Let’s face it: there’s a lot of pressure today when it comes to having a great website for your business. More companies than ever before have websites. You know your site has to capture that customer’s attention right away, before they become easily distracted and wind up clicking on a competitor’s website.
One of the things that most business owners do not think about is the speed of their website. But it’s actually quite important. Providing a quick loading website is something that your customers expect. They will form an instant judgement about your business if your site does or does not load. Quite likely, if your site is not available, they will not give your company a 2nd chance at getting that sale.
Fortunately, there are some simple, inexpensive things that you and your site manager can do right now to greatly increase the speed of your website. It might surprise you when you start to implement these, to notice changes.
Always enable compression
Today’s sites trend to having longer pages – such as mega posts and listicles. Pages are also often heavy on images and video. So it is more critical than ever to enable the compression. This will greatly reduce the bandwidth for them. Otherwise your pages are going to load at the pace it takes a turtle to cross a wide road – which, yes, is a long time.
You’ll want to use a helpful tool called Gzip which compresses them. Fortunately, over 87% of the world’s Internet browsers will accommodate Gzip, so this should work properly for you.
Remember to enable the browser caching
This really helps visitors enjoy your site even more. When someone first comes to your site, their hard drive will actually store some of the elements on their hard drive. Isn’t this amazing? This means that the next time they visit your URL, the browser can quickly load site pages and not need to send a HTTP request to your server again. Which saves a lot of time in terms of Internet speed for download.
Do remember that your pages can have a lot of elements, some as many as 50 or so. By enabling the browser caching, these visitors will enjoy your site as it loads so quickly for them.
Be a Smart Coder
Long ago, websites were simple and required very little code. But today’s sites are far more sophisticated with lots of features. If you are coding at your site, try to do so in the most efficient way. Use clean and polished code so it does not slow down your site.
Some of the simplest ways to do this are to remove any line breaks, extra spaces or indentations that exist within your code. You’ll also want to look through your code with a critical eye, to see if you could do something in 3 lines instead of 15.
We also do not recommend that you use the WYSIWYG feature which lets you create site pages without knowing how to code, as often the actual coding when you look at it is very clumsy. This can really be troublesome for your site and cause it to crawl.
Shorten your server’s response time
Experts recommend that your server have a response time of under 200 milliseconds. What’s important to realize is that you need a server that can accommodate your site and expected traffic. If you’re building a site that is anticipated to compete with Amazon.com, then plan accordingly when it comes to choosing servers.
Optimize your images
Most sites today are quite image heavy. Part of that is because social media has become so popular. Customers also expect to see lots of photos of anything they might be considering buying. So whether they are planning a vacation, buying clothes for their kids or picking out a new car – you can easily tempt them and make that sale with fantastic photos. Because if you do not do it, then your competition certainly will. But there are some tactics which will improve images so they help your site’s speed overall:
Always polish an image to the size you want it to be. Use a free service such as PicMonkey or Canva to easily edit your photo’s size.
The best format for your images is JPEG. Keep in mind that this will work best with the most up-to-date browsers.
The speed of your site is really something most don’t think about until there is a problem. Don’t be that business owner! You do not want to be in the situation where you need to make extreme changes to your site and lots of “fixes” so your site gets speedy once again. That’s a time when you’ll be losing sales and making a bad first impression. In today’s climate, no business owner can afford to do this.
Act now, to keep and maintain a speedy website. Keep those new customers right where they are – on your site placing orders!