Every millisecond counts. How does your website stack up?

If you think page loading speeds aren’t important, think again.

You could be giving your competitor’s new visitors with every extra second it takes for your site to load. Face it, your visitors aren’t patient.

Luckily, there are ways to make your website faster. After all, why let traffic slip away from you when optimizing your site could increase your traffic?

Why It Matters

Page speed is one of the many factors Google uses to rank a site. While it’s not the most important, it can affect other factors. For instance, a high bounce rate could drop your site to page two or further in search results if visitors are constantly leaving your site after just a few seconds.

For businesses, page loading speeds are even more important. A single second can cost you as much as 7% of sales. Another study found 51% of online consumers will avoid making a purchase if a site is too slow. Every millisecond slower your site is than the competition is more visitors you’re losing. This is why speed matters.

Spring Clean Everything

Just like your home, your website needs regular spring cleaning to be faster. Excess code, improper code formatting, old plugins and more all contribute to your overall page size. Getting rid of everything you don’t need reduces file sizes so your site loads faster.

Think about it this way. Would you keep shoes with holes in them sitting by your front door? No. So why clutter up your site with bad code, unused or outdated plugins, bloated themes or other extras your site doesn’t need?

Reduce Image Sizes

Large images that aren’t optimized for the web kill page loading times. Many homepages and blog posts are full of images. You might think larger file sizes equal higher quality images. You have to find a balance. Using image compression tools is one way to reduce each image’s size.

Don’t rely on compression alone. Only upload images with small file sizes that still look good on your site. If a 20 KB image looks the same as a 2 MB one, always go with the 20 KB image. For photos, opt for JPEG images. For your icons and images that have less than 16 colors, PNG works well.

Compress And Cache

Compression helps reduce the file size of resources such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Google recommends using Gzip to compress any files that are over 150 bytes. Don’t use Gzip for image compression though. Use an image editor instead to retain image quality.

Caching is yet another way to reduce page loading times. The first time a visitor views your page, all static elements are stored in the visitor’s browser. The next time they visit, the cached elements are loaded faster because they’re stored on the visitor’s local machine. This helps reduce the number of requests to your server and gives the visitor a better experience.

Check Your Host

Sometimes it’s not your site that’s the problem. It could be your host. If they have overloaded servers, your own site’s performance could suffer. If the host doesn’t offer managed hosting, you could also be missing out on speed boosting performance updates and maintenance.

Using a website maintenance services company to measure performance and up time is a good way to determine whether it’s your site or your host. The last thing you want to do is optimize your site only to find out your web host is holding you back.

Conclusion

Having a website isn’t enough for your visitors. It has to be fast too. Partnering with a web support company could be your best move for making all the tweaks you need to have a faster site than your competitor. No matter what you choose to do, make sure speed is a priority on your site.

Are you losing traffic to the competition? Drive traffic back by contacting FatLab today for the webmaster services you need to boost your speed.

Image: William Warby