If you want to compete in today’s competitive marketplace, then you need a website that loads fast. Since everything moves so quickly on the internet your new visitors are accustomed to fast loading speeds. A slow loading website will send your visitors search for the back button.
Google also values fast websites, so a fast loading website will tend to rank higher than a site that loads slowly. Below we illuminate five different ways you can improve your page and overall site loading speeds.
However, before we move forward it’s important to get a benchmark of how your site is currently performing. You can use a tool like GT Metrix to get a breakdown of your site’s performance.
1. Enable Browser Caching
When you visit a website there are certain elements that are stored in the cache, which acts as temporary storage. This means that the next time the user visits the site there will be less time spent rendering all of the on-page elements.
This helps to shave time off your website’s loading speed. To enable this feature, you can install a plugin like W3 Total Cache (if you’re using WordPress as a CMS). This will take care of any hard coding for you.
2. Minimize Your Code Base
If you have a very large and complex code base this is naturally going to load much slower. It’s important to keep your codebase to a minimum if possible. This also includes cleaning up other elements of your code that are doing nothing more than taking up space.
3. Optimize Your Images and Media
If you’re uploading full sized images to your website, then these large files can be slowing your website down. Especially if your website has a large number of total images.
You can use an online tool like TinyPNG to compress your images without having a loss in overall quality. You can also use a WordPress plugin like WP Smush, which will compress and optimize your images every time you upload them through the dashboard.
4. Minimize HTTP Requests
Most of the loading time is spent downloading different parts of the page. An HTTP request is made for each different part of the page. So, by minimizing the total number of requests your site needs to make to load properly, you’ll end up increasing loading speed.
You can do this by using CSS instead of images, combining multiple style sheets into one, and by putting header scripts into the footer, or bottom of the page.
5. Reduce Number of Plugins
If you have a WordPress site, then chances are you have a lot of plugins that you use to add increased functionality to your website. Take the time to go through every plugin, and deactivate and delete the plugins that aren’t absolutely necessary.
Chances are you have a lot of plugins you’ve accumulated over time that aren’t actually being used or adding value to your website.
Increasing your loading speeds doesn’t have to be difficult. It might take a little time to implement the above tips, but this will enable you to speed up your website, which will improve your SEO efforts and user satisfaction.