The one thing that every online consumer looks for is speed. Delay in responding to a visitor’s request can drastically affect the performance and productivity of a website.
Speed has a telling effect on where your page will rank as Google has stated its preference of a faster website for better page ranking. Visitors get restless and agitated when they are made to wait. They will close your site and move to your competitor.
You may wonder what you must do to improve the speed of the website. There are several ways which if implemented properly will decrease the page load time and increase conversions. Even if your site is fast, the following steps can help in improving the speed.
Allow GZIP compression
The pages become heavy and large when you create quality content due to which downloads take time. You must zip the pages with GZIP compression. GZIP is a technique to compress and reduce the file size.
This allows your web server to send the smaller file sizes and load faster upon request from a visitor browser. This method reduces the file size by at least 70% and speeds up the page download. The quality of any of the content like videos, images is not spoiled in any manner.
Optimize your images
Images sometimes go big with comments and descriptions. You must keep the image size small without losing the quality. Cut the images to the right size otherwise it will slow the page download drastically. You could use an image quality slider. Save in JPEG format or PNG. If the graphics are small use GIFs. Reduce the color depth to as low as possible. Consider disabling image comments.
Do not use HTML for resizing
Even if you use HTML to reduce the file size it does not scale the image instantly. The visitor browser will first download the image in its original full size and then scale it. Instead, you can specify the image to the right size without using CSS and enhance the size the load speed with an image editor like Photoshop and save it in a new file.
Enable browser caching
The copies of your site pages’ components like images, scripts, stylesheets are stored on the visitor’s browser when they send their first request. Whenever they return in future, the page is generated instantly and only new components if any will be required to be downloaded. Browser caching can be done with plugins like the WordPress W3 Total Cache plugin.
You may have to redirect the visitor browser from one URL to another on certain occasions to indicate new location using the 301 Redirects. But enabling it too often may create a chaos and slow down as it streams from the earlier location to reach the new destination.
Use CDN (content delivery networks)
A CDN is designed to overcome latency. The technology caches your website pages on a network of servers in different locations across the globe. When a visitor comes up with a request, content is delivered from the server closest to the visitor’s location.
Remove unwanted plugins
Generally, most website administrators do the mistake of adding plugins and applications which they may never use. These tools consume resources and you may have to keep increasing the resource capacity which adds to the burden and results in a slower site. You must disable the plugins which you do not require to run the site more efficiently.
Choose your hosting provider after much deliberation. You need one that offers you the best quality hardware infrastructure and builds robust servers. They should provide 24/7/365 days technical support to be available lest your website has some technical issues. Being slow or unavailable to your visitors means loss of conversions and productivity.