16 August 2019
The importance of site speed can’t be overstated. If your website is slow to load, you’ll lose out on website visitors and potential customers. When a user is searching, they want results quickly, and won’t stay around for your site to load to show them all the wonderful things you can offer.
Website page load time can even impact where your site sits in a search page ranking. Sites that are slow to load won’t score as highly and will get fewer organic hits as a result.
Luckily for you, it’s really easy to test how quickly your site loads. Simply use the PageSpeed Insights tool from Google to analyse your site and measure page load time.
Now that you know the importance of site speed, you’ll want to make sure yours loads as quickly as possible. There are lots of little things that you can do to increase your website page load time.
Browsers are really clever and can capture – or cache – information about your site. That means, when a user returns to the page, the browser doesn’t have to reload the entire page every time.
If you can leverage browser caching, you can speed up your load time for returning users.
Just make sure you think carefully about your caching expiration time and how often you’re going to update the site. If it’s always growing and changing, you’ll need to decrease your cache expiration time to allow customers to see your new content.
Compress your images for web and make sure they’re only as big as they need to be to look fantastic on your site. Massive image and video files will slow your site down, so make sure you streamline the visual content you’ve got uploaded on your site.
As well as file compression, you can minify your website code to remove any data that’s contributing to a lengthy load time. Check out Google’s recommendations here.
Redirects can add a lot of extra load time to your site. The user has to wait while the site runs through the request-response cycle to deliver the user to the correct page.
Lots of different elements impact your server response time. These include the amount of traffic on site, what software the server is running, your hosting, and the amount of resources each page takes up. Make sure you work with your webmaster to ensure you streamline your server response time.
Website plugins are great for adding functionality to your site relatively quickly. However, having too many plugins can slow your site down, especially if they’re not optimised.