thousands, of sites. To remedy this issue, you will either need to upgrade to VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting, if you have the budget, or perhaps look into signing on to a new web hosting company. Be sure to take a look at this article for the best web hosting companies in 2017.
Many websites have several sections that never change. For example, much of the static content, such as your navigation bar or the footer of your site, does not change and thus does not require consistent dynamic performance. All static content on your website can be cached – that is, the data can be stored by hardware or software so future requests for that data can be served faster. Therefore, it may be important of taking full advantage of caching by using a CDN: content delivery network. This works by storing your cache pages at different data centres around the world, so when site visitors access your page, the cached data will come from the closest geographical location to the user. These plugins can boost your site speed significantly. We suggest either Cloudflare or MaxCDN, but do some research and find a CDN that is right for you.
Optimize Your Images
Simply put, high quality images on your site take longer to download, and having too many high quality images are going to slow down your site. However, with that said, low quality images will have a large impact on the overall aesthetics of your website. So here is the tradeoff: compress your images! That is, compress the image so that the size is decreased without affecting the image quality. Compressed images are then sent to the users browsers, where the browser will then extract the compressed file of the high-quality image. There are plenty of wordpress plugins that can help you compress images – take a look on their website and find one that is right for you.
Clean Up Your Code
Limit External Embedded Content
It is usually fine to embed media from external sites, such as Youtube, but using content that is coming from less powerful web servers can cause a bottleneck effect on your own site. Therefore limit, and in some cases, delete, any embedded content from an external source that might be causing this your own site to slow down. Powerful websites, such as Youtube or Facebook, are usually fine to use. However, be wary of less popular sites as they may be powered from less powerful web servers.
If you would like any assistance with any of the points made above, then please contact our team.