You have a website, but how does its speed impact your site?
What are the Benefits of Improving Website Speed?
The impact of website speed on traffic, user engagement, sales conversions, and revenue is something that simply can’t be ignored.
Research carried out by Akamai found that around 47% of web users expect that a web page should load in two seconds or less, and that around 40% of visitors will abandon or back out of a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
If that doesn’t get your attention, how about these stats:
According to the Aberdeen Group, a one-second delay in page load speed results in:
- An 11% decrease in page views
- A 7% decrease in conversions
- A 16% decrease in customer satisfaction ratings
But that’s not all. Google now incorporates website speed into their algorithm, meaning that slower sites are less likely to rank than those that load faster.
What does all this mean?
Having a slow loading website can result in a decrease in:
- Customer satisfaction
- Brand perception and trust
- Traffic and page views
- Conversion rates
- Sales and revenue
- And more
That’s the bad news. The good news is that this guide will show you some quick and (moderately) simple steps you can take to improve the speed of your website.
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Quick and Effective Ways to Speed up Your Website
- Eliminate Any Unnecessary Plugins, Add-ons, and Scripts
All three of these can have a serious negative impact on the speed of your site, especially if using a CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla. But remember, fewer doesn’t always equal better. The quality of the plugin and how it is optimized is what really matters.
Generally speaking, those that load more scripts, perform more remote requests and add additional database queries are the major culprits.
- Load Ads and Analytics Asynchronously
Both can add load time to your page and can be especially burdensome if the remote server they connect to is slow or down. Overcome any potential issues by configuring your tracking codes to use asynchronous delivery.
- Enable Expires Headers
Server response time can have a significant impact on page speed. A good rule of thumb is that the more requests made to the server, the longer it will take your site to load up. The Expires Headers function informs the visitor’s web browser as to when it should request particular files from the browser cache vs your server.
This strategy limits the number of HTTP requests to your server while also reducing overall server load, making it a doubly impactful tactic to employ.
Learn more about how to implement this tactic HERE.
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- Enable Caching
Caching is an effective way to improve the experience of your visitors. Caching stores a version of your site locally on the visitor’s browser, serving them that saved version until such point as you instruct it to refresh or at such point your site is updated with new information.
How effective is caching? Some research has shown that it can reduce the speed of a website from 2.4 seconds to a blazingly fast 0.9 seconds.
*Caching can be easily implemented by use of any number of popular plugins
- Leverage the Power of a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN works by keeping a local copy of your website saved on a network of distributed servers across the globe, loading/serving your site to visitors from the server that is physically located closest to them. One study showed that using a CDN can increase website speed by up to 60%.
- Upgrade Hosting / Get a Better Web Host
Once you’ve done all you can ‘on-site’ to optimize for performance, the next step is taking a good hard look at your current web host.
If you’re running into resource issues, consider upgrading to a higher tiered plan such as from shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server.
However, not all web hosts are equally fast and optimized for performance. For our money, you can’t get better than WPEngine.
- Optimize and Reduce the Size of Images on Your Site
Images can make any website better. They enhance the design, improve the user experience, and deliver hard to explain information in a fun and effective way. But they are also very resource intensive to load, and as a result, put a strain on the server.
If you have not done so already, optimize and compress images with any number of image optimization tools available.
- Enable Gzip Compression
Similar to compressing a file on your website, Gzip works to compress files on your website into zip files, dramatically reducing the size. Gzip can reduce files by as much as 81% or more.
Not sure where to start? Check out this guide.
Need a Done For You Solution?
We know just how important a fast loading page is to improving the performance of your business. From ranking your website to user experience and increased conversion rates.
Reach out today for a free quote on having your site optimized by conversion and performance specialists that get it.