Website speed times are becoming more and more important every day. This is true for two reasons- SEO and your user experience. Studies have shown that 40% of people will give up on a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. 47% of users expect a website to load in two seconds or less. So if your website takes more than three seconds to load you lose almost half of your visitors before they even get to your website.
Regarding site speed and SEO, Google uses your website speed as one of the many factors that determine how high you rank in search engines. At the end of 2017, Google started basing the search results on the mobile version of pages.
So how can you speed up your website? It will take some time and some of them are very complicated. But we’ll give you 4 simple ways to make your website faster.
- Switch to a Dedicated Server
- Reduce Image Sizes
- Get Rid of Unused Plugins
- Cache Your Website
Most people go with the cheapest option for hosting when they first get a website. But as your business grows and more people are going to your website, you need better hosting. If you went with the cheaper option then you are sharing a server with other websites. So even if your business isn’t growing, but others on your same server are, your website will slow down as well. To fix this you can switch to a dedicated server that prioritizes speed. You won’t be sharing with anyone else with a dedicated server, making your website significantly faster.
If your images are too big then they take a long time to load. Each image has to be loaded individually and if you have a lot of images it can take too long. But don’t start taking down all your images from your website; they just need to be optimized. This can be done through plugins such as WP Smush (for WordPress), ShortPixel, or TinyPNG or image resizing sites. Resizeimage.net allows you to choose the percentage of the size the image currently is and the image quality. Your image quality can go as low as 60 without a noticeable difference in quality to the naked eye. Shoot to make images around 1000 pixels wide, unless they are a big image going across the top of your website then make them 2000 pixels wide.
There are a lot of great plugins that can make your website be used to its full potential. But there are some plugins that may not be necessary. If you have too many plugins it can start to slow down your website. Go through all of your plugins and make sure they are 100% needed. Uninstall the ones you don’t need and delete them completely.
When someone visits your website for the first time, they have to download every part of your website. That means all text and images, logo, menu, and more. If your website is cached then they don’t have to reload everything all over again. There’s a caching plugin called W3 Total Cache that will save the content from your website onto the visitor’s browser for the next time they go to your website.