We've all experienced frustration with a slow loading website, finally giving up and going to another page. For a business, long load times are a two-punch KO. Not only do customers leave your site before making a purchasing or completing another type of desired action, but slow speeds also reduce SEO rankings and make your site less likely to be discovered by consumers.
So, what drags down your website's page speed, and how do you fix it?
It shouldn't be a surprise, but the larger the image and video files are on your website, the longer they will take to load. Properly resizing images before you upload them is key to fast loading web page and saving them in web friendly formats such as .webp is important to maintaining a high performing website. There are also services such as imgproxy.com and tinyjpg.com that can help automate the process to make it easier to ensure your website's images are not slowing your website down.
You can uncover critical issues with your site performance by using Google's Page Insights tool.
If your server is in California, but many of your interested customers are in New York, Toronto, or even London, it'll take extra time for the messages between computers and servers to be delivered. This can be addressed by hosting your website files on a Content Delivery Network (or CDN), which brings web pages closer to the actual end user.
Caches are browser stored copies of your website, and they can drastically reduce load times for subsequent visits. Enabling this can be as easy as installing the WordPress plugin WP Super Cache or a little more involved by enabling the OPcache engine for PHP if that's the language your website is built off of. In either case, it's best if your website encourages browsers to cache it.
Getting rid of any of these speed suckers reduces your website's loading time, which in turn raises your conversion rate. If you want to take it one step further, you can consider an AMP site. AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, are built specifically for use on mobile devices. As the majority of web searches are now mobile and mobile speed is weighed heavily in SEO algorithms, it's an investment to consider.
Whether your website has one or all four of these issues, fixing them to shave even seconds off a loading time helps you retain customers and get your website in front of more people.
Contact us if you need help or want to find out more about how to increase your website's page speed.