Have you ever been on the road, and the person in front of you is driving so slow, it feels like they’re practically crawling like the Flintstones?
It’s frustrating, super frustrating.
On the web, slow websites give people the same experience and feeling: it annoys them. The only difference is that online, people can easily click the back button or ‘X’ button, and get rid of your business/offer/website instantly.
Having a fast website is important. So how can you make your company’s website faster? There are two big things you can do, and a few other minor adjustments that help increase your site’s speed:
1. Get Better Hosting
Not all hosting plans are created equal. While Shared Hosting plans are great to start out with, as your company grows you are going to want dedicated and higher performance hosting.
If you’re using WordPress, we use (and HIGHLY) recommend WP Engine. Switching the hosting to WP Engine helped increase my personal blog’s website speed by 90.03%. For WordPress websites, these guys are the best. If your website isn’t a WordPress website – or if you’re just interested in researching some other options – check out Synthesis or dedicated hosting on Bluehost.
2. Optimize your images
When you upload any rasterized images to your website, it’s best to compress and crop the image to the exact dimensions that that image will be displayed at one the site.
For example, lets say you have a 1500×1500 raster image of your office building. The spot on your website (where this image will be placed) is only 800×500. If you upload this raster image at it’s current size, it will slow down your website, because the browser will have to reformat it to correct dimensions (which slows your website’s load time). It is best to first crop/resize the office building photo to 800×500 – the exact dimensions it will be displayed on the website – and then upload the image to the website.
Optimizing images for your website, by compressing and appropriately resizing, will greatly help improve your website’s speed.
Other important factors in a fast website:
- Clean, minified code
- Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- For WordPress, only use plugins you absolutely need, and try to keep it to no more than ten
It’s also a good idea to check your speed before (and after) you make any changes. This way, you’ll know what’s truly working in improving your site’s speed. Free website speed tools like Pingdom, Google PageSpeed Insights, and GTMetrix are great for this.
Your Action Plan:
- Run your website through 2 of the speed test tools above
- Research hosting plans, go with a higher performance hosting plan
- Optimize images for your website
- After steps 1-3 are complete, then go through the bullet point listed above and knock out these tweaks as well (these are important, but don’t have as big an impact as hosting and optimized images.)
What have you found to be beneficial in improving your website’s speed? Leave us a comment and let us know your experience, and feel free to ask any further questions as well! We’ll do our best to answer each one.
Image Source: Giphy