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How to speed up your website [2020 revised]

Table of Contents

15 ways to speed up your website

If your website is slow, you are losing sales.

 

A 100-millisecond delay in load time can cause conversion rates
to drop by 7%.

 

According to Google, more than half of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.

 

Think about that. You invest in SEO, Google ads, Facebook ads, fancy copywriting to get as many visitors to your website as possible.

People are clicking on your website, but more than half are leaving BEFORE your page loads….

 

That is just plain wrong!

 

You work hard to build persuasive offers, you have a fantastic product that can help others — so you need to keep visitors on your website by ensuring that it loads quickly enough for them to see your message.

 

There’s another critical reason your website speed is essential. Google will penalise your website in the search results if it is slower than your competitors. You could be spending hours on blogging and big bucks on SEO, only to be hurt by something as simple as your site speed.

 

What’s the solution?

How can you speed up your website?

 

Here are some of the many ways to increase your page speed:

1. ENABLE COMPRESSION

It is possible to enable file compression to reduce the size
of your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files that are larger than 150 bytes.

However, compressing your images this way is not the best idea. 
Instead, to retain control over the quality of the image compress them in Photoshop.

 

2. CHOOSE A FAST WEB HOST

Hosting can have a massive impact on your website speed. You can
check the speed of your hosting provider using a simple tool such as dotcom-tools.                                                                                                                  Changing hosting providers isn’t too challenging; a reputable host will guide you through the process.

 

3. MINIFY HTML, CSS & JAVASCRIPT

It is wise to remove spaces, commas, and other unnecessary
characters. Believe it or not, it can dramatically increase your page speed.
Remember to remove code comments, formatting, and unused code. Here is a link from Google regarding this topic.

 

4. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF REDIRECTS

Each time one of your pages redirects to another page, your
visitor faces additional time waiting. It is also a poor user experience.

➜ Click here to get a faster website

 

5. REMOVE RENDER-BLOCKING JAVASCRIPT

Google suggests avoiding and minimising the use of blocking JavaScript.

In technical speak, when a user visits your website, their browser has to build a DOM tree by parsing HTML before rendering a page. If their browser encounters a script during this process, it has to stop and execute it before it can continue, this slowing your website.

 

6. ADD EXPIRES HEADERS TO LEVERAGE BROWSER CACHING

Expires headers tell the browser to request a specific file from
the webserver or to get a version of a page from the browser’s cache.

Expires headers speed up your site in two ways.

1. They reduce the need for users to download the same files from your web server twice.

2. It reduces the number of HTTP requests that need to be made, further speeding up the time it takes for
the page to load.

Remember, it will only speed up your site for users who have
already visited your website.

 

7. LEVERAGE BROWSER CACHING

Browser caching works by storing certain pages (or parts of
pages) when a user visits your website. For example, the logo on your website
is unlikely to change from day to day. By caching this logo image, we can tell
the user’s browser only to download this image say, once a week. Every visit
that a user makes within a week would not require another download of the logo
image.

In a nutshell, telling the browser to store specific files and not download them each time a user returns to your site saves time and your web server bandwidth.

If you’re using WordPress, an easy way to cut your page loading speed is to install a caching plugin like WP Total Cache or WP Super Cache.

If you are not a developer and all this seems a little overwhelming

➜ Click here to get a faster website

 

8. IMPROVE SERVER RESPONSE TIME

Let’s start by saying that the optimal server response time is under 200ms.

Your server response time can be impacted by the amount of
the traffic you receive, the resources each page uses, the software your server
uses, and the hosting solution you use.

To improve your server response time,

1. Check Your Hosting

2. Choose Your Web Server Carefully

3. Optimize Your Web Servers

4. Reduce Bloat

5. Optimize Your Database

 

9. USE A CONTENT DISTRIBUTION NETWORK

How does a content distribution network (CDN) work?

Essentially, copies of your website are stored at multiple,
geographically diverse data centres so that users have faster and more reliable access to your site. Check with your hosting provider. We like Squarespace because they automatically optimise your content delivery using a global CDN, which ensures that your pages load quickly for your visitors no matter where they are in the world.

 

See how our team can drive an insane amount of highly targeted traffic to your website and then convert it. ​​

Websites that sell:
Most websites don’t convert, your’s will.

SEO that ranks:
Get on the first page of Google, guaranteed.

Ads that work:
Clear predictable returns.

Content Marketing:
Our team will create the images, write the articles and grow your brand.

 

10. OPTIMIZE IMAGES

Large images slow down your web pages which creates a poor user
experience. Optimising images is the process of decreasing their file size,
using either a plugin or script, which speeds up the page’s load time.

Be sure that your images are no larger than they need to be. Save your photographs as JPEG and your graphics (and screenshots) as PNG as a general rule of thumb.

If you are not a developer and all this seems a little
overwhelming ➜ Click here to get a faster website

 

11. USE A GOOD WORDPRESS THEME

They say that prevention is better than cure. This is definitely the case with website speed.

To prevent many of the speed issues in the first place, you should opt for a good host, a good CDN, and a good theme/design.

When designing your website, clarity and simplicity are always
better than fancy, complicated designs. Not only for page speed but for user
experience.

When someone lands on your website, what are they trying to do?
Help them do that thing as quickly and easily as possible.

When choosing a theme, if in doubt, go minimal.

 

12. SWITCH OFF ANY UNUSED PLUGINS

If you are using WordPress, plugins are typically the biggest
culprit for slowing your site down. Take a look at your plugins; if there are
any that you are no longer using, delete them – Easy!

 

13. SPECIFY A CHARACTER SET

It can be useful to specify a character set in your HTTP
response headers. Meaning that the browser won’t have to spend extra time working out which character set you’re using.

 

14. DISABLE IMAGE HOTLINKING

When other websites’ ‘hot link’ to your images, it steals
bandwidth, thus slowing your site down. To prevent other sites from ‘stealing’
your bandwidth, ask your developer to add a snippet of code to your htaccess file.

 

15. FIX ANY BROKEN LINKS

Broken links are a drain on bandwidth and also a pain in the
butt for website visitors. Fixing broken links can also increase page views and
decrease bounce rate…. Which will ultimately influence your conversion rate.

Use Google Webmaster Tools (crawl errors tab) to identify your broken links.

 

HERE’S THE BOTTOM LINE:

If all of this is a bit overwhelming, here’s what you can do:

Step 1. Get your free speed test report at GTmetrix.com

Step 2. Give it to your web developer and ask them to fix
the areas identified in the report

Step 3. Sit back, relax and enjoy your fast website (and better Google rankings, more website visitors and more sales!)

James Hannan

StoryBrand Certified Guide | Business Made Simple Coach | Social Media Wizard

Results and Co – Part of the Rise Group

Storybrand Guide Australia

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