How and Why You Should Speed Up Your Website with The Help Of A Website Marketing Company
No one likes waiting for a slow website to load. Most users won’t wait for a slow website to load, and will instead find what they’re looking for elsewhere. Meanwhile, that poor, slow website will have lost another potential customer.
To maintain user satisfaction, increase conversion rates, and rank well on Google Search, your website needs to be fast. If your website is lagging behind, go over these tips and consult with a website marketing company to get things back up to speed!
Simplify Your Website Design
Most of a web page’s loading time is spent downloading the various components on a page, making HTTP requests for each component—i.e. images, Flash, scripts, and stylesheets. By reducing the number of components on your page, you reduce the number of HTTP requests, speeding up your loading time.
This can be done by:
- Reducing and streamlining the components on a page;
- Using CSS (cascading style sheets, which control the layout of HTML elements on a page) instead of images;
- Combining stylesheets into one; and
- Reducing scripts and putting them at the bottom of the page.
Speed Up Server Response Time
You should aim for a server response time of less than 200ms (milliseconds). Use programs like Google’s PageSpeed Tools to monitor your website’s performance and get suggestions for making improvements.
Compress (Zip) Files
Since large pages take longer to download, you can speed up the download time by compressing your page with a data compression program. Data compression reduces the page’s bandwidth and HTTP response, which significantly reduces download times.
When users first visit your website, their browsers download the site’s components. And if you enable browser caching, these components will be stored in the user’s cache, so if they revisit your website, they won’t have to download all the components again, resulting in shorter loading times. You can set the cache resources to expire in a week and up to a year.
Long, messy code will increase your page’s size and loading time. To simplify—or minify—code, get rid of extra spaces, indentations, and line breaks.
Speed Up Image Loading Time
To reduce the time it takes to load images, edit the images to reduce their size. This can be done with cropping to the correct page size, removing comments, and reducing colour depth. Also try to use only JPEG images and include a valid URL with the src attribute.
Use Only One External CSS
Using only one external CSS will avoid code duplications, reduce the size of your code, and reduce HTTP requests. For cleaner coding, do not include CSS in HTML code.
Speed Up Above-The-Fold Loading Time
The above-the-fold (top of the page) can load faster—improving user experience—by splitting a CSS into two parts: a short inline that styles above-the-fold elements and a deferred external part.
Remove Unnecessary Plugins
Plugins can slow down your site and cause crashes and security issues. Delete any unnecessary plugins and identify those that slow down your site by disabling selected plugins and measuring your website’s performance.
Redirects slow down a site by creating HTTP requests. Responsive websites have redirects to direct mobile users to the responsive version of a site. To reduce the loading time for responsive redirects, use an HTTP redirect to send mobile users directly to the mobile URL instead. For Google to discover your mobile pages, identify the mobile URL in the desktop pages by including the <link rel=”alternate”> markup.
If any—or all—of this sounds like too much work, a website marketing company can do the nitty-gritty work for you. By improving your website’s speed and performance, you can improve user experience, conversion rates, and your Google ranking. In the case of page loading time, faster is always better.