Does your website load in two seconds or less? Stop what you’re doing and test it now using this free tool. So, what did you find? According to Akamai, 47% of people expect your site to load in two seconds or less! And a 1-second delay in page load time can lead to 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and a 7% loss in conversions (Aberdeen Group). So as you can see, having a fast-loading site is vital to business. If your site took more than 2 seconds to load, continue reading for 4 ways you can improve your website speed.
1) Optimize Your Images
The main culprits of most slow loading sites are images and videos. Whether you have a page filled with videos or your images just aren’t optimized, you are sure to see them affect your site speed. One of the first steps you can take to improve your site speed is optimizing your images and videos. Remove any “extra” images or videos that you no longer need on your website.
Additionally, make sure your images are optimized for web. This means compressing them using an editor tool, such as Photoshop, and uploading the image re-sized to how it will display. In other words, do not upload a 1,000px-wide image and set the width parameter to 500px. Resize the image to 500px before uploading it.
2) Reduce Number of Plugins on your Site
Having extraneous and inactive plugins on your website can also slow down your site load time quite substantially. Plugins are those specialty widgets that you add to your content management system. For example, if you have WordPress you may purchase plugins for search engine optimization, an events calendar, or an image gallery. These plugins are great for sprucing up your website but they can quickly slow things down. Start out by removing any plugins that are not absolutely essential to your website. We also recommend looking into other content management systems that offer more capabilities out of the box. This way, you won’t need to add so many plugins to get the site how you want it.
3) Reduce Redirects
In some cases (e.g. a website redesign), redirects are necessary. Fortunately, these 301 redirects are server-side redirects and are therefore quite fast. Some other client-side redirects are much slower and should be avoided. For example, Google recommends never linking to a page that you know has a redirect on it. Additionally, you should never require more than one redirect to get to any of your resources. Reducing your total number of redirects will help keep your site speed up and your users engaged (Patrick Sexton).
4) Enable Gzip Compression
Having large pages on your website is great for search engine optimization but can be detrimental to load time. Fortunately, there is a way to get the best of both worlds. Gzip compression refers to the technique of zipping (or compressing) large pages on your website using a tool called Gzip. According to The Daily Egg, “compression reduces the bandwidth of your pages, thereby reducing HTTP response”. Check with your developer to see if Gzip compression is enabled on your website and whether it is a viable option for you.
If you need assistance with reducing your website load time, please contact Informatics. Our developers would be happy to diagnose the issue and implement the appropriate fixes.