A great website is more than just cool graphics, amazing content, and returning visitors who drool over your content on a regular basis. It all means nothing if your website crawls to a stop every time some cool graphic loads, or if the content takes longer to display than it takes to consume the content itself.
That is why you need to focus on improving the speed of your website. In this article, we provide you with some concrete examples that will help you with speed optimisation.
5 Speed Optimisation Tips
1. Website Speed Testing
The first thing you should do to improve your website speed is test the current speed of the site. Use tools like Google’s Page Speed Insights to gauge your website speed and discover the biggest holdups to improving your speed.
Remember that 25% of visitors will leave your website if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load. This is not a lot of time, and demonstrates the value of evaluating your current speed.
Once you are done testing your website, you should perform mobile speed testing. With Google’s announcement at the end of last year that they will index mobile sites first, mobile speed is vastly more important than desktop speed.
After all, Google claims that 60% of all visitors to their search engine come through mobile devices. This is a reminder of how much website design has changed in the past few years.
2. Use a CDN
A CDN is a content delivery network. It is a third-party service that stores your website content remotely, so you do not need to tax your website servers.
A quality CDN can save you 60% of your website bandwidth as well as 50% of the website requests you make on a site as a page loads. By placing a large percentage of content remotely, you can scale your site faster and continue to deliver content quickly.
If you need help installing a CDN on your website, Give Us a Shout! Our team of experts is here to help you seamlessly install a CDN on your site.
3. Shrink website content
Several different strategies exist to shrink the size of the content you display on your website.
Before we get into these strategies, keep in mind that the days of shrinking the physical size of an image are coming to an end. With more users owning high-resolution screens, it is becoming increasingly clear that shrinking a website from 1000×1000 pixels to 720×720 or from 300 DPI to 72 DPI is no longer an acceptable solution.
Instead, your website should use tools that shrink the physical size without diminishing the quality of the images.
For WordPress users, we recommend using plugins like WP Super Cache and WP Image Shrinker to improve website speed.
WP Super Cache saves your website, so there is less information a user needs to load every time they visit your website. It is like a continual snapshot of your website that provides visitors with a smooth user experience.
WP Image Shrinker, as the name might suggest, shrinks the data size of the file so it can load faster.
If you do not have a WordPress website, you should use a Gzip. This zips all the code-containing files on your website. By doing this, you can compress your files and improve your website speed.
4. HTML over PHP
While PHP can perform more tasks than HTML, PHP code takes up a lot more server space. The more space you take up on the server, the slower your website runs.
Because of this, whenever possible you should consider using HTML. It might reduce some of the cool things your website can do, but it results in a faster website that provides the information your customers request without delay.
5. Google AMP
We discussed above the increasingly important role of mobile websites when we reviewed mobile speed testing.
However, if you really want to look impressive to Google on mobile devices, you should consider joining the Google AMP program. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages.
Essentially, Google strips out all but the basic information on your website for mobile users. The speeds are ridiculously fast, but at the same time there are some drawbacks.
Because you are essentially turning Google into your mobile server, they reserve the right to determine what content gets displayed. That means most website conversion and monetization methods cannot function properly on these pages.
Even the ability to share content to social networks like Facebook and Twitter was prohibited until recently. For a society that lives on social networks, this was a glaring flaw.
However, as the technology is used by more website designers, it will become more important for the speed of your site.
As you continue to look for ways to make your website a speed demon, consider the tips we discussed above. They provide a framework to improve the speed of your website.
However, improving the speed of your website while presenting great content can be a delicate balance. If you still have questions about improving the speed of your site, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation.