Marketers and website managers sometimes have no clue as to how to make their company’s website faster, even though they may be responsible for its content and general upkeep. A brand-spankin’ new site might have that pristine look now, but it only takes a few months of lackluster care to ruin your visitors’ website experience.
In this article, we’ll share some things our web developers have learned. These include some simple, easy ways to keep your website optimized for page speed and increase the likelihood of getting a better search engine ranking.
1. Lighten the load.
One easy way to increase your website’s page speed is to reduce loading time. The speed that meaningful content first appears when a user goes to your site dramatically affects whether they’ll stick around. The average user will give a website 4-5 seconds before they click away. By reducing load times by just one second, you can increase visitor retention by as much as 30%.
2. Bigger isn’t better for images.
Numerous variables affect the total page size and download time of a web page. One of the easiest to manage is the size of photos and graphics.
To reduce your website’s image sizes, compress them with a photo editing tool like Pixlr or Photoshop. There are also free, web-based tools available like Compressor or Squoosh. Small file sizes, let images download faster. Mobile smartphone users will thank you for not consuming as much bandwidth on their data plan.
3. The right size for the right webpage
Next, make sure your images are the correct pixel size. When you use an image that’s too large, your website resizes the images with HTML. This HTML resizing, unfortunately, creates a performance penalty that affects your website speed.
Get the dimensions of each image, and crop them to the size in pixels they’ll be displayed on your website, and use that to help determine its file type:
- JPG for photographs
- PNG for images with flat colors or transparency
- GIF for animations and simple line drawings
If your graphics are very complex, then it’s best to create an SVG vector version from scratch because they support smaller files while maintaining quality on high-resolution screens. However, compatibility for SVG files on website browsers may be limited, so be sure to check with your web developer for recommendations.
4. Use a fast web host and a CDN.
An optimized website is useless if the web server powering the website is slow and unresponsive or has no CDN to reduce download latency across the globe.
Quality web hosting helps make your website wicked fast. It enables your website to compensate for poor optimization. As a result, it enhances the visitor’s overall experience. Google’s search engine algorithms give websites bonus ranking points for being fast and user-friendly too.
CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) increase the speed of websites by storing your website’s content in multiple servers across the world. CDN-cached content is stored closer to your visitors than the source web server. When visitors download content from your website, it travels from a CDN server to your web browser instead of traveling from the primary web host. This shorter connection reduces latency and speeds up page download time.
At Cooperata, we understand that the architecture of web hosting needs to be high-quality and fast. It’s a game-changer. So we use highly optimized web hosting backed by Google Cloud and host our sites with a CDN baked in.
5. Trim the excess.
Web page weight is the general size of your web page. Any extra megabytes your web page downloads like images, fonts, and other website options add to web page weight.
Speeding up mobile web pages is a crucial task for all advertisers, particularly considering that quick website download times are crucial to a viable mobile marketing approach. In a Google study, 40% of users typically leave a web page if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. Faster page load times provide better user experiences, and it’s also the best way to perk up the usability of your mobile website.
One major wrongdoer has a considerable influence, and that’s carousels/image sliders.
6. Sliders are the silent web page killers.
Image sliders or carousels appear to add a lot of content in a small space. Marketers love them because they can pack numerous promotions in a small area and satisfy every corporate department begging for attention.
Unfortunately, they’re problematic:
“Many sliders have 4-5 large images in a rotation that can take up an entire phone screen or header. In addition, slider carousels typically use jQuery, which loads all of your pictures simultaneously. This slows down page speed and potentially creates end-user frustration. Research studies have discovered that a one-second hold-up in web page action can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions. If a carousel adds simply two more seconds in load time, its material would need to improve conversion rates by 14% to keep modifications equal.” – Metric Theory
The bottom line is that sliders not only slow things down on your website but also add unneeded page bloat. Additionally, they rarely convert to sales – especially after the first or second slide. One way to solve this challenge is to use a static hero image or banner that features one promotion combined with a strong call to action button or link.
7. Remove unneeded third-party services.
Third-party services are sometimes unavoidable, but removing third-party services or dependencies from your website can simplify the number of resources your website has to gather from outside your website. Simplify or reduce the number of 3rd party services, and your page speed will thank you. Below are some common and easy things to “Marie Kondo” the heck out of your website.
- Remove unneeded social media widgets.
- Stop hosting videos on your site and switch to YouTube or Vimeo instead.
- Even better, host them on a video CDN and serve them up remotely without ads.
- Cut out any unused or unnecessary services, such as contact forms or Google Analytics code
- Remove any Chatbots
- Remove any Livechat widgets.
- Remove any unneeded CRM tracking scripts.
- Remove any Heat Tracking scripts.
- Reduce the number of extensions in your CMS
- Remove unnecessary galleries or photo carousels
Some final thoughts.
A fast website is a valuable one. Time is money for not only your company but also for your customer. The best ways to improve page speed and decrease webpage load times are by reducing image sizes, resizing images to the correct dimensions, avoiding sliders and carousels, and reducing 3rd party plugins and dependencies. From there it’s a deep dive into the coding world. If you would like help with any of these tasks or optimizing your site contact a specialist at Cooperata for a performance check today!