You’ve probably gone all out to create the best website you possibly can. But there’s one thing that most people forget to consider – their website speed. Your website speed – or lack of it – can have a profound effect on your traffic and your bounce rate, so it’s in your best interest to get it as fast as possible.
Here are our top 6 useful tips on how to speed up your business site. You may be surprised at how much business picks up once you’ve implemented these ideas!
1. Test Your Websites Speed First
The speed of your website, specifically how fast it loads, is vital to your business. Search engines have placed a heavy emphasis on site speed. Research also shows that if your website doesn’t load within three seconds, then the person is likely to click away from your site.
So if you think your website is lagging, then run a speed test before doing anything else. One of the best tools to use to test the speed is Google’s Page Speed Insights. This looks at the core web vitals and provides suggestions that you can implement straight away to increase speed and improve your website’s performance.
You should also run it through Pingdom or GTMetrix, as these let you run the test based on location. They’ll then provide a performance breakdown by content type on your website’s speed.
Do the test before you’ve implemented the suggested changes and then run them again after. This will allow you to compare the tests to see if there’s any improvement or if further action is required.
2. Avoid Bloated Plugins
Plugins make it easy to customize or add additional functions to your web browsers and web content without affecting its core functionality. But in most cases, you’re not going to be using the full list of activated plugins.
Go through your plugins and get rid of the ones that you don’t need or don’t use and that don’t update regularly. You should also get rid of the plugins that no longer work with your website’s current version.
These plugins may be taking up vital space and memory that could help improve your website’s speed. You should also assess the plugins that you’re using and make sure that they’re something you actually need and are serving a purpose.
3. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
One of the best ways to speed up your website is by using a Content Delivery Network. It’s an interconnected network of servers spread across the world that delivers your content at high speeds.
By using a Content Delivery Network, you’re reducing the physical distance between your website and the visitor, regardless of where they’re located. It uses less bandwidth overall, and it’s able to store multiple content types.
This means that the content of your website has reliable, faster loading times, which will improve the overall performance of your website. If you’re expecting your website to grow, you’ll also appreciate the fact that CDNs have almost unlimited scalability.
You’ll find that the Content Delivery Network will be able to handle any amount of traffic and it doesn’t require a lot of time to scale it up or down. Even if there’s a huge spike in traffic, your content will be delivered quickly as most website content is static.
Most of them also feature an automatic redundancy feature, which ensures your website remains visible and loads quickly at all times.
4. Enable Browser Caching
When the user visits your website again, your website will load faster as the information is displayed without having to retrieve it all over again from the server. Aside from users accessing information quickly, you can have thousands of users on the website at the same time without it slowing down.
Both caching and servers remember what information has been sent, so there’s no need to process the request each time. The server prompt delivers the cached pages, which saves a significant amount of time when it comes to loading the site.
5. Optimize Images and Use Lazy Loading
Images take up an enormous amount of space on any website and can cause your website to load slowly. One way you can help optimize this process is by compressing all the images you have on your website.
Fortunately, there are a number of free tools like Compress Now, JPEG Optimizer, Optimizilla, and TinyPng that can quickly reduce the size of the files. The other factor you want to consider implementing is lazy loading.
Lazy loading gives your webpage some “breathing room” as it loads the images at the top of the page (“above the fold”) first. This allows your user to start reading or viewing the page while it’s still loading the remaining content.
In most cases, your users won’t even notice that this is happening and they’ll stay on your website.
6. Check Your Web Host and DNS Provider
If your website’s speed is still slow after checking and implementing all the above changes, then you need to check your web host and DNS provider.
Both your web host and your DNS provider can affect your browser speed and website performance. The DNS turns the URL of your website into an IP address. If there’s a massive spike in traffic or latency on the server, then it will take longer to resolve the website’s name. This will slow down your website by adding seconds to your loading page. If this is the case, then you may want to look for a faster DNS provider.
At the same time, you need to consider the type of web hosting package you’re on as well as the web host provider you’re using. If you’re on a shared hosting package this will split the resources between your website and multiple other sites.
This could lead to your website having much slower loading times. If that’s the case, then you may want to consider upgrading to either Dedicated, VPS, or Cloud web hosting. The other factors that can slow your site’s performance is the website host’s bandwidth, hard drives that are being used, and traffic volume.
It doesn’t take much to speed up your business site. All you need is to know what steps to take and to implement them effectively. Once you’ve taken these steps, you should find that your site is noticeably faster than it was before and your readers are happier!