If you employ brilliant writers for your blog posts, use the best copywriters for your sales pages, have landing pages optimized for conversion, have a mobile friendly website, and employ a talented marketing team, then they are poorly utilized if your website has slow page loading speeds. The reason is that much of the traffic driven to your website by your capable marketing team, will not have the patience to wait for the pages to load.
Users of the Internet today want to do more with their limited time, and waiting seven to ten seconds for pages to load on a slow website doesn’t accomplish this. It only makes sense to leave and go to a faster website. Search engines such as Google, are aware of how slow websites degrade the user’s experience. This is why speed is an important ranking factor. However, there are a number of changes you can make to your website development that will increase your page loading speed. Here are three important ones:
Use a Caching Engine
Many content management systems such as WordPress, assemble a web page from its different components on to your browser. These components in turn come from a database. The more components a web page has, the more database queries required, and the longer the page takes to load. Assembling a web page this way allows great flexibility because the components can be different for different visitors. Often this flexibility isn’t needed when every visitor is intended to see the same page layout and content. A caching engine converts the components of a web page into a few (and often only one) static html files. This results in a big reduction of database queries and faster page loading.
Optimize Your Images
- Use correctly sized images. Use correctly sized images on your web pages rather than resizing them with the image tag’s width and height attributes. The resizing operation takes time and thus slows down your page loading speed.
- Use the right image format. Use JPEG images for complex as well as photographic imagery, and GIF format for simple graphics.
- Use image compression. Image compression allows you to reduce an image file size without reducing the image’s dimensional size. JPEG compression can be done within image editing software such as Photoshop and Gimp by reducing the image’s quality. Large file size reductions are possible before the image quality reduction becomes noticeable. You can also use the many image compression services available online.
Keep Plugins and Modules to a Minimum
Popular content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal, have easy-to-install plugins/modules that allow you to add extra functionality to your website. Excessive use of them however, causes code bloat that slows down your website. Avoid plugins/modules that provide more functionality than you need. If a plugin or module has little impact on your website’s performance, conversion, or profits, get rid of it.
In addition to the above suggestions, make sure that you are using a server that can handle your bandwidth usage. For information about how our website development services can help your business succeed, please contact us.