5 Ways to Improve Your Website Speed (And Boost Your Conversions)

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Who Has Time to Wait Anymore?

The statistics don’t lie. If your website takes just one extra second to load, your pageview rate will drop by 11%. And since most people consider 3 seconds to be a sufficient amount of time for a page to load, that means that every second of your website’s loading time counts. If you’re reading this and asking yourself, “what’s the big deal? These young whippersnappers can learn to wait just one more second!” then you’re likely having a senior moment. The truth is, if your ultimate goal is to increase your conversions by up to 7%, then you should forget about your “learn to live with it” motto and try these 5 techniques to improve your website speed.

#1: Do You Really Need All Those Plugins?

If you’re really serious about boosting your loading time, take this opportunity to consider what can stay and what should go in the throw-away pile. Don’t get us wrong, plugins and add-ons are excellent tools for enhancing the look and functionality of your website. But they can also be a major factor in your website speed. Reassess what you have and determine if you can trim any fat. If you have an unhealthy attachment to your plugins or add-ons and you need a little more convincing, test your plug-in performance here.

If your website is a mess, don’t expect an easy clean up. Instead of tearing your hair out trying to fix all your speed issues, it can sometimes be easier (though just as heartbreaking) to start all over again. If your website needs a major overhaul, consider hiring a professional web design team to get you started on the right track.

Too many plugins can limit website speed

#2: Say “Yes” to Browser Caching

Once your website has introduced itself to a new user, make sure they stay well acquainted by enabling browser caching. When you click on a website for the first time, the website elements will be stored in your temporary storage so that any revisits will load faster. A user has the choice to delete their temporary files, but generally, we tend to forget these files even exists.

How do you enable browsing caching? Check your admin dashboard or contact your website builder.

...said the computer to your website.
…said the computer to your website.

#3: Make Use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

What is a content delivery network? Essentially, a CDN is a” is a collection of global servers that caches and delivers content such as images, videos, and Javascript files,” according to MaxCDN.com. Having website elements stored or downloaded across a network of connected servers will boost loading times because a single server does not have to load every component of a website.

It may seem complicated, but if you think of a CDN like a network of physical cables that are all attached to each other all over the world, you can easily imagine that a file sitting down the street will get to you a lot faster than one that has to travel all the way across the world through that mess of cables. The purpose of a CDN is to eliminate the unnecessary wait times by downloading website files to networks all over the world. So no matter where you are, a website should load quickly.

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#4: Optimize Your Images

It’s pretty tempting to drag and drop and forget about it. But as a matter of fact, images can really slow down your website load time. Fortunately, fixing your pretty pictures should be pretty easy, and the way to fix it is extremely quick and non-invasive.

The Smaller the Better

Guess what? Your pictures don’t need to be that big. This is one of the main image faux-pas. How small should your image be? That really depends on too many factors to list, but try to crop them within your page width size.

JPEG or PNG

JPEG files should be the number one choice for image sizes unless your picture is something like word art or text, in which case save as a PNG. For more information about choosing the right image, click here.

Proper HTML Code

Make sure that you don’t have any <img src=””> in your code.

If an image is supposed to be there, the image source should be within the quotation marks. If there isn’t supposed to be an image, get rid of it. Empty src codes still take up your browser’s time.

Don't make Squidward mad!
Don’t make Squidward mad!

#5: Shop Around for Another Web Host

If these techniques still aren’t helping to increase your website speed, then you might want to consider switching web hosts.  You could do everything possible to optimize your website performance, but if the web host simply doesn’t have the juice to deliver a fast response time, start shopping around for a host that works for you. Alternatively, see if your plan comes with upgrades.

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Boosting Your Website Speed Improves SEO

There are only benefits to improving your website speed, but you may have to shell out some money to fix it. But considering the possibility of increased conversions, the investment will be well worth it. And with better website speed comes improved SEO, which consequently exposes your website to more users. If you want to bring your website into the new year with a faster load time, improved conversions, top-of-the-line performance and beautiful design, consult with a professional web design and SEO firm, like Awkward Media, to change the pace of your business.

 

 

Published by Genevieve Morrison