Nearly 50% of Internet users say that they’re likely to click away from a website that takes more than two seconds to completely load.
Website slow to load?
That means you’re losing traffic, potential sales, and falling in the search engine rankings.
If you’re looking to improve website speed — and, by extension, the overall user experience of your site — then you’ve come to the right place.
This post will show you four of the most important steps that you can take to improve site speed and rise in the search engine rankings as a result.
1. Examine Plugins
One of the easiest things that you can do to improve site speed?
Take a look at the plugins that you’ve included, and decide which ones you can eliminate. While some plugins can certainly help you to improve the overall user experience and better track your analytics?
Others do little more than slow your website down.
What’s a plugin that you can use to speed up website load time?
While there are lots of great options, we like W3 Total Cache and the Hummingbird plugin.
2. Shrink Your Image Sizes
Especially if the mobile version of your website seems to be moving at a snail’s pace lately, larger image files could be to blame.
First of all, you’ll need to properly diagnose the problem.
If your speed leaves a lot to be desired, your next step should be looking for images and autoplay videos that you can completely remove from your site. Focus on the quality of the images you choose, not the quantity.
Once you’ve made the proper cuts, it’s time to resize the images you’ve decide to keep.
Use image compression to adjust the size without distorting your image, making it too grainy or blurry.
If you’d like to use a plugin to help you better optimize your image sizes, we recommend either Kraken Image Optimizer or CW Image Optimizer.
Additionally, make sure that you’ve selected the best file type when it comes to how you save your images.
For example, if you’re using animation, make it a GIF. Use PNG file formats if you’re less concerned about the size and more concerned about the quality of the image. If you want the perfect balance between size and quality, opt for a JPEG.
3. Lower HTTP Requests
Is your website slow to load — even after you’ve removed excess plugins and resized your images?
If so, a higher than average number of HTTP requests is likely to blame. Remember that the majority of the loading time of a website includes downloading each individual aspect of an internal page.
Per every element a page includes — things like text, scripts, and images — a new HTTP request must be put in.
Over time, these can really add up — and seriously slow your website.
Head over to the Developer Tools in Google Chrome to get an idea of the number of HTTP requests your website is forced to make.
Underneath the “Network” menu option, you’ll see a spreadsheet telling you the name of the files, their file type, their size, and how long they take to load.
Once you identify the things that make the highest number of HTTP requests on your website?
You can start removing or compressing them.
But how can you do that?
Start by combining any files that you can. You can also minify these files by getting rid of coding that you don’t need, alongside excessive white space.
4. Evaluate Your Hosting Options
The final piece of the puzzle to consider when learning how to speed up website load time?
Take a hard look at your current hosting platform.
Perhaps it was able to perfectly handle your visitor count and website elements when you first launched your website.
But now that your business is starting to take off?
It can no longer support the amount of traffic and the number of requests made on your website.
When you’re shopping for hosting platforms in the first place, you should also look for options that offer scalability. This way, you’ll be able to increase your storage needs, bandwidth, and RAM as you grow.
While most websites start off with shared hosting (because it’s the most affordable choice) it’s not a good long-term solution.
You should consider switching to VPS hosting, which gives you a specific portion of a server, even if you’re sharing things like CPU with other websites.
You may even need to switch to a dedicated server. This type of hosting option means that you’ll have total control over all of the resources offered by the server.
Website Slow to Load? Use These Tips to Speed It Up!
No matter your current visitor count or the number of internal pages you currently have, there’s no time like the present to start making fast loading time a priority.
Always remember to prioritize your plugins, look for image files you can compress or remove altogether, and to reevaluate your hosting platform as your site grows.
If you want to improve website speed, you’ll need to routinely monitor your loading time by using some of the speed checker tools we’ve mentioned here.
Website slow to load — even after you’ve tried a few of the tips we’ve mentioned in this post?
Don’t sweat it.
Keep reading our blog to get access to more advice and tools in order to make your website load faster.