The last thing you want your visitors to experience is a slow-loading website that chugs along and doesn’t deliver the information or services that they expected. If you’re trying to sell a product or even just get people to read your blog posts, then a slow website speed is going to cause major issues that will create a bad first impression.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few simple and easy steps to help you improve your website speed so that you never scare off potential viewers.
1. Compress files
If you’re using a lot of images and videos then it’s a good idea to compress those files to ensure that they’re not taking too long to load. This is especially noticeable on mobile devices when network coverage can be a little flakey.
2. Choose the right hosting option
When hosting a website, you typically have a few options; shared, VPS or dedicated hosting.
Shared hosting is the cheapest and you’ll share resources like CPU, hard drive space and RAM with other websites. This means that you’ll occasionally get slow service if other sites are utilizing more of those resources.
VPS hosting is also a form of shared hosting, but you won’t actually share the resources. Instead, you’ll have your own dedicated resources that are guaranteed.
Dedicated hosting is having your very own hardware that is entirely yours. You get complete control over it and it’s the most expensive option, but also the most customizable and the one that is least prone to performance issues.
In short, avoid shared hosting and go with VPS hosting if you’re on a budget, but choose dedicated hosting if you know what you’re doing and need a lot of space and control over your website.
3. Enable caching
Caching basically means storing parts of your website’s content on the user’s device so that when it loads the next time, it’s faster. Enabling this will speed up the user’s experience after the first visit, making it a great way to speed up your site.
4. Using a CDN
A CDN, or content delivery network, helps users download your content by placing it on a global network of servers that are accessed depending on the location of the user. This means that files will download faster because they’re hosted on a server that is closer to the physical location of the user, instead of having just a single location where they are accessed.
5. Lower plugin numbers
If you’re using WordPress then you’ll have probably noticed that you can install plenty of useful-sounding plugins. Unfortunately, these contribute to slower loading times and it’s essential that you do what you can to minimize their use while still retaining functionality on your website.
6. HTTP requests
When you visit a website, an HTTP request is made for every element that you have on your page like images, stylesheets and videos. You can optimize your website by reducing the number of HTTP requests. This is generally done by removing any requests that are unnecessary, such as images that aren’t displayed or can be replaced with a more efficient option.