Website visitors expect one thing from websites: speed.
Your website is often the first impression future customers will have of your business and it’s important to ensure that your website will perform perfectly and load quickly so that those potential customers don't click away.
Not only will a slow site cause customers to leave, but it will actually hurt your ability to rank on search engines like Google. Site speed is factored into search engine algorithms. You need to make sure your website is working for you and the best way to do that is to take these simple and easy steps to improve website performance.
Simplify your HTTP requests
If you're unsure of how to improve website performance, one of the first steps to take is to look at how many HTTP requests your website is making. The majority of a website's loading time is taken up by downloading content for each parts of the page. Images, stylesheets, scripts, and Flash all have their own HTTP request which can make your loading time slow and frustrating to users. The best method to improve website performance for your site is to simplify your design and reduce the number of components on each page. When that is not possible, contact your web developer, they will have other solutions to simplify these requests.
Optimize your websites images
If your concern is focused on how to improve website speed, the best tip that can be given is to always ensure your images are optimized correctly. Your images take up the largest portion of your loading speed for your website. Images that are too large, too high-res, or not compressed make your customers’ experience on your website a negative one. Compress your images without losing quality (or, if you have to, resort to the lowest acceptable quality), and remove unnecessary image resources and metadata to improve website performance. If you're using a platform like WordPress, just look for a bulk image resizer plugin and you can optimize all images on your site within minutes.
The longer CSS takes to load, the longer your website visitor has to wait to see anything on your page. Go through stylesheets and see what code isn’t being used anymore after any changes you may have made to your website over time, and get rid of anything that can be removed. After it’s been cleared, minimize stylesheets to decrease the filesize of what is being loaded for your page. There are online tools which can be used to minimize CSS, or you can consult a web development expert to help.
Use a caching plugin
If your website is built on WordPress, you can download a caching plugin. The plugin works to store parts of your website so that these parts only need to be loaded once, rather than every single time a customer visits your website. If you’re looking to promote return visitors for your website (which you should be!) this is especially important. Some examples of these plugins are W3 Total Cache, which boasts a 10 times increase in overall site performance when used fully, and WP Super Cache, which is a more user friendly version of the plugin.
Optimizing your website to improve performance and speed can make a significant difference in your conversion rates. There are other areas in which you can improve your website as well, check out this article: Top 6 website improvement tips to improve your website immediately.
If you’re worried about your websites' performance, be it performance issues, responsive issues or if you are just ready to start again there is value in taking it to the experts. A web development team like ours at Computan can identify the issues in your website performance and help you find ways to improve. Take advantage of our website assessment service below.