The pace of modern life has given rise to a significant lack of patience amongst internet users. Recent studies have shown that if a webpage takes over 3 seconds to load, users tend to abandon the website. So, you may have invested hours of time, not to mention significant sums of money into your site but slow loading speeds will cost you visitors and MONEY!
The Consequences Of Slow Websites
When a major high street retailer like Marks & Spencer’s are identifying a slow website as one of the main reasons behind a huge fall in profits it should tell all business owners how important a speedy website is. Slow websites don’t only see people navigate elsewhere, they are terminally damaging for SEO too. So that strategy your devoting resources into to get yourself on Page One of Google’s results – massively undermined if your site is slow.
So, how do we counter slow sites? How do we boost websites so they load in such a speed your visitors don’t have the chance to even consider clicking elsewhere?
10 Solutions To A Slow Website
The importance of the server your website is hosted upon cannot be overstated. Cutting corners are choosing a package that doesn’t meet your requirements may save a few pounds short term, but it’ll see your profits nose dive.
Our Advice – choose a reliable hosting company with a package offering high levels of Bandwidth and Storage.
Poorly coded themes mean extra data needs to be processed. Much of this code is unnecessary and as the code takes time to process it adds time to your page loading. If you select a theme, check its code before investing in it.
Our Advice – Lightweights themes are the most effective for speed.
3) Enabling Caching
When a webpage is loaded by a user you can enable cache’s, meaning it is now stored on their browser. Repeat visitors will thank you as it ensures all future visits to your site are super-fast, encouraging them to keep coming back. Vital if you are running an ecommerce website.
Our Advice – Install a cache enabling tool.
4) Optimise Your Images
Images take longer than text to load -that much is both obvious and unavoidable. However, there are lots of free tools available online to reduce the size of your image files, and the smaller the file – the quicker it loads. Consider using a tool such as TinyPNG and watch your images appear twice as fast.
Our Advice – Take the extra minute to optimise your images and reap the speed of your page loading times.
5) Consider Utilising A CDN
A what I hear you cry! A Content Delivery Network makes your website available to all locations. By using a CDN your website is stored on numerous servers around the globe. This ensures there is less distance between server and user and can save valuable milliseconds.
Our Advice – Use a Content Delivery System, particularly if you expect visitors from overseas.
6) Keep Coding To A Minimum
Our Advice – Double check all coding and ask yourself – is it essential? If not, get rid!
7) Review And Delete Broken Links
A 404 error is the nightmare of every website owner and user. When a visitor lands on a 404-error page you’re running a huge risk they’ll abandon the website altogether. It’s easy to check for these errors and eve easier to redirect the links, or if appropriate, delete them.
Our Advice – Check for 404 errors regularly and fix them as a matter of urgency.
8) Review Plugins
When adding plugins (as with themes) it pays to check the coding and ensuring they aren’t full of unneeded code that will harm your website. Also, check your existing plugins regularly and if they are no longer in use, eliminate them.
Our Advice – Keep your websites plugins under review and don’t keep them unless they are offering value.
9) Image Lazy Load – A Godsend For Image Heavy Websites
A favourite of ours – image lazy load means that any images on your pages won’t be loaded until the visitor is on the area of the page to view them. If you have a sizeable page with images that a visitor may not get far enough to see then surely a tool that stops them loading is essential. It cuts the size of the page when first loading and the average user won’t even notice.
Our Advice – Utilise Image Lazy Load and watch your page speed increase dramatically.
10) Host Videos Elsewhere
As images are larger files than text, so to are videos than images. Sizeable videos can be massive in terms of file space and add significantly to a page loading time. Sites such as YouTube provide the opportunity to host videos on their platforms and save your speed, and as a bonus, it reduces your hosting needs too.
Our Advice – Make use of third party video hosting sites as opposed to embedding them into your own.
Quicker Website = Higher Returns
The purpose of the majority of websites is to make the owner money. We’ve seen that websites loading slowly both lose visitors at that juncture and will see themselves slip down the Google rankings. Ultimately, both these issues cost the site owner money so isn’t it time you checked your pages are loading at the speed of light?
The Design With Style Team
As standard, our lead developer Andy places web loading speeds high on his list of things to consider as he commences building a website. We work hard to follow the advice we’ve offered above so that our client’s have websites that run at the speed of light.
We also offer a web hosting service which is tailored to our clients needs, and our commitment to those clients is our hosting will never compromise on the speed a website is delivered to the user’s platform.
Contact our team today to see how we can speed up your website and help increase your conversions.