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May 30, 2019

Those on a Budget, Get Your Website Moving Fast with this Complete Guide

“Move fast. Speed is one of your main advantages over large competitors.”

Slow is boring. With information made available on the go because of super-fast internet speed and advanced mobile phones available today, anything slow is lost forever.

Before someone interacts with your brands content or services, the first things they exposed to is the Website. If your website doesn’t open at lightning speed, be sure your visitor will leave your site at lightning speed.

And losing a single customer is a much greater loss than one might expect.

Even Google has confirmed – website speed plays an important metrics when ranking on the first page of Google along with excellent and relevant content and mobile-optimized website.

AIM TO BE THE FASTEST

Below 1 second = perfect

1-3 seconds = above average

3-7 seconds = average

7+ seconds = very poor

Did you see this? The benchmarks? It’s not us who are saying. It’s Google. Check your website speed and see where do you fall?

These benchmarks based on studies showing that

  • 47% of people expect a web page to load in under two seconds.
  • 57% of visitors will abandon a page that takes 3 or more seconds to load.
  • 79% of customers said they would not return to a site with poor performance.

Find out more on the new industry benchmarks for mobile page speed by Google.

The stats are a clear indication that Slow Speed Kills Conversions.

Means, your website must load within 3 seconds when that URL’s hit. Anything below this can lead to:

  • Increased Bounce Rate
  • Decreased Google Ranking
  • Decreased Conversions
  • Decreased Website’s Return Visitors
  • Decreased Overall Visibility

WHY IS MY WEBSITE SLOW?

If you are looking at everything RED when you test your website speed in Google, it’s high time you should start worrying about it.

There could be several reasons why your website is loading slow. Anything from image size problem to server load time to redirects, there could be a whole bunch of problems that are sitting on your website, making it too heavy to run fast.

NOW WE KNOW

  • Speed is important
  • Speed is crucial
  • Speed is paramount

NOW IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW HOW TO ACHIEVE THE SPEED

Well, the steps might sound overwhelming but don’t worry, it’s achievable.

So, let’s get started.

Oh yes, one more thing,

Other than Google Page speed insight, there are other tools available to test your website speed. The best once are; GTMetrix, Pingdom and WebPage Test. All are free and easy breezy to use.

#Reduce image size. In need of a good-looking website, developers end up using big images. Reducing the size of these images will save some valuable space and load time.

#Improving the websites Javascript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Tad technical, take the help of an experienced website developer. The developer will know which codes are the same on every page and move the common CSS rules or JavaScript snippets into an external file. This will save a lot of time. Instead of loading dozens or hundreds of lines of code for every page, a single document loads when someone visits the site.

#Minimize the HTTP Request. Again, take the help of a sound developer to look through the number of files called and their size when a web page load. He/she will reduce the number of unnecessary requests to speed up the website.

#Fix all broken links. Broken links not only drains out the bandwidth but one of the reasons the visitor leaves the website. Fixing broken links improves page speed and decreases a noticeable bounce rate.

#Reducing Re-directs. 301 (permanent) and 404 (broken links) both eat-up the speed. Removing them will reduce the load time as the website becomes light with only necessary and important links on the website.

#Leverage of browser caching. This is beneficial for your website’s returning visitors and improves their experience. This enables to store a version of the web page in the browser of the visitor. By leveraging browser caching, you reduce the need for users to download the same files from your web server twice. Secondly, it reduces the number of HTTP requests that need to be made, further speeding up page load time.

#Server-Side Caching. Implement server-side caching to create an HTML page for every URL so that dynamic sites don’t have to build a page each time a URL is requested.

#Resource Compression. Enabling gzip compression that significantly reduces the amount of time to download the resource, reduce data usage for the client, and improve the time to first render of your pages. The size can be reduced to up to 90% by ITcost Developers.

#Resource Minification. This helps in reducing the size of static files by removing those parts of a file that are not necessary for its execution.

#First Contentful Paint. This metrics measures and tells us the time from navigation to the time when the browser renders the first bit of content from the DOM. We can improve this by optimizing the content above the fold and more.

#Render Blocking Scripts. To produce the fastest possible experience for your users, you should try to eliminate any render-blocking resources that aren’t required to display above-the-fold content.

#Invest in descent hosting. Shared hosting server will save you some pound, but shared hosting will also provide a shared load time. If possible, get a stand-alone hosting server. And if yours’s is a local business, opting for the local/regional server will be more beneficial.

#Switch off plugins you don’t use. Plugins are lifesavers, but sometimes they are the biggest culprits for slowing the website. Remove the plugins that are unnecessary or no more in use.

#Use CSS Sprites. Sprite is a single image that contains all the other images. Using CSS, you hide everything in the image except for a section between a set of coordinates. This works because CSS Sprites loads a single image and shows only the section that we want it to show.

#Clean your database. The database can be messy and prove heavy for the website with saved drafts, post revisions, deactivated plugins etc. Clean up the database to speed up the website.

#Use 3rd Party to display content for a speedier website. Use the Facebook Instant Articles platform to showcase your content and rich graphics to drive traffic to a cleaner and lighter website that means only business and drives conversions.

#Improve with lazy loading. This is extremely beneficial for websites with lots of content. Display content that is above the fold quickly and loads anything after that on scroll thus improving the website speed.

LATEST FROM GOOGLE

Mobile-first indexing will be enabled by default for all new websites as of July 1st, 2019

Google says the reason for this change is because new websites are generally ready for mobile-first indexing out of the gate.

SO NOW IT’S EVEN MORE IMPORTANT YO HAVE A WEBSITE THAT LOADS FASTER ON MOBILE.

THE FINAL TAKEAWAY

Website speed might not look like the sexy metric but is the base to all the other metrics and holds the capacity to influence them in a strong way – both negative and positive.

Remember, every second you are reducing your page load time, you are boosting your customer’s confidence and trust on your website.

Implementing the above recommendations will help you in improving the speed of your website. Keep shaving away 0.2 seconds here and 0.1 seconds there, and it really will add up to the overall improvement in the page speed.

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