1. Run your website through site speed test tools
Resources online allow you to learn more about your website’s speed and optimization. These insights provide a helpful starting point to understand what is currently happening on your website, and how you can begin to make changes to improve your website.
Check out Our 2 Favorite website optimization performance sites:
What to look at on your site speed report
- Load Time: As a general rule, if your site loads in less than 3 seconds you’re good.
- Image Optimization: If you notice a large number of images are able to be optimize by a large percentage 50-99%, this is something you should definitely look into doing and is usually the biggest reason a website takes time to load
- Server Optimization: Your host is responsible for making sure certain settings are enabled for better loading speed. If you see any issues in the site speed report related to hosting, ask your host how they can help you
2. Optimize your Images
One of the easiest ways to increase your website load speed is to optimize your images by reducing their size. You can do this within programs like Photoshop, or with plugins like WPSmush (if you have a WordPress website). When resizing your images you will want to make sure that they are only as large as they need to be for the size of the screen.
3. Learn About Your Server
There’s two things you should know about your server.
1. Is it a shared or dedicated server?
If your website is large, perhaps an online store or educational site that has a lot of resources and sees high-traffic and you are on shared hosting this could effect your website load speed. You may need dedicated hosting if that is the case.
2. Where is it?
Did you know that the physical location of your server can cause slow load times? If your business is in North America but your server is in the UK it will take longer for your local customers to see your site load.
4. Turn on GZIP Compression
Once you’ve reduced the file size of your images you can do even more by compressing them. This essentially turns them into zip files (and the rest of your website) before they are sent to the browser of the website visitor. This is a server setting that you’ll need to ask your host to enable.
5. Load Cached Versions of your site
When you enable caching on your website returning visitors are able to take advantage of stored elements that will load much faster than a first time visit to the site. Because websites are often updated you can choose which elements should be cached so your visitors will always see the current version of your website. WordPress plugins such as W3 Total Cache can help improve website performance by using caching rules.
6. Reduce Redirects & Fix Broken Links
Broken links take time to load, and so do redirects. In both cases this involves many server requests, which happening individually can slow down page load speed. If changes to your website happen frequently it’s important to take the time to make sure all of your links are active, and you are using as few redirects as possible.
7. Reduce Page Bulk
A page’s load speed time is based on the number and size of all the assets that need to load in order to be visible on the page. If a website homepage contains a large image gallery with 50 images, it will take longer than if the website only had a single banner image. Here are a few simple steps to reduce the amount of assets a page needs to load
- Remove any non-critical image assets, use text and CSS background colors where possible
- Move any non-critical Video embeds (from third part sites such as YouTube and Vimeo) to a Video Library page. Video embeds require a large amount of page load resources
- Remove Google Map Embeds and replace with a static image or map direction link. Map embeds quire a large amount of page load resources
8.Let Us Help
Looking for optimization help from the experts? All of our Website Optimization is handled by our Development Director to ensure that you understand the meaning on your performance scores, and the right optimization techniques are applied.