Web users, today, have become increasingly intolerant of slow loading websites. Even Google has shown its intention to reward sites with faster loading speeds compared to the ones without.
So if you really want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to take advantage of both the situations highlighted above. Maybe, this article can help.
How Fast is Fast Enough?
There’s a free online tool called WhichLoadsFaster that you can use to compare your site speed with all major competitors.
The following guidelines can also come in handy for your purposes:
- Below one second: Perfect
- Around one to three seconds: Above average
- Three to seven seconds: Average
- More than seven seconds: Terrible; needs to be fixed ASAP.
Don’t forget that even a one second delay can result in:
- Fewer page views,
- Customer dissatisfaction, and
- A significant loss in conversion.
So never take your site speed for granted. It can definitely make all the difference in the world for better or for worse.
How to Speed Up Your Business Website
1. Host your Media Files on a Content Delivery Network
This is one of the best ways of speeding up your website where you can save up to 60 percent bandwidth and can even reduce the number of requests that your site makes.
Content delivery networks host your files across a vast network of servers around the world. Since the bandwidth is evenly distributed across so many different servers, it significantly reduces the stress on a single server, in particular. As a result, your site speeds up automatically.
2. Compress Large Pages to Reduce their Loading Time
Large pages (including the ones built for high-quality content) are often very bulky and can take up around 100kb or more. As a result, they become very slow for download.
The best way to speed them up is to zip them via a technique called compression.
Compression helps to reduce the bandwidth of those pages, simultaneously leading to a reduced HTTP response. You can do this through any data compression tool, e.g., GNU Gzip.
3. Adjust the Size of your Images before Uploading Them
Different content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla, etc. give you the option to upload your images in full size and resize them from your website backend. This option is definitely convenient and can save a lot of time.
However, doing so forces browsers to execute multiple commands at a stretch; something that can slow down your website significantly.
To prevent this from happening, use an image editing tool (online or offline) to resize your images to the appropriate size BEFORE uploading them onto your platform.
4. Install a Caching Plugin (Exclusive Point for WordPress Users)
If you are using the WordPress content management system, the easiest way of improving your page loading speed is to install the WP Super Cache or the WP Total Cache plugin.
Both plugins mentioned above are available for free and can be downloaded in a jiffy.
5. Pay Particular Attention to Bad Requests
Broken links typically result in 404 or 410 errors.
Both of these errors result in wasteful requests which can significantly reduce your site speed on the whole. It is therefore advisable to fix broken links ASAP — especially the images! You can use tools like the online broken link checker for this purpose.
6. Allow Browser Caching
The browser caching feature allows your visitor’s browser to store strategic copies of your site’s pages on his or her device.
As a result, when the visitor returns again in the future, the site content can be called upon again from the browser cache itself. This entire process is significantly faster than reloading the entire site from scratch.
7. Reduce the Number of your Redirects
301 redirects are obviously better than 404 errors, but they are still not the ideal solution.
That’s because redirects, like broken links, can also slow down the browser when trying to reach the correct version of the page. It’s, therefore advisable to reduce their number to get more effective results in the long run.
With that, I’ll bring this article to a close for now. Hope you find the tips handy for your purpose.
Speed Photo via Shutterstock