How to Make a Website Load Faster

How to Make a Website Load Faster

Is your website going slow? Learn how to speed your website up so that you don't lose visitors. 

The best possible performance you can expect on a website, is to load in less than 2 seconds. If your page takes longer than 2 seconds, then you have a problem. We'll share with you ways in which you can make your website load faster.

Reduce the Number of Images and Videos on Your Web Page

From a download time perspective, each image on your website typically takes 10 times longer to download than the page content itself. If you have more than 3 large images on your page, you are potentially losing customers who are waiting for the page to render.

Typically, you only need one really awesome photo to capture a customers attention. This should be a professionally taken image of your product that makes it shine. On your home page this might be a branding image, or a promoted product. On other pages of your website, a simple unobtrusive logo, and a single large photo of your product, or a single image to accompany your blog post.

Remove Unnecessary Plugins

Plugins to your website like chat boxes, slideshows, animations, Facebook pixels and Google analytics etc, all take time to download. Some of these plugins can even cause your website to stall momentarily. This happens while the web browser goes off and downloads these 3rd party tools, because of the nature of how browsers render, and where those third parties ask you to install the code. Sometimes, these 3rd party tools can double the download size compared to your own page size. However, these tools do add value. If you want to control your advertising spend, or manage remarketing campaigns, you will need to install those tracking tools. So, you have to weigh up the value of the plugin, versus the cost of the download time. 

Reduce Use of Cloud Fonts

Each font that you install on your website, can add up around 20 - 30% of the download time. Sometimes web masters have installed multiple fonts, and there remains a history of fonts they no longer used on their site, or only partially used. You should only use one cloud font at any one time. Using a popular CDN based font (like Google fonts) may decrease the download time, as some visitors may have already downloaded the font in the past. Using font icons are great, but only use One font icon set, to ensure you get maximum value from the service. 

Change your Website Platform

Some popular content management platforms like WordPress are notoriously bad for speed. Every WordPress page needs to access the database, and run through all the installed plugins to add their bits and pieces to the output. If you look at the back end of a wordpress site, you will usually see dozens of small style and javascripts linked to the main page. Often, these scripts and CSS are not even used, but still they are downloaded, simply because you have the plugin enabled in the back end. Another issue is simply that there are so many individual files for the browser to download. It takes a browser longer to download 10 files than it takes to download one file, even if the total file sizes are similar. This is because there is overhead in each request.

At Website World, your web page will only have two CSS files, and only two JavaScript files. We automatically combine and minimise your CSS into a single file. Our platform also includes one common CSS file on our own CDN (content delivery network), that is typically precached by the browser. It provides the framework for mobile responsive content and common navigational features, that do not need to be repeated again in your personal CSS. We utilise the very popular jQuery library from a CDN, that is usually preloaded in most browsers, and a small common JavaScript file to do all our interactive magic.  For all other features you may add to your website like icons, animations, video backgrounds etc, we load these scripts after the initial page load, to ensure it does not affect your initial website download speed. 

Change your Website Host 

Avoid super cheap hosting providers. Many hosting providers offer insanely cheap hosting, but this comes at a speed cost to your business. Initially, these providers can seem OK, but as they overload their servers with thousands of websites competing for CPU, Memory and Bandwidth, everything can slow down. Consider for a minute just how important your website speed is. If you are willing to invest just $1 a day, you can get awesome hosting speeds. Any less than that, your website will likely slow from time to time. 

We have often migrated websites to our platform and noticed amazing speed improvements. The worst sites have had 10 second plus load times. We have migrated complicated WordPress sites to our platform and seen the speed reduce close to two seconds, without even making any changes to the platform or website structure. Simply changing the website server to one with spare capacity can deliver such improvements.  

Use a CDN, or Host Locally

Consider the location of your website host. If the website is not hosted close to your target audience, then you will lose up to one second as each internet request has to travel half way around the world. 

If you have visitors all around the world, then you really should be using a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN caches your website, and distributes the content around an international network, so that each visitor will see the website load super quickly. But beware, a CDN won't make an infrequently visited website load faster, as the cached content may expire, requiring additional steps in the content delivery process. 

At Website World, we provide a free CDN. Our CDN works differently to most, because we push our content to our international mirrors, every time you press publish on your website. This ensures that visitors get the latest content immediately, without refreshing the cache, even on the smallest, less visited websites. 

Irrespective of which CDN service you use, dynamic content still needs to get through to the back end. For example, shopping cart transactions and form posts. So, you should typically use a hosting provider that uses servers located near to your primary audience.

Do You Want Us to Speed Up Your Website?

Contact us to see how we can speed up your website. If you have a WordPress or PHP website, then simply moving your website to our host will likely solve any speed issues you have. If you really want your website to download blazingly fast, then we suggest you upgrade to using Website World's own website builder CMS service. We can migrate your old website, from almost any old platform, so that all the page URLs and SEO meta tags remain in tact, the content remains the same, while we change your template to one with all our additional speed enhancements built in. 

Contact us today and start enjoying a faster website tomorrow!

Tags: web hosting  web design  

Posted: Saturday 12 May 2018

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