How to Increase Website Speed
Website speed is crucial, so it’s important to find and implement website optimization techniques to improve site speed. Here are a few ways to provide a significantly faster website.
Tip #1: Reduce Image Size
The eye processes an image 60,000 times faster than text. This scientific reality is why so many websites are graphic-heavy. Conveying messages via video, photos, infographics, or banners is a streamlined way of connecting with an audience.
Images come with larger file sizes, though. A wealth of visuals slows down a website significantly as it tries to upload high-resolution photos one by one. A solution is to compress images with a tool, such as TinyPNG, which minimizes the degradation of the pictures.
Tip #2: Reduce Web Fonts
A website’s font is one of the more innocuous parts of the design. Users typically only consider it when picking a theme that will match the aesthetics of the website. Specific web fonts can be a hindrance to overall website performance, however.
Web fonts might be problematic because they are customizable and have the potential for hefty file sizes. It can result in the website host retrieving significant amounts of data to display the text correctly. There are no hard limits to web fonts, but two or three fonts with regular, bold, and italics weighting are sufficient.
Tip #3: Find a Reliable Web Hosting Service
There are several ways to choose a web hosting service. It’s important to focus on price and quality of services, along with high uptimes, sizeable storage, and reliable customer service.
Speed is also a critical factor when evaluating hosts. Many hosting services go out of their way to market the processing power and attract new customers. Here are the average speeds of the top ten worldwide hosts:
- DreamHost: 1.119 seconds
- Hub: 1.1252 seconds
- A2 Hosting: 1.1286 seconds
- HostNine: 1.2555 seconds
- 1&1 Internet: 1.2661 seconds
- HostRocket: 1.3018 seconds
- iPage: 1.3455 seconds
- Web.com: 1.3702 seconds
- HostMonster: 1.3804 seconds
- SiteGround: 1.3941 seconds
Tip #4: Use Fewer Plug-Ins
Plug-ins are everywhere. Java, Adobe Flash Player, and QuickTime Player are a few of the prominent. The more plug-ins a site contains, the more it will drain the overall website speed.
One method to counter this lag is to run a website speed tester. It allows you to see whether they need a specific plug-in. Removing unnecessary or outdated versions can improve website speed by two to four percent per plug-in.
Website Speed Tip #5 Use Fewer Redirects
A website redirect, also known as URL redirection, is a way of making a website available under multiple URL addresses. The purpose is to redirect online traffic if a part of the site is under construction or there is a domain change. For instance, if a site has a 301-redirect, it means the content is permanently unavailable.
Redirections can be a useful tool to manage traffic flow, but too many make a site unwieldy. Users have to wait through additional HTTP requests, and the process can slow down the webpage. Using a crawler to find and manually fix redirects can be a time-saving tool.
How to Optimize Website Speed on Mobile
Roughly half of the online traffic stems from mobile devices. Experts expect that ratio to increase in the future as 62.9 percent of the world’s population already own a mobile phone. No matter where online visitors live, though, it is essential to deliver website content as quickly as possible to whatever device your potential customers happen to be using.
Tip #1: Make Resources Smaller
Website codes contain thousands upon thousands of lines. While each line of code serves a specific purpose, there will be many sections that are unwanted or unnecessary. Minimizing or cleaning up your code can improve website speed significantly, in the same way that you effectively trim the excess fat from a juicy cut of meat.
Tip #2: Enable Browser Caching
Caching is another way of storing data so that people can compute future requests quicker. The tool is practical if someone visits a website, for example, and returns a day or two later. Browser caching stores the browser’s memory of the user interaction and ensures that some of the content is pre-loaded when a visitor returns to the site.
Browser caching not only optimizes website speed but also boosts website performance. Saving files can make the visiting experience seamless as people hop instantly from one page to the next without delay. Researchers have found that a webpage with an empty browser page loads in approximately 2.4 seconds on average, while a full one will pop up in 0.9 seconds or less—a significant decrease in loading time and an important factor in happier user experience.
How Can I Increase My WordPress Website Speed?
WordPress is a behemoth in the content management system industry. It has a 60.4 percent market share, followed by Joomla, Drupal, Shopify, and Squarespace, which are each under six percent. If you are in the majority of business who use WordPress, here are three ways to optimize the website:
Tip #1: Update Themes and Plug-Ins
One of the most straightforward website optimization techniques is to update themes and plug-ins. People love to run “remind me tomorrow” options on upgrades, but prompt updating frees up storage space and ensures the best possible user experience with these applications. For instance, an outdated plug-in might be slowing a website’s overall speed.
Tip #2: Make Long Comments and Articles Multiple Pages
Large posts mean sizeable amounts of data. All the data has to go somewhere, and it can burden a website’s speed. The hurdle is especially true for blogs, articles, and copy with multiple high-definition pictures.
A workaround is to separate the articles into multiple pages. Instead of users scrolling endlessly down a page, they can click a “Next Page” icon that allows them to continue reading. The same logic applies to bulky comment sections.
Website owners can split comments in WordPress by clicking “Settings,” then “Discussions,” and checking the box “Break Comments into Pages.”
Tip #3: Take Advantage of a Content Delivery Network
One component of website speed is the distance between the user and the web hosting service. The further users are from the servers, the longer it takes for a site to display content, and vice versa.
Web hosts can mitigate the negative impact of distance with a Content Delivery Network (or CDN). The CDN contains website files and delivers them via a server that is closer to the visitor as opposed to the original one. A popular CDN plug-in on WordPress is Cloudflare, for example.