How to Speed Up Your Website: Small Changes Go a Long Way
Did you know that around half of all browsers leave a site if it isn’t loaded within 3 seconds?
Or that conversion rate decreases by just over 4% for every second of load time?
Or that 70% of consumers take website speed into consideration when deciding whether or not to buy from you?
The speed at which your site loads can, quite literally, lose you business.
Ruin your profits.
Damage your credibility.
And just plain annoy people.
So what’s the solution?
Thankfully, there are easy steps you can take to speed up your website.
Little effort on your part, but huge changes to your load speed.
Try them out today…
You may be shocked at the results!
How to Speed Up Your Website
Each of these steps is easy to implement.
Some require a bit of time and restructuring.
But others are as simple as a minute of your time.
1. Run a Speed Test
This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget this step!
Even if you already know you’re going to do these steps regardless of your website speed…
Knowing a number upfront means you can compare “before and after” stats.
You can see how much effect these changes really have.
Anyway, you might be shocked at how slow your website truly is.
Or maybe pleasantly surprised at its speed.
Either way, I recommend doing a website speed test upfront for informational purposes.
I recommend either Pingdom, Screaming Frog or Google PageSpeed Insights.
2. Reconsider Your Web Host & DNS Provider
First up, web hosts.
It’s tempting to choose a cheaper one.
The problem with this?
You sacrifice speed.
Most cheaper web hosting providers use shared hosting.
This means you’re sharing a server with other sites.
So the server gets overloaded pretty easily, leading to slow load times.
Although it’s a little more pricey, it’ll serve you better to go for either dedicated hosting or VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting.
Your site will load much faster if it’s not sharing resources with others.
Second, your DNS provider.
A DNS, or domain name system, is a database of URLS and their IP addresses.
When someone types in a URL, it refers back to this list to find the IP address so it can send the user to the right page.
This step is necessary, otherwise users would have to remember IP addresses in order to visit websites!
But a slow DNS provider means it can add seconds to your load time.
Choose a fast DNS provider.
It can save you (and your viewers) valuable time.
And in this case, time is money!
3. Use a Content Delivery Network
A content delivery network, or CDN, is a network of servers spread across the world.
Cache your downloadables on one of their servers, and when someone visits your site from a faraway country…
It directs them to the closest server to download resources.
This saves a significant amount of time.
If you get traffic from all over the world, this step can make a huge difference.
It doesn’t have much to do with load time, but rather download time.
But either way, it’s about providing a fast service to your visitor.
4. Keep Videos External
Videos are a speed killer.
They take up a ton of space on your site.
Which means they slow everything down.
If you need to have videos, I recommend hosting them elsewhere.
Like YouTube, Vimeo, or IBM Cloud.
Then, embed them into your web page instead of uploading it to your website.
Faster loading at your fingertips…
And a good start for a YouTube channel!
5. Try Lazy Loading
This handy trick prioritises content on the top of the page.
This is what the viewer sees first, so it makes sense to load it first.
While they’re reading the content at the top, the rest of the stuff can load a touch slower.
For most people browsing your site, this is enough to satisfy their need for site speed.
And it’s as easy as installing a lazy loading plugin.
6. Set Up Browser Caching
Browser caching allows the browser to store the elements of your website on it.
That way, when someone pops onto your site…
It doesn’t have to retrieve data from the server.
It’s all already right there for the loading.
Quick and easy.
All you need to do is install a plugin.
7. Compress Your Images
I’m always amazed to find that this isn’t standard practice.
Images take up a bunch more space than text.
Large images can take time to load.
And nobody wants to wait for a picture to load.
Compress your images so they load quickly.
Your viewers may not notice the difference…
But I can guarantee they’ll notice it if the image size slow things down.
Also, images can pile up in your website’s media library.
And this can quickly start to take up space…
And slow down the loading of your site performance.
It’s a god idea to do a clean-up once in a while.
8. Uninstall Plugins You Don’t Use
If you’re like me, you collect them like souvenirs.
But even they can take up space and slow your speed.
Do a plugin audit.
Get rid of everything you aren’t actively using.
Don’t keep those “maybe one day” plugins.
Make a note of their names and functions…
And delete them.
9. Eliminate/Reduce Your Redirects
If you’ve got a busy blog…
And you’ve restructured or relaunched recently…
Redirects could be an issue.
This is when a page has moved or changed names…
And so you redirect the old URL to the new one.
But it can easily become convoluted.
Especially if old redirects get redirected again…
The more links in the chain, the longer it takes.
Ultimately, it’s an unnecessary step that the browser needs to go through.
And unnecessary steps waste time.
You can find free redirect/broken link tools online to pick up all your redirects.
I highly recommend getting rid of all redirects to speed up your website.
A slow website is not worth having.
It annoys visitors and you’re losing almost half of them because of it.
If you want to boost your business, make more sales, and build your community…
You need speed.
Your website speed is your first introduction to potential clients.