Hate slow websites? Me too. Google hates them too. In this blog article you’re going to discover the top 3 steps to improve your web page speeds quickly. Keep your leads on your website and stop giving them away to your competition.
Why is your page speed important?
Poor page speed can play a major role hurting your search rankings and limit the number of visitors you get from search engines. Google has been taking page load speed into consideration as a ranking factor for years. The new Google Search Engine Optimisation update happening May/June 2021 now focusing more on user experience. No one likes waiting for slow websites. And if your website is slow, people may leave without getting a chance to see what you have to offer. Web page speed is more important than ever for a pleasant user experience. Studies have shown that as much as 56% of users will leave a web page if loading time is more than 3 seconds. (It takes a lot less than this to actually lose a sale, and the bounce rate can be much higher.) When you look at it from this perspective, improving the speed of your web page is not just a nice-to-have, but a must.
Luckily, there are ways to speed up your web page without having to redesign the whole thing. Increase conversion rate, website performance, web page speeds for better user experience, search engine optimisation like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
What is web page speed and Website Speed Booster?
Web page speed is how long it takes for your website or page loads for your users. This is also referred to as the load time. As the attention span of people is all-time low, speed is paramount. Everyone in Australia hates slow sites. Doesn’t it frustrate you when you click on a website you’re interested in but all you see is a loading icon or a white screen with no content? that’s not a good experience is it? Long load times make people leave your web page. How long does your web page take to load? Google, Yahoo, Bing search engines hate it too so best to optimise it to improve loading speed of your site. Our Website Speed Booster can take care of that. All the following tips and more can be done to fix your web page speeds.
How to speed up load times and web page speeds
Firstly, use the Google page speed test: PageSpeed Insight to test your web page speed. This gives us a benchmark of the current page speed and page insights of issues you may have. You’ll know how much work is needed. Your mobile score will always be worse than desktop score due to the difference in computing power so no need to get freaked out too much. What is important though, you’ll need to get your scores away from the red zone at the very least. Yellow is common but green is where you want to strive towards.
1. Choose true dedicated WordPress Optimised Web Hosting
The speed of your server configuration is key to how fast your website loads. It may not be the only factor affecting the speed of your website, but it is a factor nonetheless – and one that you can control. Choosing the right web hosting provider is the single most important factor in how fast or slow your website loads. You need to make sure that you choose a web hosting provider that is up to the task of loading all the content that your website has in a speedy manner.
All the cheaper web hosts like Hostgator, BlueHost, SiteGround, GoDaddy offer Shared Web Hosting and so-called WordPress Hosting. The reason they are so cheap is they are sharing its server resources with a lot of other websites as well. That’s a bad thing. For example, if one site on your shared server has a lot of traffic, it can and will draw most of the resources to cater for the surge in traffic. This leaves your site and the rest of the websites on the same server struggling for resources to serve your page content. Thus, your web page speeds are slow and terrible. Similarly, if a website on the server you share is hacked, your website can be vulnerable too. Additionally, their “WordPress Hosting” is just the same shared web hosting server configurations with WordPress installed. It’s not optimised for WordPress. It is highly misleading so it’s no wonder how many small business owners get tricked into buying these inferior plans.
So which web hosting configuration should you use instead? The following should be the bare essentials for a fast and great web host.
- Managed WordPress, optimised for WordPress
- Dedicated server and IP address (not shared)
- 5GBs of storage or more
- Hourly to daily backups
- Staging area (for testing on cloned site, not on live site)
- Dedicated firewalls
- Malware/bot protection
- Uptime monitoring – check when your site is down
- Content Delivery Network (CDN) – faster content delivery
Try doing the Google page speed test again after you’ve migrated to your new web host with above features. You’ll be surprised how much faster it has become by switching from a slow web host to an optimised web host. Many web hosts give a free trial or have a refund policy (ours included) so you could get your site cloned to the new web host and compare the Google page speed test results if you’re unsure.
2. Resize and optimise your images for web
It is extremely important to optimise your images so that they are not unnecessarily increasing loading speed and time. The biggest culprit are business owners, marketers, content creators uploading images not optimised for web use. The file size of each image is usually huge e.g. 1-20mbs. Today’s internet speeds get faster but you’ll still need to optimise your large image file sizes. Imagine trying to load many images with massive file size when they could be much smaller. It’s no wonder why their web page speeds are very slow. Optimised images create a huge impact on website load speeds.
Industry image standards for web are:
- image file less than 200kbs in size
- Maximum 2500 pixels wide or 1600 pixels high.
- 72 DPI
You’ll need photo editing software to crop your images and save it out to above.
If you don’t have access to any, you can try Tinypng. It won’t crop your images but it will compress and convert to 72 DPI to a much smaller size suitable for web use. The most popular image file formats are JPEG and PNG. JPEG images tend to produce smaller file sizes. PNG image files are also compressed, but not as much as JPEG files. PNG is designed for images that contain larger areas of uniform colour or with transparency. Again, do another Google page speed test to compare results of before and after.
3. Use image Lazy Load
Lazy loading images is a technique that delays loading the full version of an image until the user has scrolled close to it. For example, if you visit the homepage of the blog above, you will not see any images, because they are not loaded until you scroll over them. Sometimes, the simplest fixes can make the biggest difference. Responsive web design and the various proposed methods of responsive images, the best way forward is to get this out of the way early. This is one of the simplest ways to increase page speed. Yes, do another Google page speed test to compare results of before and after lazy load implementation.
4. Other boring technical methods (Bonus)
The following are reserved to professionals who know what they are doing with WordPress development and web hosting servers. If not, you risk running into issues to your WordPress website. Highly recommend hiring a WordPress web developer or risk breaking your site.
- Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Delete unused plugin and unnecessary plugin
- Delete draft pages and post revisions
- Reduce server response time
- Reduce unnecessary request of code or files
- Cleaner code and unnecessary bloat by web developer
- Try asynchronous loading of files
- Reduce server resource needed to load
- Clean up WordPress databases
- Use a caching plugin, free or premium plugin
Test web page speeds and compare with original test
Once you’ve completed the above speed optimisations, run the web page speed test tool Google Pageinsight again. How did you go? Did your score and page speed improve? If so, congrats! Use Google Analytics to see if you have increased website traffic gradually over time after speed optimisations. It may take Google some time to recognise your changes. If not, it’s time to hire a professional. There may be bigger problems that need to be diagnosed and fixed.
Slow web page speeds and long load times kills user experience, trust and authority. Search engines like Google, Bing and yahoo penalise slow websites with slow web page speeds. It is the critical factor that creates loss in conversion. Use our top 3 (or 4) quick steps above: changing web hosts, resizing and optimising images for web use, using image lazy load to increase page speeds for faster performance. If you’re having trouble implementing these steps, hiring a professional WordPress web developer is highly recommended. The faster you get it done, the better. Done successfully results in pleasant user experience, higher customer satisfaction and higher search engine ranking. To learn more, simply book a call with us down below and mention Website Speed Booster.
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