If you think that speeding up your website is not important then think again. Even a one-second delay in page load time can result in:
- 11% fewer page views
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
- 7% loss in conversions (sales)
A few extra seconds in speed could have a huge impact on your ability to engage website visitors and make sales. This means that having a fast site is essential — not just for ranking well with Google, but for keeping your bottom-line profits high. Below are a few ways to quickly increase your website speed.
Minimize HTTP Requests by Minifying and Combining Files
According to Yahoo, 80% of a website’s load time is spent downloading the different parts of the page, like images, stylesheets, and scripts. An HTTP request is made for each one of these elements, so the more components a page has, the longer it takes for it to render. The first step to minimizing your requests is to figure out how many your site currently makes (benchmark). If you use Google Chrome, you can use the browser’s Developer Tools to see how many HTTP requests your site makes.
Choose a Good Web Hosting Server
Not all web hosts are equal, and your web host DOES make a huge difference in your website speed. If you have a decent amount of traffic, you should not be on shared hosting.
Shared hosting is usually the cheapest option at around five dollars per month. While it’s fine for low-traffic websites, shared hosting does struggle to keep up with traffic spikes and high-volume sites. Also, keep in mind that it is possible for your site to be impacted by traffic spikes from other sites using the same server as you. With shared hosting, you share certain resources like CPU, disk space, and RAM with other sites hosted on the same server. With VPS hosting, you still share a server with other sites, but you have your own dedicated portions of the server’s resources. This is a good in-between option. It protects your site from everyone else on your server without the cost required for dedicated hosting. With a dedicated server, you have much more space — but you also have more work to do with configuration and technical setup.
Enable Browser Caching
With browser caching enabled, the elements that make up the webpage are stored in your visitors’ browser so the next time they visit your site, or when they visit another page, their browser can load the page without having to send another HTTP request to the server for any of the cached elements.
Once the first page has been loaded and its elements are stored in the user’s cache, only new elements need to be downloaded on subsequent pages. This can significantly reduce the number of files that need to be downloaded during a typical browsing session.
Compress Images and Optimize Media Files
Because mobile devices with high-quality cameras are common and modern content management systems such as WordPress makes it convenient to upload images, many people simply shoot a photo and upload it without realizing that, often, the image is at least four times bigger than is necessary. This slows your website down considerably, especially for mobile users. Optimizing the media files on your website has the potential to improve your page speed tremendously, and doing so is relatively easy, so it’s a good investment of your time.
If you need an audit of your website to determine exactly what needs to be done in your specific case to increase the speed, then don’t hesitate to contact us! We would love to help!