A slow website is not just unsatisfactory for users who visit your site but also bad for your SEO. This is because website speed is a ranking factor.
A one-second delay in page load time yields:
- 11% fewer page views
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
- 7% loss in conversions
3-4 secs of loading time is given a “Poor Score” by Google’s algorithm. So, search engines are that strict!
In 2020, Google announced that page experience signals would be included in Google search ranking. So a Slow speed= dim chances of ranking in Google.
In this competitive world of SEO, if you want to rank for the important keywords in your industry then you have to be at the top of your game at all times. This is why improving the website speed for our SEO clients remains our top priority at Inbound Media. Our developer works round the clock on improving our SEO client’s website.
Recently, I’ve been sharing a lot of tips on my LinkedIn about website speed and page experience. This is because Google is getting pretty strict about the overall user experience on the website, especially on mobile devices. I want my LinkedIn followers to stay up to date with the latest in SEO so they continue to grow online.
Here in this article, I will give you a full guide to improving your website speed and performance on both desktop and mobile. If you get stuck somewhere you can always contact us for help.
Website speed Effect On Your Business
Slow sites kill conversions. And you lose customers.
In fact, 47% of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less. And 40% will abandon a page that takes three or more seconds.
The users who decided to stay on your site despite the slow speed might never come back due to the subpar user experience. In one survey, 79% of customers said they would not return to a site with poor performance.
So you can imagine how important website speed is, not just for SEO but also for your business.
How to Improve Website Speed
First, check your website score in Google’s own “Page Speed Insights tool”. This is a great tool for checking your web page speed. If you enter your web page URL in this tool, it will return the results with your performance score on desktop/ mobile, issues and suggestions on how to fix them.
Below I will cover details on how to fix these issues and how to improve the score.
If you don’t have a website yet or planning to fully redesign your site/ give a new life to your site then you can check out the website design services page to get help.
Another great tool is “Pingdom website speed test” which does a similar job.
Tips and best practices you can use to decrease your load times and improve your site’s performance:
Reduce Image size
Reduce the overall size of the images on your web page. I use this tool: compressnow.com to compress the images. With this tool, you can reduce image size by a certain percentage. Keep reducing till you get the lowest possible size, without losing image resolution. Usually, up to 40-60% works well depending on image. You really have to test it with each image. Of course, we would prefer the lowest size, far as the size does not lose quality.
To automatically compress image size, I use the WordPress plugin – “WP Smush” – an image compression plugin for WordPress. To install to your site, just go to plugins> add new > search for WP smush> install> activate. After this, every time you add an image, it will automatically smush your images.
Improve Web Hosting
Upgrade your website’s hosting. Choose a reliable company. Check with your website hosting provider, just give them a call and discuss what plans would be better to speed up the website speed.
We offer high-speed hosting to our clients. We also offer free website hosting management every month so if there is an issue, we take care of it and you don’t even have to reach out to support to get issues fixed. We do it all for you. We also provide regular site backup so in case the site is lost due to some hack/spam attack (more common than you may think!) then we can recover the site easily.
Minimize HTTP requests
According to Yahoo developer web performance research, 80% of the end-user response time is spent on the front-end. Most of this time is tied up in downloading all the components in the page: images, stylesheets, scripts, Flash, etc. Reducing the number of components in turn reduces the number of HTTP requests required to render the page. This is the key to faster pages.
How to reduce these components? Well, simply the design of the page. But there are also other more technical ways that we can adopt without sacrificing the design features (it’s more on the technical side so you can simply pass these 4 points to your developer and skip to the next part):
- Combined files are a way to reduce the number of HTTP requests by combining all scripts into a single script, and similarly combining all CSS into a single stylesheet.
- CSS Sprites are the preferred method for reducing the number of image requests. Combine your background images into a single image and use the CSS
background-positionproperties to display the desired image segment.
- Image maps combine multiple images into a single image. The overall size is about the same, but reducing the number of HTTP requests speeds up the page. Image maps only work if the images are contiguous in the page, such as a navigation bar. Defining the coordinates of image maps can be tedious and error prone. Using image maps for navigation is not accessible too, so it’s not recommended.
- Inline images use the
data:URL scheme to embed the image data in the actual page. This can increase the size of your HTML document. Combining inline images into your (cached) stylesheets is a way to reduce HTTP requests and avoid increasing the size of your pages. Inline images are not yet supported across all major browsers.
So these were some technical ways to reduce the number of HTTP requests on your page. It’s really critical for improving performance for first-time visitors. As explained in Tenni Theurer’s blog post Browser Cache Usage – Exposed!, 40-60% of daily visitors to your site come in with an empty cache. Making your page fast for these first-time visitors is key to a better user experience.
Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Make use of CDN to speed up your WordPress site and webpage load time.
Some of the popular CDN service providers are Cloudflare, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Akamai, NetDNA, Fastly, Imperva, Verizon, and Microsoft Azure.
However, you should note that you still need a web hosting account to keep your website files. The job of the CDN provider is to keep the static resources of your website and not host your original website files. The visitor will be served with a cached copy of the website from the nearest CDN server and not the original files from your web host. This will help you to reduce the loading time of your website.
Keep testing: Use tools like Pingdom and Google speed test tool to find out the issues with page loading and get it fixed.
Still, need help?
We offer comprehensive WordPress website maintenance, tech support, and care services to ensure that your website is always up-to-date, secure, and running smoothly. With our services, you can focus on growing your business without worrying about technical issues.