Whether you have a business website, a monetized blog, or you’re simply trying to engage with your customers online, speed matters. Google studies have shown that Americans won’t wait longer than a blink of an eye to access a website. Attention spans are short, competition is fierce, and it’s up to you to literally get up to speed.
A speedy website is also a must for search engine optimization (SEO). Fortunately, there are many things you can do to up the speed. Here are a few of the easiest options that give you the most bang for your buck:
- Switch from basic shared hosting to virtual private servers (VPS hosting). Oftentimes, it costs the same (or the difference is negligible) to make this transition. VPS hosting gives you faster speeds, more security, and typically better customer service. If you’re still stuck with basic, you’re paying the same price for a subpar product.
- Swap images for CSS. If you have a lot of images on your website (or even just a few) switching them for CSS can dramatically improve your speed. This is something a quality web designer should be able to do in a jiffy. If not, it’s time to start shopping around for a new “expert.”
- Zip big pages. If the content on a page is 100kb+, it’s time to zip those files that are bulky and cumbersome to download. This is very common with online retailers who often have a lot of high quality images on their website. This also minimizes HTTP response time, and an easy tool like gzip can make this transition a breeze.
- Say no to pop-ups. Just because something grabs attention doesn’t mean it’s doing so in the right way. Pop-ups aren’t just annoying; they can have visitors clicking away and also slow down your site. Depend on high quality content and beautiful layouts instead of “hacks” to get your visitors to stick around.
- Get your images the right size and format. Actually crop images before putting them on your website (don’t just change the parameters). The end result might look the same, but cropped images take up a lot less space than others. Also make sure the correct formatting is being used. Usually JPEG is best, PNG is okay for most browsers (though it may not show up in all), and GIFs should be reserved solely for small, simple images.
Speeding up your website is one of the best ways to increase conversion and organic traffic. Make sure each of these have been tackled before updating other aspects of your site.