How to Increase Website Speed and Performance

Your website’s speed can have a big impact on your business. Read on to learn how to increase website speed and grow your business.

Make A Good First Impression

Your website speed can make the first and last impression of your business upon consumers. Remember, you will likely not get a second chance when it comes to providing user experience.

If your website has a low speed, it may frustrate users out of engaging with your business and brand at all.

High Vs. Low-Performance Websites

High-performance websites nail all of these factors:

  • High return visits
  • Low bounce rates
  • Higher conversions
  • Increased engagement
  • Higher organic search rankings
  • A better user experience

A slow website, on the other hand, can cost you by alienating potential customers. Here are some ways you can increase website speed and get all those benefits.

SEE ALSO: 7 Avoidable Website Mistakes Business Owners Are Always Making

Why Website Speed Optimization Matters

Page load time is a web performance metric that shows the time it takes for a page to show up on the user screen. Website speed optimization effects your conversions, visibility, and the usability of your site.

Conversion Rate

increase website speed

Conversion refers to your ability to get your users to take a specific action that benefits your business. Whether that’s buying products, joining your email list, registering for a webinar, or something else.

The faster your page loads, the higher its conversion rate will be. According to research from Hubspot, a 1-second delay means a 7% lower conversion rate. If you increase website speed, you increase revenue.

Overall Visibility

Your website speed also has an affect on how easy it is for users to find. Google ranks high performance sites more highly, which is one big reason to increase website speed.

Not only does your site need to perform well on desktop but mobile too. Since December 2017, Google has begun ranking based on mobile versions of pages, even for desktop searches.

Google’s goal is to give priority to responsive and high-performance sites that work across all devices. So, you really want to increase website speed

SEE ALSO: How to Optimize Your Website for Audio Search

Usability

Website usability affects if your customers will stay on your site and keep coming back. The fact of the matter is, there are countless websites out there and many of them are well designed and easy to use.

Customers don’t really have any reason to fight with a website that is slow to load and difficult to use. Making sure your website provides a great user experience is key to building a large customer base and a strong brand.

Working On Your Website Speed

If you don’t know what your website speed is in the first place, how can you know if you need to improve it? Figure out your loading time and figure out what might be slowing your page down.

There are many tools you can use to test the speed of your website, including Website Speed Tests from Google Pagespeed Insights and Pingdom Tools.

After that, set your website performance goals. As of 2018, the recommendation for page load time is less than 3 seconds. If you can increase website speed to that level, you will have a high advantage in Google’s rankings.

How To Increase Website Speed

Once you have tested your website speed, there are many different ways you can start to optimize it. Let’s take a look:

SEE ALSO: The Anatomy Of An Optimized Website

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content delivery network is a set of web servers spread across a number of different geographic locations that provides web content to users depending on their location. This is more expensive but works much faster than hosting on a single server.

When your website is hosted on a single server, all requests by users are sent to the same place. As the one server is handling all requests by itself, it needs more time to process them all. Also, the farther users are from that one server, the longer their load time will be. To increase website speed, you might want to look into other server options.

Choose A Better Host For Your Website

Some possible types of hosting are:

  • Shared Hosting: This way is the cheapest and most popular around the world. However, it is the slowest because you share CPU, disk space, and RAM with all the other sites that use this server.
  • Virtual Private Servers (VPS): These servers are much faster because they use multiple servers to distribute content. This is a semi-shared and semi-private option. It is recommended for sites with average traffic or eCommerce sites with occasional traffic spikes.
  • A Dedicated Server: This is the most expensive hosting option. It is your own physical server. You will pay rent for it and hire a system administrator to maintain it.
  • A Dedicated Cloud Resource: You can rent this from AWS, Azure, Google, Microsoft, and other public cloud providers. They give you control and endless scalability options.

Optimize The Size Of Website Images

People are often visual learners and thinkers, and remember images far better than they do text. For many eCommerce websites, images are also a vital part of their site.

The downside to a lot of images is that they can really slow your website down.

The best way to ensure that your images don’t bring your website to a grinding halt is to compress them using tools like ImageOptim or Kraken. You can also use the HTML responsive images <secret> and <size>.

Reduce Plugins and Javascript and CSS Files

Plugins are common parts of each websites and add features suggested by third parties. However, they can really build up over time, making your website slow to load and use.

Use only necessary plugins and make sure they are up to date. Also, get rid of those that are useless or out-of-date regularly to increase website speed.

Also, websites with a lot of JavaScript and CSS files require a large number of HTTP requests, which can slow your load times. There are tools you can use to easily manage and minimize your site’s HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files, like Script Minifier and Grunt.

Increase Website Speed To Better Your Business

At present, the average internet user expects web pages to load in less than 3 seconds. So, if your site does not perform in this way, you will lose traffic, customers, and revenue.

Follow these steps to increase website speed and reap the benefits of having a competitive site:

  1. Evaluate the speed of your site while keeping conversion, visibility, and usability in mind.
  2. Test your speed and prioritize the pages and features that need to be the best in regards to those three things.
  3. Optimize your website while focusing on the pages that will get you the most conversions.

What are some website deal breakers for you? Comment below…

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