How Do I Speed Up My Website?

We all know that patience is a virtue… well, at least that might be the case in the offline world. Online, users are far more impatient and they’re not afraid to show it!

What’s more, it’s not just website users that are affected by your slow website – it’s your Google ranking too! Since 2010 (yes, 10 years ago!), Google has been factoring site speed into its algorithm.

So, without further adieu, let’s give you 5 top tips for improving the speed of your website:

47% of consumers expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less – and 40% will abandon a page that takes 3 or more seconds

1. Reduce the Number Of Plugins You Use On Your Site

Let’s start off with something (relatively) easy. Plugins are great, and they can transform a website into doing all sorts of amazing things. But, on the downside, plugins can also slow a website right down, require regular maintenance and have the propensity to create security and performance issues within a site.

Now we’re not saying that you should go ahead and remove all of your website plugins – after all, that’s what makes websites, particularly those used on WordPress, so fantastic. However, it is really important that you deactivate and delete any unnecessary plugins that could be inhibiting site speed and security.

2. Optimise Your Images

Nice, big, clear hi-res images are great for the web – and you should definitely use them. However, images are very commonly known as one of the biggest reasons for a website to be loading poorly. So, what can you do?

  1. Be sure to upload only the size that you need
    By uploading an image that is 1000px x 1000px when you only require the image to be seen on your website at a size of 500px x 500px means that you’re doubling the load time for just that one image.
  2. Be sure to compress your images
    Image compression is a great way to keep all of the images you need on your website, without losing quality. There are loads of free image compression plugins out there, but the one that we would recommend is WP Smush.

WP Smush is great because it can automatically ‘smush’ (compress) your images upon upload and is very easy and effective to use.

3. Review Your Web Hosting Package

All too often, something that people seldom consider is their web hosting services and instead, the focus is on price rather than quality – but this can be a costly mistake.

When it comes to web hosting services, you want to make sure that you are with a reliable company who can provide you with services local to your area of operation. For instance, a local Melbourne business would see far more benefit in hosting with a local, Australian company than a cheap overseas company. Why? Because, the close the proximity a user is to a web server, the less load times there will be.

In fact, there’s a bit more devil in the detail when it comes to your hosting location, so you might want to read more about Does My Web Hosting Location Matter?

Just a reminder that quality, reliable web hosting doesn’t have to be expensive – view our hosting packages here.

4. Browser Caching

Caching your website means that it doesn’t have to be loaded every single time somebody comes onto a page. Instead, the browser ‘temporarily stores’ the information (such as images, video, text, stylesheets, java-script files and more) so that you don’t have to sit and wait for all of these things to ‘talk to each other’ and load onto the page.

How long a user stores the data in the browser depends on their browser configuration and your server-side cache settings. However, you can clear browser cache anytime if you aren’t seeing the latest version of a website.

5. Reduce Redirects

Redirects can be un-avoidable, especially when you move or delete pages and you want to quickly ensure you site’s broken links are kept to a minimum for enhanced UX and search engine optimisation purposes.

However, having too many redirects on your website can create additional HTTP requests which can negatively impact on site speed. So, what do you do?

Well, first of all – do you need all of those redirects? If not, remove them immediately.

Second, never link to a page that already has a redirect on it. Multiple redirects are never a good thing for users or search engines.

Third, is there another way to change the content of your web page without the use of a redirect?

It can often be hard to know how to identify and reduce your redirects. For a full list of redirects, you can try a free tool such as Redirect Detective

There you have it. 5 quick tips on improving your site speed today! If you need help with implementing any of the above tips, then give us a call!

We’re experts at enhancing site speed and can give your website a complete performance audit today.