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June 6, 2017

5 Ways to Improve Your Website Speed Right Now

improve page speedWe live in an age of instant gratification. This can be a good thing for search engine users, but it can be a real nuisance for website owners who can’t seem to get their sites running at optimal speeds.

After all, research has shown that most Internet users expect a page to load in less than 3 seconds! If your load times are slower than this, you’ll see your bounce rate (the number of people leaving your site a short time after accessing it) increasing accordingly.

This – along with the fact that page loading time is now a more significant SEO ranking factor than ever before – means that it’s important to optimize your page speed.

How can you do it? It might not be as hard as you think. In this post, we’ll go over five simple ways to improve your website speed.

1 – Optimize Your Site Code

First and foremost, make sure that you optimize the HTML, JavaScript, and CSS on your website. It’s more important than many realize. “Clean code” means your page will run faster and, in some cases, much faster.

Review the coding on your site to make sure there are no superfluous characters such as commas or spaces, a prime culprit when it comes to website lag. If you do find these characters, remove them. Also, consider whether you’re using too much JavaScript – try to reduce the amount of applications that add JavaScript to your site as much as possible.

2 – Resize Images Before Uploading Them

Many website operators will upload an image at any size and then resize it in their website’s backend. This can be convenient for the developer, but it results in a page having to process multiple commands in order to show the image. It’s simply unnecessary given that you could make the images the appropriate size before uploading them. Doing that first is a surefire way to improve your page speed.

3 – Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

Content delivery networks are tools that cache your website. They have servers all over the world, which is ideal since distance from a site’s main server can often play a factor in slow page loading times. If someone located far away from you is trying to access your site, doing so through a more local CDN will improve the load time of the page. Additionally, having your website on multiple servers solves the potential problem of a single server crashing and causing the website itself to be inaccessible. If you’re on a tight budget, try using Cloudflare’s free plan.

4 – Use Gzip Compression

Compressing files is an excellent way to reduce their size and thereby increase the speed of your site by saving bandwidth. Gzip is a popular application that will reduce the size of HTML, CSS, and Javascript files. Keep in mind, however, that you should not use Gzip on image files as this will distort their quality. Besides resizing photos yourself, as mentioned above, you can compress them in a program like Photoshop to save as much space on your site as possible.

5 – Enable Browser Caching

Browser caching is a neat feature that uses a person’s web browser to store assets of your site’s pages on local computers. This makes elements of the pages (like CSS files or logos) easier to “recall,” resulting in faster load times for each subsequent page. “Leveraging” browser caching refers to the process that makes sites faster to load for repeat visitors and is certainly something you should do. WordPress users will have an easier time activating browser caching by using plugins, but you can also implement it through your server-side scripting if you do not use WordPress.

Improving your page speed is now more important than ever for satisfying potential customers as well as for satisfying the search engines and ensuring your website’s rankings remain high.

Oftentimes, a slow website can be attributed to obvious culprits; you just need to know what you’re looking for. Hopefully this post has helped you discover five effective ways to improve your page speed, decrease your bounce rate, and increase conversions.

June 6, 2017 SEO

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