In the digital world, website speed is everything. Consumers are always on the go, wanting things to get done as fast as possible. In turn, brands must be able to keep up. A crucial element to this is a website’s page speed, which significantly impacts how online users view your brand.
Today, a slow-loading website is unacceptable. Brands only have less than two seconds before impatience kicks in and users take their business elsewhere. This is even more intense on mobile, where most users are more rushed. According to 2018 research by Google, 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.
There are several factors that cause slow page load times, such as design, links, media, etc. Besides your customers, a slow-loading website can affect your rankings as search engines’ algorithms will usually push your site down on the ranking page if they recognise a loading problem.
Before we dive into ways how you can optimise your website speed, we will first need to determine your current website speed.
How to see how fast your website loads
Here are the most popular tools (free) that tell you how fast or slow your current website is.
Page Speed Insights by Google
Website Speed Test by Pingdom Tools
Website Speed and Performance Test by GTmetrix
Indeed, having quality images on your website is crucial, but they usually come as large files. Large files are the easiest way to slow down a website. The good news is, you don’t need to compromise the quality of your images. All you need to do is optimise them using online tools, such as Kraken, to compress the file without compromising its quality.
Plugins are all fun, until they slow down your website. The more you have on your site, the more resources you need to run them. Therefore, revisit your website plugins; run a performance test to see which plugins slow down your website. As much as possible, avoid plugins that load a lot of scripts and styles.
Implement Website Caching
Caching will save visitors reloading the same data every time they visit your site. In turn, this will improve site speed. However, website caching is different for each platform. You will need to contact your web hosting provider to explore your website caching options.
Website redirects lead to HTTP requests, which have a negative impact on site performance. If not necessary, avoid redirects as much as you can. You can identify redirects by running a site scan using online tools.
Compression can significantly reduce the page size that will help with its speed. Consider it like having your website into a zip file. Compression will depend on your web server and its settings. With that, you need to contact your hosting company to see what they can do.
First impressions last, and this holds true in the digital world. Usually, you don’t get a second chance when users turn away from your page. Despite the many possible reasons why a user would exit your page, one of the most common is the page speed. That’s why if you notice a higher bounce rate, then it’s probably time to check out how fast your site is loading across all devices.
Use the tips listed above to help optimise your website speed. Remember, website speed is a continuous process. It’s an important part of your marketing strategy, so make sure you dedicate time and effort to it.
SKCreative is a freelance website designer in Melbourne that can help you optimise your website. Contact us today to find out how we can help you improve your website!