If you’ve ever visited a website before (who hasn’t?), you’ll know that a slow website is one of the most frustrating and off-putting things for a user browsing online. Users face very few problems that top a slow loading time on a website.
When creating a quality website for your business or brand, the page speed of that site needs to be a priority. If a page on your website doesn’t load in a few seconds, it increases the chances of visitors leaving your site before they’ve even looked at anything. This also has a knock-on effect on vital things like User Experience and overall search engine rankings, which are critical elements of a well-oiled website.
The goal of your website is to attract more traffic and therefore grow your customer base and, in turn, your business. As you can see above, page speed can play a crucial role in achieving that goal or not.
Unfortunately, optimising your website for speed isn’t a quick one-and-done activity but a process over time of consistently monitoring and evaluating its performance and making necessary adjustments as you go.
We’re going to take you through some of these adjustments in this article, and hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll have a better understanding of the various processes and actions needed to keep your website sharp and on the ball!
Ready? Let’s do it.
Compress and Optimise Your Images
Images serve a crucial role in enhancing the look and feel of your website, as well as boosting your SEO on Google. When a website includes images that pop and look great, it will stand out. It’s that simple! It’s not all roses, however, because larger images can also make your website slower than it needs to be.
This is why compressing and optimising the images on your website is essential, because you then avoid delays and slow loading times on your website that would be attributed to the massive image files you’ve added.
By doing this, you’re essentially reducing the images’ weight on your website, which ultimately helps your site pages load more quickly. This can be done by changing the image format, enabling lazy loading, or even compressing the image through lossy or lossless compression. A great tool that is available for WordPress websites is the WP Smush plugin.
Once installed and activated, this plugin will automatically resize and compress any image on your website without affecting its quality. It also includes features for lossless compression, lazy loading, and even optimising images in bulk.
Reduce Your Redirects
Your web page loading times can be severely impacted by having too many redirects on your site. Redirects essentially prolong the original HTTP request because of the effort required to go to another web page instead of the original one that was clicked.
There are times when a redirect or two is necessary, but for the most part, they will just slow your website down. A lot. So, a helpful tip to remember when you’re building your internal links and menus on your WordPress website would be to avoid creating any unnecessary redirects!
Cache Your Web Pages
Caching is one of the best and most effective ways to speed up your page loading times. What caching does is it stores copies of your website’s files, which then minimises the work needed for the server to generate and then serve a web page to a visitor’s browser.
In a nutshell, caching your web pages helps the server use fewer resources to load a page in the future, therefore speeding up the whole process overall.
Eliminate Unnecessary Plugins
Do you really need all of the plugins you currently have? Probably not. Too many can cause serious bloating on your website, and nobody needs a bloated site! Outdated or under-maintained plugins can also cause a security threat and hamper your site’s overall performance.
Go over the plugins you currently have installed and get purging!
Performance-Optimised Hosting is a Must
If you decide to use cheap hosting, your website will suffer. Poor performance and an overloaded server are just a few consequences of getting cheap hosting for your website. Alternatively, hosting that is optimised and focused on performance can offer powerful platforms for incredible page speed and website performance.
When thinking about which hosting to use, do some research and make a wise decision.
Don’t worry; this sounds more technical than it is! All we mean here is removing unnecessary spaces, characters, comments, and other useless elements to reduce the size of the files on your website. Much like image compression, this results in web pages that load faster, as well as cleaner code as a bonus!
You can use a handy plugin for WordPress called Autoptimize to minify your scripts and styles automatically.
A Faster Website Awaits
With the practices mentioned above in gear, your website speed should soar! We understand that the tips and tricks mentioned above aren’t always as simple as we’ve made them sound, so if you’d like to leave the website speed optimisation to the professionals, we at Rocketsoft would love to assist!
After all, it is what we do.