If your website loads slowly, you’re going to lose traffic.
According to Google, “53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.” However, the average mobile site loads in 15 seconds.
Not only will users click off a slow website, but Google also uses loading speed as a ranking factor, so improving your website speed can help with SEO. Since website speed is so important, here are six tips to improve it.
Simplify Your Website
If your website has too much data, it will take longer to load. One way to shorten loading time is to reduce the number of elements. Use fewer, smaller pictures. Remove anything superfluous and unnecessary.
According to Google, “As the number of elements—text, titles, images—on a page goes from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops 95%. No matter what, faster is better and less is more.”
You’ll also want to use as few plugins as possible if you’re on a WordPress site as they can slow your site. Look through your plugins, and delete any you don’t use.
Compress Images and Text
Perhaps you’ve removed everything you can, but your website is still too big. It has too much data and takes too long to load. Thankfully, there are ways to compress images and text so they use less data.
The two methods of compression are called lossless and lossy. Lossless means there is no drop in image quality. Lossy means there is some drop, but it may be hardly noticeable. You can greatly reduce file size while keeping your images clear in programs like Gimp and Photoshop.
Consider Using a Cache
As Neil Patel explained, “Content management systems like WordPress have plugins that will cache the latest version of your pages. They display it to your users so that the browser isn’t forced to dynamically generate that page every single time.” This is a plugin that you can install on WordPress. It can save time when your website loads.
Tools like GTmetrix will test your website’s speed and give you suggestions on how to improve it. It will give slightly different scores each time you use it, however. This is due to a number of factors including how fast the DNS is resolved from the nameservers, bandwidth usage, what the server is using to handle requests, etc.
There are also other tools like Pingdom which perform a similar function.
Focus on Mobile
The Google tool mentioned above gives you metrics for both mobile and desktop. With the majority of searches now done on mobile devices, your website must be mobile friendly.
One way to make your site easier to access on mobile is by using Google’s AMP framework. This is a technology by Google that helps websites load faster on mobile devices.
CDN stands for content delivery network. When people use CDNs, they store copies of their website on different servers around the world.
For instance, a website owner might be based in the U.S. but have copies of their website on servers in Europe, Asia, and Africa. That way, if somebody in Egypt tried to visit their website, the signal will only have to travel to the server in Africa, instead of all the way to the United States. This greatly reduces loading time as greater distance makes pages load more slowly.
While CDNs aren’t for everyone (don’t get one if you have a small, local audience), for most websites, a CDN will help improve conversion rates. We'll set up a CDN for you. Call us to talk about what Horton can do for you.