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03-21-2018

5 Fixes For Your Slow Loading Website

Performance Optimization, WordPress

Today web users have no patience for poor load speeds or inadequate website performance. If your website, blog or online storefront takes longer than 2-3 seconds to load, viewers are fast to abandon the site. Do not count on user patience if you want your website to form a positive impression fast and attract traffic. Page speed is absolutely essential in order to keep visitors longer on your site, convert them to buyers and increase your bottom-line profits. Even a second’s delay can get you 11% fewer page views, 7% loss in conversions (Aberdeen Group), whereas speeding up your website can reportedly increase revenues—every 100 milliseconds faster load time increased revenue of 1% for Amazon, and Walmart enjoyed a 2% increase in conversions too.

Clearly, speeding up your website can not only help keep your business bottom-line profits high, it can also help you rank well with Google.  And the best part of this is that improving your site speed doesn’t take a lot of extra work. Below are five easy ways to improve the speed of your website.

  1. Choose Your Web Host Carefully

There can be innumerable reasons for a slow loading website but it is worthwhile to remember that the kind of hosting plan you choose does affect the speed of a website. As your site expands and visitor count increases, you will need hosting services from a reputable provider, who gives you what you pay for. Saving a few pennies by picking the cheapest hosting package can ultimately cost you customers in the long run. Read our guide on ‘Choosing The Best Web Hosting For Small Business’ to know about the three main kinds of hosting plans, Shared hosting, VPS hosting and Dedicated hosting. Compare the different web hosting plans before choosing the best one for your business niche and the amount of traffic you are likely to get on your website.  Your website is an investment, so be sure to monitor your site performance and switch your host, if you are not happy with your current hosting company!

  1. Kill All Junk

It is surprising how often you come across slow, cluttered websites for big brands, despite their huge digital marketing spends. These are some common design related mistakes that can be the cause of a slow loading website.

  • Images: Get rid of all unimportant pictures and optimize all oversized pictures that do stay on the page. Your images should be compressed to be only 72ppi for screen determination. So, reduce the file size of your image while retaining high quality resolution, using tools such as Tiny PNG. With WordPress, you can use a plugin such as WPSmush to automatically reduce the filesize of the images.
  • Third party media: Don’t include external videos, slideshows and other media in your main page as it can slow down the loading process of your website. If you must include videos, use your own media and host it on your own site.
  • Running Flash: Stop running Flash on your site as it is not optimized for mobile use and it will causing issues. First, no one likes to watch a loading screen. Second, as we just mentioned, it isn’t optimized for mobile use and will probably double or triple the load time on smartphones and tablets.

 

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  1. Use Lesser Code Lines and Minify Resources

Fewer lines of code in the underlying HTML page can increase load speed. Where the content is not dynamic, it is best to use HTML instead of PHP to reduce the risk of having a slow loading website.  When using a CMS or a page made using a site builder or WYSIWYG editors, or even HTML code created by MS Word, can create unnecessary line breaks, spaces, long and wasteful code. And every time something is modified or amended, there is an additional arrangement of tags added. So, to cut down on HTML, it is best to go with editing the code by hand. A programmer with coding skills can seriously cut down on the number of HTML tags. For WordPress sites, a plugin like Better WordPress Minify can help minimize your code.  When not using a CMS, you can use the Pagespeed Insights Chrome Extension to minify code so that you can see which version is faster and reduce the risk of having a slow loading website. It is also better to minify your CSS and Javascript files and have them in one place to help to speed page load times.

  1. Use Browser Caching

When you first visit a site, different elements need to download before you can use the page, which can take up a lot of time and case you to have a slow loading website. The cacheable assets (JS and CSS documents, templates, picture records, media documents, PDFs, etc) on the page get stored on your hard drive in a cache or temporary storage so that whenever you visit the site next, your browser can stack the page easily without sending another HTTP request to the server. With caching, your browser will only have to download a few segments for ensuing visits. By turning on caching you are likely to improve your site’s loading speed for return visitors. In WordPress, you can use W3 Total Cache or W3 Super Cache, to enable sitewide caching, or storing of certain site elements.

  1. Remove Resource-Hogging Plugins and Add-ons

Too many plugins can result in a slow loading website and it can also be a security risk. There are some plugins that are resource hogs and you can do without them. Use Google Pagespeed Insights to monitor your page speed. Go over your plugin list and deactivate one plugin at a time and run the speed test, to locate the plugins slowing your site down. Then you can replace it with a less resource-heavy plugin or find another workaround.

These tips will definitely help improve the page load speed and result in better user experience.  So start troubleshooting!

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