5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Website’s Load Time
In the age of digital information, it is unthinkable to run a business without having a corresponding website.
It is easy to underestimate the role of a website’s speed. Indeed, you might not think there is much of a difference between a 3 and 4 second loading time, however this infographic points to the contrary.
Here are some points of website research that are crucial to know and note:
- 53% of visitors leave a page that takes over 3 seconds to load
- 79% will avoid buying from poorly-functioning websites
- 43% will visit a competitor’s site if dissatisfied
Therefore you can clearly see how important a website’s speed is for success.
So what can you do to improve your website’s performance?
Well, while enormous companies can afford to have teams of experts maintaining their websites, the rest of us must rely on our wits.
The good news is that, oftentimes, our wits are just enough.
Below are five techniques anyone can use to improve website speed.
1. Compress Images
Images are crucial to your site’s success, especially if you run an e-commerce site. However, images are also the main thing that slows your website down.
Luckily, there is a way to resolve this. An option is to download a plugin tool to compress your images. If you are running a WordPress site, WP Smush is a great plugin which can compress all your new images automatically.
Studies have shown that you can speed up the load time of your website by 70% by simply compressing images.
2. Uninstall Unused Plugins
While on the topic of plugins, it is true they are extremely useful, easy to install, and user-friendly. This is precisely why it is easy to get carried away by installing a bunch of them. Albeit practical, they can cause speed and security issues, and website crashes.
So, keep in mind that if your website is getting slower, it might be time to delete some unnecessary plugins.
3. Enable Compression
Compression is simple math, really – the smaller the website, the faster it loads. We can exploit this by using something like Gzip which compresses data without compromising quality. Your hosting provider can usually implement it easily.
Similar to compressing images, using Gzip can improve your load time by 70%.
4. Enable Caching
Caching refers to storing sections of your content in your server’s memory. Typically, the static parts of a webpage – the ones that won’t change due to visitor activity – will be stored as separate HTML files.
That way, the static content won’t have to be generated on each visit. Instead, your server will have a ready HTML file to deliver and won’t waste resources in assembling the same content of the website over and over again.
Once again, WordPress offers great plugins like W3 Total Cache. As for custom-coded websites, you may contact the hosting provider to find the best caching option.
5. Use a CDN
Content Delivery Networks, in essence, have the same idea as caching behind them. However, with CDN, copies of your website are stored on servers in different locations.
This lets users from remote places load the website from a location closer to them. Also, other servers can take over some of the workload if the main one is experiencing high traffic.
In both cases, the load times are significantly reduced. Practice has shown that employing a CDN can reduce load times by 20%-50%. If you are interested in CDN you can try Amazon CloudFront, or you can choose from myriad CDN providers available.
Finally, as I am sure you already know, maintaining a website can be as challenging as it is rewarding. But, with the right set of tools, we can often make extraordinary improvements without hiring any outside help.
You now have everything you need to bring your website up to higher speeds and take your business to new heights. Good luck!
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