Speeding up your website
A recent study found that 53% of people will leave a website if it doesn't load in three seconds. It’s pretty sobering to think that your website could lose you sales and new business just because it’s a little slow.
But these days having a fast website is vital. Not only does it give people a positive impression of your business and your brand but it can also help to improve your website’s search ranking.
Your web designer will be largely responsible for how fast your website actually is but there are certain things you can do to make improvements to your site. With that in mind I’ve compiled some hints and tips that might help.
Check how fast your current website is
There are a number of tools available to check how fast your current website is. PageSpeed Insights by Google is a tool that will give you an overall speed score for your website. It will also give you a number of useful recommendations that you can put into practice or give to your web designer.
Get the right hosting
It’s important to view hosting as an investment rather than an expense. Good hosting can shave seconds off your website’s loading time so buy the best hosting you can afford. Good hosting usually also comes with good support which is a bonus when you need help.
Images that haven’t been scaled or optimised properly can really slow your website down. There are a number of simple tools available such as ImageOptim and tinypng that are great at compressing images without causing a loss in quality. It’s always worth running your images through these optimisation tools before you upload them to your website.
Keep a close eye on themes
If your website is created using a ready made theme it’s worth getting your web designer to check how efficient it is. Themes often come bundled with a lot of hidden functionality like image sliders and lightboxes that you might not even be using. Reducing the number of files and resources your website uses can have a big effect on page loading times.
Consider what your website actually needs
Sometimes it’s worth stepping back from your website and looking at it critically. Do you really need so many large images? Do you need to use three different fonts on it? Is that image slider actually providing your visitors with a useful experience? If elements on your website aren’t useful and they’re slowing it down it might be worth looking at a few simple tweaks to your site.