Time runs our world. It dictates where we are supposed to be and how long we have to spend on things. Not following time can land us into trouble – a lost job or a missed opportunity with a client.
Knowing how important time is, you can’t ignore it when it comes to other aspects of life. For example, do you have the time and patience to wait for pages on a website to load? If you don’t, why would other people?
The truth is that speed is incredibly important for your website and a major ranking signal for SEO in Louisiana. A few extra seconds of load time can result in lost visitors, lower conversions and a decrease in customer satisfaction. Consider that pages that load within two seconds have a bounce rate of nine percent, while those that take five seconds have a bounce rate of 38%.
Fortunately, there are many ways to speed up your website to improve the user experience and keep people on your site longer. Before you get started, you should set a goal of how fast you want your pages to load. (Psst… it should be one to three seconds.)
Minimize HTTP requests
The reason why it takes several seconds for a page to load is because the different parts of the page need to be downloaded, such as images, stylesheets and scripts. So, the more elements that are on your page, the longer it will take to load. To help with this, you can minimize HTTP requests.
HubSpot has a great article that goes into detail about how to reduce HTTP requests, so we recommend that you check it out. By completing this step, you take away requests that are not needed, speeding up load times.
Use a content delivery network (CDN)
A fast and simple way to improve site speed is by moving your website to a CDN. CDNs host files across a large network of servers from around the world. So, if a person in China is using your site, they are downloading files from the server closest to them. This saves time for two reasons. First, files are being downloaded from a nearby server. Second, because these servers are spread out, no one server has to carry all the burden.
Install a caching plugin
If you’re using WordPress (which is a great choice for speed by the way), you can download and install a caching plugin such as WP Total Cache. The purpose of caching is to store data in a temporary area. This way, when a user visits your website, they can pull the data from the cache rather than the server, saving you time and excess traffic. Caching plugins do this for you, among other things.
Choose a good theme
To prevent speed issues from the start, choose a good theme. WordPress has thousands of free and paid themes to help you build a site that is beautiful, responsive and SEO friendly. If you’re having your site built, make sure that your web developer has chosen a good theme. Unfortunately, there have been many people who have paid big money to have a site that looks great but performs terribly.
Last on our list is compressing images. You can use the WP Smush.it plugin to do this for you. By compressing your images, you reduce their size without impacting quality. We like WP Smush.it because it automatically compresses any image that is uploaded to your site. You can also compress all images in your media library.
Need help making your site faster? Contact WSI Star Web Solutions for a site review and to determine how to speed up page load times. Sometimes, it only takes a few simple tweaks!