Improving your websites page load speed can dramatically improve your websites search engine optimization, propelling you up the search results. Improving your page load speed can improve a user’s experience using your website and improve conversion rate optimization. Luckily there are some very simple things you can do to improve your websites page load speed.
The More Stuff You Have on a Page, the Longer It Takes to Load
These are called HTTP requests, and they bring in all the components needed to generate the page, from images to style sheets and everything that makes your website look awesome. But there are ways to minimize the number of HTTP requests so that it doesn’t prolong the load time. Just saving a few seconds can result in a higher conversion rate and better SEO.
Use the Information on Google’s Webmaster
Google Webmaster Tools gives you all sorts of tools to use to improve your website (free of charge), including something called Page Speed Tools. This allows you to analyze the speed of your website, and it also gives you suggestions of what you need to do to fix it. Some browsers such as Chrome also allow you to install various extensions that help you analyze your website to keep it running fast.
Compress, Compress, Compress For Faster Page Load Speeds
If you are creating long or large web pages, they generally require longer to load on a visitor’s browser. By reducing the size of the pages, you also lower the HTTP response, and your web page loads faster. There are many tools that you can use to help you compress pages, for example GNU Gzip which is open source software. However, if you’re not experienced you need to ask your web host to ensure that your server has the right settings and always, I repeat always ensure you have a full backup of your website before doing anything new on your website.
Link to Gzip – http://www.gnu.org/software/gzip/
Ensure that Browser Caching
If you don’t know what browser caching is, it’s the way that a browser downloads parts of the website on the user’s computer into their temporary storage when you call up the website more than one time. This will make the page load faster each time someone visits the website, multiple times, it’s an important way a browser speeds up page loading.
Format Images Properly
On websites, the best form for an image is JPEG, which will load the fastest. Next is PNG, and finally do not use GIFs unless you must for animated gifts. Never use BMPs or TIFFs as they will not work correctly. You can change the type of image you have by using free open source software such as GIMP’s photo editing software that is a lot like Photoshop, but free. It is also worth pointing out that you should save images at a size suitable for your website and fast loading, so avoid those large image sizes and optimize them also for faster loading speeds.
Link to GIMP – http://www.gimp.org/
Optimize Your Style Sheets
It is thought to be better to use only one external CSS style sheet. Every additional style sheet will increase the slowness of your website. The more you can combine external CSS files, the better the speed of your website will be. If you’re not sure about how to do these things, you may need to seek out an expert.
Reduce the Number of Redirects on Your Website
Many people use redirects for affiliate programs and other reasons to make the link look prettier or to hide the affiliate link code. However, while these are great uses for redirections, try to keep them to a minimum. Redirects take more time to send the code to the user and will slow page speed.
Most people expect pages to load super-fast, so you want to do all you can to maximize the speed at which the page loads – especially if you’re hoping they will purchase the item you’re promoting.
Use Fewer WordPress Plugins
Many people have WordPress websites and this means that they generally utilize plugins which are little applications plugged into a website to perform a specific task, or expand the functionality of the website. These plugins are great however it’s important to understand that the more plugins you have installed the longer your page load time might be and the fewer plugins the faster, so only use those plugins you require and delete those you do not use any longer.
Content Delivery Network
Website Designs utilizes a Content Delivery Network or CDN, this works in a similar fashion to how a browser cache works, in that this website is cached by special computers situated in various places around the world. When someone views a page of this website, the page served is from the most local computer containing a cached version of this website. If you think about this, it means the website is loaded faster because it is always loaded from the most local server.
Page speed is a very important part of your web design if you want to keep people on your website long enough to make a purchase. If the site loads even seconds slower than a visitor desires, they’ll click away and not buy. Add to this the SEO benefits of faster loading websites and it’s a pretty hot topic in website design circles.