5 Simple Steps to Speed Up Your Website
Website speed is crucial to the success of any business online. There’s nothing more irritating than a sluggish site – and the results of this are clear when analysing your pages.
A low website speed only frustrates your potential clients and creates a high bounce rate. High website speed guarantees return visits, an expansion of conversions, engagement, a high ranking in organic searches – and overall, a much better user experience.
This article delves into the 5 simple steps you need to take in order to speed up your website.
Table of contents
1. Move Your Website To A Better Host
When it comes to hosting, there are 3 key types:
- VPS (Virtual Private Serving) Hosting
- Shared Hosting
- Dedicated Server
Let’s explore the benefits of each…
Virtual Private Servers are fast. They use many servers to distribute content. Using a VPS means that you end up sharing the server with others and own your own segment of the VPS. You can use configurations that belong to you and do not influence others. VPS is a great answer for website speed optimisation if you are only gaining average traffic, or have an eCommerce website that experiences traffic spikes.
Often the cheapest solution is not always the best, as is the case with shared hosting. This is the most common form of hosting that people use. When you share hosting, you are sharing RAM, CPU, as well as disk space, with all the other websites that also utilise the same server. This results in a server that is slower than VPS or a dedicated server.
The best, and most expensive option, is to utilise a dedicated server that you own as your physical server. Here, you will pay rent on the server and maintain it by employing a system administrator.
2. Change Image Sizes On Your Website
Images mean everything on a website, especially if you own an e-commerce site. Images give greater clarity to the copy and are often entertaining and improve engagement. However, most images are big files, which actually slow down sites.
What you need to do is compress all images and graphics on your website without affecting their quality. JPEGmini, Kraken, and ImageOptim are all tools that can help you in this endeavor. Compressing all your images will take time, but it is definitely worth it.
Another option of reducing image size is to utilize the HTML <size> and <secret> attributes of responsive images, which will adjust the image size depending on user display properties.
3. Utilise Website Caching
When multiple users are clicking on your site and pages at the same time, this results in servers working slowly. This is because they need more time to deliver the website page to each user.
When you cache your website, you store the latest version of your site on the hosting. It display this version until the time your site gets updated. A cached website page means that it won’t render multiple times for every user. In other words, it isn’t necessary to send database requests every time.
The way a website caches depends upon your website’s platform that it was developed on. Around 34% of internet websites are powered by WordPress. If your site was created with WP, there are a range of plugins that can be used, including W3 Total Cache and W3 Super Cache.
When using a VPS or dedicated server, caching can be set up under your general settings. However, when using a shared server, website caching is not generally an option. This is another reason to use a VPS or dedicated server.
4. Cut Down Redirects
A higher volume of HTTP requests are created by website redirects. This negatively affects performance and slows down the speed of your website. It’s best to use them as sparingly as possible or delete them completely.
You need to run a site scan, as this will pick up all the redirects on your page. You can use a tool like Screaming Frog to do so. Once all redirects are identified you must filter through all of them and only keep ones that are necessary and serve a purpose.
5. Reduce The Number Of Plugins
All websites use plugins, as they can offer great features from third parties. However, when a multitude of plugins are installed, they need many resources to run them.
By using a vast amount of plugins, your website will slow down, and there can also be a problem with issues of security. The longer your website exists, the more plugins are used, and many are obsolete and not needed anymore, but you’ll still have them installed.
It’s a good idea to go through all your plugins and get rid of the unnecessary ones. Run performance tests on your page, and this will tell you exactly which plugins are affecting your site and slowing it down.
The speed of your site depends on two things with regards to plugins. First, the number of them, and second, their quality. Keep clear of plugins that tend to load many styles and scripts, or create many database queries. It is best to only use the ones that make a difference to your website, and make sure they are always updated.
The above are just a few of the first steps you must take to optimise your website. They’ll allow you to make sure you have a website speed that works well for all users. This will mean a higher conversion rate as well as greater accessibility and positive user experience.
To continue your journey towards website optimisation and online success, contact one of our expert Digital Strategists today. The First Page Australia team will help you with all the digital marketing needs and achieve the visibility your business deserves!