Do you feel the need for speed? You should, because site speed plays a big role in SEO and providing a good user experience.
In fact, nearly half of all internet users expect a web page to load within two seconds or less, which means if your website is a slow-burner you’ll likely be losing valuable traffic to your Speedy Gonzales competitors.
If your website speed isn’t cutting it, there are some quick fixes you can do to get up to scratch in no time.
1. Run a website speed test.
First thing’s first: find out how you shape up in the speed stakes. Google’s speed test tool – PageSpeed Insights – is a free tool that you can use to check any URL to test its performance. It provides results for how well your site works on both desktop and mobile devices, and it even gives suggestions about what could be slowing down your site speed – so it’s a handy starting point.
2. Optimise your images.
Any time a user visits your website, they have to load all of the images that appear on the webpage they’re landing on. This can be an issue with certain site builders that don’t apply limitations on the size of images. WordPress caps this limit at 2MB, though there are plugins that will allow you to upload larger images if you want.
However, as a general rule, try to keep your images below 200kb to minimise the impact on site speed. If you use Windows, you can resize your images in Paint, or in Preview if you use a Mac. If you have access to a more advanced photo editor like Photoshop you can also use the ‘Save for Web’ feature to optimise images easily.
3. Choose the right host.
When a person visits your site and tries to load a page, they’re essentially accessing files from your host’s web server (a remote computer). Upgrading your website hosting plan can have a big impact on your website’s page load speed, so do some research to compare the speed and reviews for your current host against other hosts to find out whether you should switch providers or packages. You can use Google’s page speed tool to do this.
4. Enable browser caching.
The first time someone visits your website, they have to download a variety of files and images before being able to see a webpage. By enabling browser caching, you allow a cached version of your site to be stored in your visitor’s browser. This means that when he or she returns to your site, it will load faster.
The process for enabling caching depends on your website, but if it’s run on WordPress, you can use a WordPress plugin like W3 Total Cache to allow caching and cut down on load times easily.
5. Use external hosting platforms.
If you need to upload large files for any reason, don’t forget you can upload them on external servers (rather than your host’s server) to minimise load times. For example, let’s say you want to post a blog with a video tutorial. Hosting the video on a third-party service like YouTube and embedding it within your page saves space, results in faster load times, and is super easy to do.