The time that it takes for your website to load is a ranking factor for the search engines.
It goes without saying then that a slow loading website will be unfavourably looked at.
More importantly though, you’ll be putting potential visitors off if your site takes more than a few seconds to load. Particularly those viewing from a mobile device, whose Internet connection may not be as fast as those browsing from a desktop PC.
Follow the checklist below and get your site’s speed up to scratch.
1. Keep On Page Elements To A Minimum
More specifically, this refers to CSS – also known as Cascading Style Sheets. Without getting too technical, a browser has to load multiple processes before it can display a web page.
CSS is one of these, Flash is another and then you have numerous scripts for example Java code.
Using multiple scripts can give you a great looking site but will increase the load time. Think about your readers that have a slow Internet connection.
They won’t appreciate the bells and whistles. Instead they just want your content. So keep things simple.
2. Turn Browser Caching On
In WordPress you can do this through a plugin, for example W3 Total Cache. If you must use fancy scripts on your website then browser caching is a must.
It will store the necessary elements of that web page on your reader’s hard drive. This means that when the reader returns, your page will load quicker.
If you don’t enable browser caching, your reader will end up frustrated waiting for their browser to load every element before they can access your material.
3. Optimise Your Content
Yes it’s true that having media on your website will benefit your site… but only if used correctly! Images need to be resized and converted into jpeg files.
Don’t be loading up large gifs or pngs and don’t whatever you do, load up an image straight from your mobile device.
The camera on a Smartphone is capable of producing a very high resolution image. This is fine if your intention is to blow a picture up and turn it into a large photo for framing.
For your website, I would recommend reducing your images to 100kb or less.
If you can’t sacrifice image quality then use an external image file sharing site like Flickr and embed the image.
The same goes with any video on your website. Videos are several MB in size and this is why you want to upload to an external video hosting site like YouTube, Vimeo or DailyMotion and then use the share functions to embed the video into your webpage.
4. Be Careful Of Plugins
A plugin is just a script, a small piece of software that provides additional functionality. If you’re using WordPress then you don’t need to be installing every plugin that’s available in the plugin repository.
The more plugins that you install, the “heavier” your site becomes. If a plugin isn’t essential, get rid of it.
5. Upgrade Your Hosting
If your site receives a heavy amount of traffic or your site is regularly going down because you’ve exceeded your bandwidth allowance, you’ll need to upgrade to a better price plan or even more to a dedicated server.
Yes the expenses will be higher but if you’re in a situation where you’re receiving high traffic volume then the additional costs will be a necessary business investment.
6. Check For Malware
It’s a common occurrence for sites to get hacked and infected with malware. The effects could range from annoying pop ups that slow down your load times down right through to your website content being changed.
If you receive user complaints that your site is infecting them with a virus, run your website through http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/scanner
The tool is self explanatory. It will provide you with a list of problems and give you a green light if all is fine.
Did you find this post useful? If so then kindly share it to your favourite social media site by clicking on the buttons below.