Just how important do you think your website speed is? It’s VERY IMPORTANT, believe it or not. To test my site speed I use an array of different tools. They all do the same thing, they test your site speed. The thing is though you will get conflicting differences from one site speed check to another.
That’s why I use a variety of site speed checks then I can average out the basic speed for my website.
It’s the same when you do an SEO audit on your website. You need to use an assortment of tools because once again you will get conflicting evidence. This is another topic entirely though!
I want to show you in simple terms and a no-nonsense easy to understand the way the whys and wherefores of optimizing your website for a better speed.
When to do a Site Speed Test
I personally like to do a check every other day. The reason being your website stats can change from day to day even hour to hour. The importance of the time your website loads is paramount. The reason it is important is that Google and other search engines take the time your website loads as a ranking factor.
Search engines want the best search experience for their clients. If you have a slow loading time on your website it will be factored in your ranking. We are not talking about seconds here but milliseconds.
Basic Facts About Site Speed
1 in 4 visitors will abandon your website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load
74% of mobile users will leave a website if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load
47% of e-commerce customers expect page load times of less than 2 seconds before they consider leaving
40% of users would abandon the site at the third second of waiting before a performance analytics tool even captures their presence on the site!
46% of users won’t revisit poorly performing websites
Website owners have less than 5 seconds to engage visitors before they consider leaving
The average peak load time for conversions is around 2 seconds
Every 100 ms increase in load time to Amazon decreased sales by 1%!
Every one-second delay in page load time could lead to $1.6 billion in annual losses for online merchants as big as Amazon
Walmart saw a 2% increase in conversion rates for every 1-second improvement in page load times
Google found that moving from a 10-result page loading in 0.4 seconds to a 30-result page loading in 0.9 seconds decreased traffic and ad revenues.
When the home page of Google Maps was reduced from 100KB to 80KB, traffic went up 10% in the first week, and an additional 25% in the following three weeks
88% of internet users choose online retailers delivering high-performance and user-friendly website experience, and almost 50% abandon websites that fail to load within 3 seconds
79% of dissatisfied customers no longer revisit underperforming websites
46% of dissatisfied customers develop a lasting negative impression and 44% share their shopping experiences with the rest of the world
A 2-second delay during a sales transaction results in abandonment rates of up to87%.
These are facts so always check your site speed and fix any of the problems.
How to Fix Your Site Speed
Firstly you need to determine if your website speed is slow or not. To do this you need to know where you can find website speed analysis tools.
Here is a list of 10 of the best website speed checkers which are all free to use.
There are more and more people who use their mobile phones (cell phones) to interact online. So obviously you need to have your website optimized for mobile speed as well.
Would like to make an infographic like the one on the right? If so go here.
Almost two-thirds of searches are made on mobile phones, the search engines don’t like websites that are not mobile-optimized and punishes those sites by not ranking them higher. Most of the people who use social media access websites online with their mobile phones.
According to Google 85% of all websites in mobile search results now adhere to the mobile-friendly label. So do a mobile optimization test and see if your website is slow to load in mobile search.
For more info on mobile optimization see link below.
Factors for a Slow Website Speed
There are many different reasons why your website can be slow or sluggish. One of the main factors is images. Image optimization is a must because 65% of your website sluggishness will be due your them.
So how do we optimize our images? The key fact is to compress your images. So how do we do that?
There are many tools that can help with image optimization. (another list) Below you will find a list of 10 websites that will help you compress your images.
Use a WP Plugin
Also if you use WordPress you can download a free plugin called Smush. This is a fantastic plugin. With the free version, you can compress 50 images at once. Once it has compressed 50 images just keep compressing and it will do 50 more and so on until all your images are compressed. Easy!
When your website is running slow it might be a good idea to check with your hosting server. If you are using shared hosting your website will run slower compared to using VPS (virtual private servers) or a dedicated server.
There are certain factors why people use shared hosting. It is the most inexpensive to use. There is nothing wrong with shared hosting just be prepared to know that it may be only maybe the shared hosting you are using that may slow down your website.
VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Servers)
With VPS servers your website will be far quicker. They use multiple servers hence they are much more expensive to use.
With a dedicated host server, it will be your own physical server. You hire a system administrator to maintain it and you pay a server rent. This the most expensive of all hosting.
If you run a WordPress website and many do actually nearly one-third of the world use WordPress. It is worth checking your plugins to see if they are slowing down your website speed.
Many people think that using too many plugins will slow down your website. This, in fact, is not true. It’s the quality of the plugin, not the quantity that can slow down your website.
Before installing a plugin check to how many people are using that particular plugin and how many stars it has. Also, check if it is compatible with the version of WordPress you are using. All this information is located below the plugin details.
Remember quality over quantity is best.
So you can see from the screenshot that Smush an image optimizer has over 1 million installations, was updated recently and is compatible with this version of WordPress.
This is a good quality plugin. This is you want to be looking for when you decide you want to install a plugin.
CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Using CDN will definitely make your website run faster. The reason for this they redirect user requests to the nearest server. This can turn out to be expensive but is well worth it if you want your website to load faster. An example of this is: Say your server is in the USA and someone from Australia clicks through to your website, then the nearest server will be used which will be in Australia. Hence your website will load faster.
Minimize Java and CSS scripts
There is an easy way to do this without knowing the ins and outs of coding or too much technical jargon using a plugin. It’s a PHP JS and CSS minifier. The name of the plugin is called Master Branch.
Use Website Caching
Once again you can use a plugin for caching if you use WordPress. The plugins available for this are W3 Total Cache and W3 Super Cache. More often than not if you are using a shared server caching you will not be available to you. If you are using a dedicated server or VPS server you are able to set up caching under general settings.
CMS (Content Managment System)
Yet another way to increase your website performance is a content management system. CMS stores comments, blog posts, and various other information that takes up a huge amount of data storage. This storage of information will slow down your website. So here we have yet another plugin for WordPress users. This plugin is called WP-Optimize.
As we want our website to load and run at the optimal speed you have to look into all suspects that might slow down your website.
These can include 404 errors, redirects that need to be reduced and reducing the use of web fonts. The more data you have stored the longer it takes for your website to load so fix any of these problems promptly.
For example, a short scenario: When you start up your computer how long does it take to load everything in the startup menu. If it takes a long time, say more than a couple of minutes then you may want to disable some of the features on your startup menu. You will not always be using some of the features every day, so it makes sense to disable them. It is quite easy to enable them again.
The same goes for your website. We don’t need to overload our websites with unnecessary data. I hope that makes sense.
Ok saying that there is 1 more thing I want to add and that is Google AMP framework. This page will take you to the quickstart menu and from there you can decide for yourself if this is a viable option for your website.
Owning a website is not as easy as most people think. You have to maintain it as often as possible. This takes a huge chunk out of your time when all you really want to do is write content. Don’t be disillusioned we all have to go through this learning process when we start a website or blog.
The thing is to take your time to learn 1 thing at a time. Optimize one thing thoroughly and then move on to the next. If you try to do it all at once you will just end up with information overload. Too much information overload can make you want to give up. Your endeavours to create a great website with quality content will be flushed down the toilet.
Why did we start a website in the first place? to probably earn money through affiliate marketing or through an E-commerce store. Don’t let your dreams of doing this be wasted by impatience. It takes quite a lot of time to earn revenue through a website as your website visitors want to buy from a trusted site.
You will only be trusted by your visitors by writing quality content they want to read. You have to address their needs and questions and your advice to them has to be as sincere as possible. Never lie be yourself.
So my best advice is to take things slowly.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me through the comment section below or the contact me form below.
Hope you enjoyed my article.
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