Increasing the load speed of your website is not only a matter of improving the user experience but more crucially, also a matter of improving your search engine ranking. Unknown to many is the fact that Google added the load speed of websites as one of the many metrics used in ranking websites in its search results. The use of this metric means that load speeds are now very much part and parcel of SEO.
Additionally, research shows that faster loads speeds can positively impact your conversion rate. People on the internet these days are impatient and if your site takes more than 4 seconds to load then people will hit the back button and visit one of your competitor’s sites.
It, therefore, goes without saying that fast load times are crucial for online success. So how do you achieve quick load speeds? Here are some of my best tips that can help you get your website loading faster.
1. Use a Caching Plugin
A cache is a temporary storage bin for data that is going to re-used. In terms of web browsing a cache feature makes a record, or cache, of your website so that it can be recalled much quicker when someone tries to load your website. If you’re website is on WordPress than W3 Total Cache or WP Supercache are easy plug ins to install and configure. This alone can speed up the loading of your website enormously.
2. Use a Content Delivery Network
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is composed of a number of servers that are spread around the world. A CDN makes your website faster by allowing your users access to information from the nearest server, thus reducing the number of nodes they have to go through to ‘fetch’ the information. Accessing information from the nearest server ensures that the bandwidth associated with accessing your website is the least possible. This makes your website significantly faster.
3. Choose Good Quality Hosting
Although many people may think this is a no-brainer, you would be surprised by the effectiveness of having a faster web host, hence the need for emphasizing it. Although top quality web hosts tend to cost more, the speed with which they allow your users to access your website is well worth it. While well known hosts such as GoDaddy or HostGator are reliable hosting solutions I like the service provided by Blue Host which is a little more expensive but you get great results with them.
4. Compress Your Images
Large images take an age to load. So it is vitally important to reduce the image sizes on your website. You can either do this before you upload them to your site, using any image editing software, or there are plug ins that can make them smaller on mass. WP Smush is one such example and will efficiently reduce the file size of your photos which allows them to load faster on your website.
Fast loading websites rank higher in Google, there is no doubt about that. But also your conversion rate is going to be negatively effected by a slow loading website. So use the tips in this article to get your website to load as fast as possible.