If you’re of the opinion that speed doesn’t really matter on your website, here are some statistics that will quickly change your mind.
According to the Aberdeen Group, a 1 second delay in the loading time of your website leads to:
• An 11% reduction in page views
• A 16% decrease in the satisfaction a customer receives from your site
• A 7% loss of conversions
Add in the fact that Amazon claim they increase revenue by 1% for every 100 milliseconds they can improve their loading time and Walmart saying they benefit by a rise of 2% for their conversions for every second of improved speed, and you have an issue that you need to focus on.
Visit Google PageSpeed Insights
Your starting point should be to review your site and determine if there are any issues that are impacting on the speed of your site. Don’t worry if you have no skills or experience in this area, visit Google PageSpeed Insights, enter your web address and you will receive an evaluation of your site. Google wants websites to load quickly so this will be relevant and tailored information for your needs.
You will be provided with tips you can follow to improve your loading time and you’ll be provided with information on what impact these changes will have. Given that this information will be tailored to your actual site, this is the best initial step to take when looking to improve the speed of your site.
However, here are some basic tips to improve the speed of your website:
Review and tweak images
If you have large images and graphics, the speed of your site is likely to be impacted upon. If you don’t need to use large images and graphics, don’t. If you can save design elements as a PNG file as opposed to a JPG file, you should. You should also look to use web-optimised images.
Plug-ins can be helpful in improving your website’s looks and utility, but these can impact on the speed of your site.
If you have plug-ins loaded or enabled that are not essential to your site, remove them. If you use a lot of plug-ins, it may be worthwhile (if you can justify the cost) of hiring a developer to review your plug-ins and see if they can provide you with a better designed website that meets your needs.
Do you need a fancy home page?
Your home page should welcome your guests and allow them to navigate around the rest of your site. It is good to make a positive first impression but equally, if you have Flash content and a lot of widgets, share buttons and content, you may overwhelm the user, and you are also likely to slow your site down.
It makes sense to keep your site as simple as you possibly can, and this is true for your home page.
Other tips you can follow include:
• Compress your site as much as you can
• Review how you utilise YouTube content on your site
These are all quick tips that will hopefully make a difference to the overall speed of your site. Using Google PageSpeed Insights will provide you with tailored improvements you can make but it never hurts to periodically review your site and look for ways in which you can improve your loading speed.