Website speed is extremely important. Your website should be considered the ‘home’ of your digital brand. A good quality website will that loads fast will make a great first impression. However, a website that loads slowly will make a bad first impression.

Did you know that 1 in 4 visitors would abandon a website if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load. Furthermore, 46% of users don’t revisit poorly performing websites.

There is a lot of work to be done when it comes to optimising your website for the best speed. You need to find the best server, set your caching options, and even get your website indexed on Google’s search engine.

You might be losing customers due to poor website performance. Website speed is crucial for your site’s success.

It can be difficult to find the perfect balance of speed and quality when designing an effective website. However, you should always pay close attention to your fundamental UX design.  Designing and building a highly functional site will ensure faster page loading times. The faster a website loads, the more likely Google is to rank the website higher in organic search results. 

Website Speed is power. If your website isn’t fast, you’ll lose the race for success. This is because speed is a competitive advantage. If your website isn’t fast, people will leave your website and go visit your competitors.

Top 5 Ways to Improve Website Speed

  1. Enable compression
  2. Leverage browser caching
  3. Optimise images
  4. Reduce redirects
  5. Improve server response time

It’s fairly obvious that website speed plays an important role in the user experience, yet many website owners don’t realise that is an important factor to consider within technical SEO. Search engines have become more reliant on speed tests to determine rankings, which is causing a lot of issues for brands that are struggling with slow loading sites. These slow loading sites are leading to bounce rates and loss of traffic and revenue.

How to reduce file sizes of all media assets on your site

  • Size your images more appropriately – Clients often upload too many large high-res photos without resizing first. Many website operators end up uploading files that are way too big to put on a website and as a result, loading times become slower.

Don’t upload a 6500-pixel wide image if it’s going to be displayed at 600 pixels. It will be difficult to read, slow loading and won’t convert well. It’s best to upload at 100% then crop it down after upload. Make sure the photos are sized according to the parameters of the website design.

  • Stick to JPG file types when possible
    JPG is a compressed image format that can be used on almost all applications. However, if you are working with printing, photography or other applications where it is necessary to preserve more details, use the PNG format. So for the vast majority of applications, JPG is preferred. You should only use PNG when transparency is necessary.
  • Compress all photos – Large photos aren’t going to be a huge problem in and of themselves because they will still be small enough to upload. Make sure that all photos are compressed, as the compression can significantly reduce the file size, without dramatically sacrificing picture quality. At a basic level, most image applications allow you to export images in web format.
  • Compress all video – Video, especially high definition video, has the potential to significantly reduce your website’s speed. Be sure to compress each video using a video compression tool. Again, there are plenty of compression tools available and you should research which one best fits your requirements. You can also use third-party hosting platforms for your videos such as YouTube. By uploading a video to YouTube, you can embed the video onto your website. When a video is uploaded to YouTube, they are hosting the video which means your website won’t be responsible for storing the file. This will result in faster loading times for your website.

Some more tips explained for Speeding up your Site

  • File Compression of Code where possible – reduce the size of your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files that are larger than 150 bytes.
  • Leverage Site Caching when appropriate – If your design doesn’t change frequently, returning users can reload the pages quicker. Google has more information about leveraging caching here.
  • Use a Content Distribution Network (CDN) – Essentially, various copies of the website are stored at multiple, geographically diverse data centres so that users have faster and more reliable access to your site.
  • Optimise the size of your Images – Using suitable file types such as PNG and JPEG will reduce the load time considerably. Reducing the file size, yet maintaining significant quality is a primary focus. 
  • Reduce the number of active Plugins – the amount of software you use to make your site work efficiently will reduce the overall speed of your site.  Planning an efficient site is possible with a reduced rate of plugins. If something is practically unnecessary, remove it. Clearly Speed optimisation plugins are also beneficial.
  • Hosting Providers are important – Choosing a hosting service that promotes better quality file storage is crucial.  Ensuring that your site is hosted on Solid-State Drives is mandatory for efficient file hosting. 

It is also worth noting that your website speed also affects the performance of your Paid Advertising. Paid Search and Paid Social advertising will be less effective and actually cost more per click when your website is performing poorly.  Advertising platforms do not want to send their users to poor sponsored links when they perform badly.  It is definitely worth your time and investment in speeding up your site.  It should be regularly reviewed and checked frequently.

If your website is taking some time to load, it could be that your website is just too slow. It’s important to remember that page speed is a known ranking factor, so you need to devote your time and effort to making your website as fast as possible.

How do I check my website speed?

There are lots of free testing tools for checking the speed of your sites, such as GTmetrix and WebPageTest. Google Page Insights is perhaps the most reliable tool for improving speed in relation to SEO. A great benefit of using web design tools is that you can get recommendations for your site. These online tools are generally simple to use but can provide a lot of great suggestions.

Although many website owners actually believe that their website is quick enough, ideally your site should load in two or three seconds. Users won’t be able to use your site correctly if it’s taking too long to load.

This is increasingly important on mobile devices as people are actively processing information quicker. Bounce rates are a critical statistic for Google bots crawling your website.  This will ultimately affect the indexing of your pages and the ranking that your website receives. 

So let’s get your site up to speed. Avoid your customers abandoning a loading shopping cart and bringing their business to your competitors.

Get a free digital marketing consultation with VIMAR. During this consultation, you will get an in-depth audit by talking to our team about your website performance and ways it can be improved.