3 Seconds or Less: Tips to Speed-Up Your Website

Creating a website that is faster than your competitor’s is more important than ever before. Slow sites have proven to reduce customer engagement and reduce sales. Studies show that faster sites have more sales opportunities:

impact of page slowdown on completed transactions

Google has officially lowered the search engine score and ranking for any site that is too slow to load and research shows a growing consumer demand for sites that load in less than 3 seconds. So you have an opportunity to get ahead of your competitor with a few upgrades to your site.

Here are several tips for tackling your site speed:

1. Images Must Be Compressed

The largest images on your site are sort of like that heavy case of water you try to lift when you are at the grocery store: Large images take a long time to get “loaded” onto the conveyor belt at the check-out line! Internet browsers are trying to “load” those images to display, but the images are “heavy”. Those heavy images may be costing you sales.

Walmart and Amazon reported that every second they lose for load time is a loss of millions of dollars.

 

The file format that your developer is using on your website is very important. Browsers can generally load JPG, PNG, and GIF images quickly. But heavy formats like TIFF and BMP are going to increase your load time. There are new file formats available that can help your site load faster.

Note below how a company used a newer image protocol called “WebP.” By doing so, they reduced image size (the blue line), immediately increased Google PageSpeed (the middle line), and reduce page loading time by more than a second (the green line).

 


2. Check Your Hosting Server

Your website generally loads from the server where it is geographically hosted. Therefore when someone clicks to view your site, it’s like dialing a phone number and waiting for the person at the other line to pick up. Then, once the server “picks up,” the very first thing that happens is that your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc) sends a message to your host server. The browser is asking for all the information and data in order to load your website for the consumer. The order that the information and data loads into the browser is relevant to the speed. Therefore, your web developer can determine a lot about your site’s speed!

If your server does not use “caching” and other speed optimization services, your site will probably take longer to respond. Poor server performance is almost always an issue that begins with your web hosting services, or we might say “lack of services.” You may consider talking to your developer about server side caching or upgrading your hosting service to include caching and other speed optimized services.


3. Website Code Is Too Heavy
Again: Too big = too slow to load. One of the heaviest elements of your site is the code that creates the site. You need to purge any unnecessary code.


For example, there are 60 million lines of code on Facebook alone.


(See the full image)

If you’re running WordPress, Drupal or other popular CMS tools, you probably have a several “plugins” behind the scenes and embedded in the code of your site. Plugins can slow down the load time of your site. Ask your developer which ones are absolutely necessary and delete the rest.

 


4. Your Content Management Tool Needs an Overhaul

If you’re using WordPress, Drupal, or Wix to manage your website, you’ll notice a regular popups asking you to install updates or new versions of the software. You definitely want to perform these updates.

The truth? Sometimes updating a plugin just isn’t enough. Ask yourself: It is time for a complete overhaul? If you haven’t made a major update in a year or two, your competitors are gaining ground with these techniques and others.

How do you know if your site images are too big or your code is out of date? It is easy to get a site audit that shows you how to improve your images, and more relevant site quality criteria. For example: the new American Disabilities Act compliance requirements, Social integration with your site, or your Search Engine ranking.


If you need an affordable audit to determine your next steps, contact Jennifer Peper jpeper@aristotleinteractive.com or call 501-291-6998 and our professional team of auditors will get you the custom insights you need to make 2019 successful.