Top 5 Ways To Speed Up Your Website This 2019

Website Health & Speed 2019

Website Health & Speed 2019

It has been proven that a one-second delay in page load time means:

  • 11% fewer page views
  • 18% decreased customer satisfaction
  • 7% loss in conversions

As a matter of fact, 40% of visitors will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. This means you lose almost half of your target audience before they’ve even arrived on your website. As for the rest of the visitors who decided to stick around even with slow load time, there’s a 79% chance they will not return. This is a huge blow to your potential conversions.

Increase Your Website's Load Speed

Here are some examples to convince you:

  • Google once saw a 20% drop in traffic due to an extra .5 seconds in load time.
  • Amazon ran A/B testing where they delayed pages in 100 milliseconds and it resulted in a decrease in revenue.
  • Walmart ran simultaneous experiments and found that pages which load twice as fast as pages which were intentionally slowed down resulted in a big difference in conversions.

Keep in mind that Google’s algorithm now also considers speed as a ranking factor, which means, your SEO also gets affected.

Run a quick test using our FREE tool and you will get a complete analysis of how your website is performing. If the ‘Page Speed Info’ looks anything close to this…

Website Page Speed Info

Page Speed Info

…then you really need to make some quick changes using these five quick and easy ways to increase your website loading speed.

  1. Shrink Your Image Sizes

What do you do if images play a major role in your website and removing them altogether is not an option? This is especially true if you run an eCommerce website. One survey says 66% of consumers want to see at least three product photos before buying.

Large image size hugely contributes the most to slow page load, yet, it is the easiest and fastest to fix. All you have to do is compress your images using simple compression tools. Downsizing a 2MB image down to 200KB results in a 70% increase in page load time. Additionally, don’t upload an image with 2000px wide when the set width parameter is only 400px. This causes your page to first load the full image, and then adjust it to the appropriate size.

If your CMS platform is WordPress, you can simply use a free plugin called WP Smush Image.

WordPress Smush Images

Smush Images

Its best feature includes smushing images automatically by scanning your media library and detecting images it can compress, and you can go to settings, checkmark the box “Automatically smush my images on upload”  and you won’t have to worry about compression again.

If you don’t use WordPress, you can use free apps like Crush.pics, Compress JPEG, and Optimizilla.

  1. Activate Browser Caching

About 40-60% of your first-time visitors come with an empty cache. This means that before being able to use your website, they have to first download –

  • HTML documents
  • stylesheets
  • javascript files
  • images

There can be as many as 30 components, which can take about 2.4 seconds.

With browser caching, once the page is loaded, all the different components like logo, footers, theme, etc are stored in the visitor’s cache and only a few components needs to be downloaded for subsequent visits.

If you use WordPress for your website, you install a plugin like W3 Total Cache. Then navigate to “Page Cache” under “General Settings” and tick mark the box named “Enable”.

WordPress W3 Total Browser Cache

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache claims that its users experience 10X improvement in Google PageSpeed results with up to 80% savings in bandwidth.

If you have a static HTML site, you can enable caching by in your .htaccess file.

For other resources like JavaScript and CSS files, image files, media files, and PDFs, you can set caching between a minimum of one week and one year.

However, if you’re on a shared server, it’s best to leave this option disabled as it is a resource-intensive process and produce the exact opposite of what you want — slowing down your website.

  1. Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Optimize your code by removing spaces, commas, code comments, formatting, unused code, and other unnecessary characters wherever possible.

Google recommends using CSSNano and UglifyJS, but if you’re on WordPress, the best plugin you can use is HTML Minify.

Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML on Websites

Minify HTML

However, if yours is a static HTML site, you’ll need to enable Gzip in your .htaccess file.

If your website runs multiple CSS and JavaScript files, you can further minimize loading time by combining them into one using a WordPress plugin called WP Rocket.

Once installed, go to “Static Files” tab and checkmark the files you want to combine, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, as well as Google Fonts.

Also, let your scripts like CSS and JavaScript load asynchronously to speed up your pages, this means it continues loading from top to bottom.

  1. Implement AMP-lification

As mentioned earlier, mobile user experience also now impacts your site’s ranking on Google. Also, since 2015, mobile searches outnumbered desktop searches and this trend only continues to grow. In a bid to make mobile websites out and also in response to Facebook’s Instant Articles project, Google, Twitter, a bunch of other companies implemented the AMP project which rolled out not so long ago, February 2016.

Mobile pages implemented with AMP don’t have much formatting since all the HTML is stripped down, helping pages load quickly. Images and GIFs don’t load unless they’re scrolled into view.

Here are some examples of websites implementing AMP:

  • WIRED increased their click-through rate of 25% and found a 63% increase in CTRs on ads.
  • Gizmodo started getting over 100k AMP page visits every day with 3X load times and conversions increased by 50%.
  • Thrillist converted 90% of their web pages and saw a 70% lift in organic search traffic — 50% came from AMP.

For WordPress users, install this plugin called AMP for WP which lets you easily drag and drop page elements if need be.

Amplify mobile pages with AMP for WordPress

AMP for WP

But to run it, all you have to do is install the plugin on your WordPress and activate it.

  1. Remove Unwanted & Unused Plugins

Considering the number of plugins we’ve suggested you install to improve your WordPress site, this may seem contradictory.

Unfortunately, it’s true that having too many plugins installed can cause issues such as-

  • slow down your site
  • create security issues
  • website crash & errors
  • technical difficulties
  • upkeep & updates

Regularly evaluate the plugins you have installed – are they outdated? inefficient? incorrectly configured?

You can find this out by testing your plugins, although, if you have a lot of plugins, this could take a while, days in some cases.

Identify functionality overlapping – many plugins can multi-task and thereby accomplish the function of 2-6 plugins combined together. For example, WP Rocket and WP Total Cache plugins we suggested in this article are both extremely useful and they’re both great.

Yet, some of their functions are similar so you most likely don’t need both. But if you do have both, just make sure you fine-tune the features you use.

Finally, depending on your level of experience, eliminate plugins for tasks you can do manually.

Conclusion

Take time going through your website’s speed test results and identify issues with the greatest impact on your load times. Start with the high-impact ones and work downwards from there.

When it comes to driving conversions to your website, speed is the most important selling factor and always will be.

Your users won’t wait 10 seconds for your site to load, they can just click back to Google and move on the next result.

Samples of your FREE Website Report

Website Speed Check Report Nz

Typically, images are the main culprits in websites slowing down and will most probably be the majority of your work. But just to sum it up, here is a summary of the five things you can do to quickly and easily speed up your website this 2019.

Start by compressing and optimizing your images with an image compressor or a WordPress plugin.

Next, leverage your browser caching via plugins.

Then, remove unnecessary coding manually or by using a plugin.

Later, try implementing AMP on your pages, again by using a plugin.

Last, spend some time and test your installed plugins to remove the ones not needed.

Give your business the boost it needs to succeed. The tasks too much for you? Way too many pages and plugins to go through? Give us a call on 0800 826 366 or drop us a note.

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Website Health & Speed 2019

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