Tips to Increase Your Website’s Speed

As a website designer, you want your professional sites to run as fast as possible. When pages are slow, people tend to click out of them right away- ruining the amount of traffic you get! Plus, Google will lower your SEO ranking. Instead of that happening, you want to optimize your site.

If you want some tips on how to increase your website’s speed, make sure to continue reading. Everything you need to know is in this article. Let’s begin!

Check Your Website’s Page Speed

First of all, you’ll need to check your page’s speed. Always do this before making any permanent changes to the site. Google PageSpeed Insights is free and easy to use. Plus, the tool allows you to check the speeds for both mobile and PC sites.

Once you have your score for a basepoint, it’s easier to know if you’re making the right changes. After trying any of the below tips, make sure to run another test. That way, you know you’re taking your site’s speed in the right direction.

Screenshot your site’s speed score and move on to these tips!

Reduce HTTP Requests

Did you know that most of the loading time is spent downloading graphics and scripts for the page? These downloads are also known as HTTP requests. The more images, scripts, and sheets the page needs to load, the more requests are made.

You can reduce the amount of requests made to lower the loading time greatly. If you’re not sure how many requests your site is making, you can use the Google Chrome Developer Tool- it will clearly show you how many HTTP requests are coming from your websites.

To reduce the requests, combine your visual files. This process is very simple- if you’re running more than one CSS or JavaScript file, combine them into a single file. It’s even easier if you’re using a template site such as WordPress- the platform gives you options to combine your files through various plugins.

If your site is very busy looking, you can also make some graphic design changes to the layout. Simple pages keep visitors’ attention better, leading to more conversions.

Optimize Your Visuals

Your photos and videos are usually the biggest contenders for slowing down your site. Once you’ve combined the HTTP requests, you’ll want to reduce the file sizes of your media assets. You can do this by ensuring that all of your images are sized correctly. Extremely large images slow down a site drastically.

Additionally, make sure your site is using JPG image files. JPGs are compressed images, so they look nice, while not taking up a lot of file space. Other file types are typically too large and cause your website to slow down. However, you can consider using a PNG if you need transparency in the image.

Next, make sure to compress your video and photo files before uploading them to the website. You can do this through many website development programs. Compress the files to reduce their size by using the “save for web” option in Photoshop. Other programs should have similar menu options.

Use a Page Speed Up Plugin

You’ll want to cache your website. Caching is the process of storing the site’s files, which makes it load much faster for your visitors. It lowers loading times and helps the site run much more smoothly. There are a few ways to do this, but many website designers choose to use plugins.

There are plenty of plugins out there that can help your website run faster. If you’re using WordPress, you can test out the WP Rocket plugin. Plugins like these help with website optimization by assisting with page caching.

However, it’s always important that you test a plugin on your website before making it go live. Some plugins might cause your images to break and not appear at all on your website.

Use Browser Caching

Browser caching allows you to improve the speed of your website by storing information, so the page doesn’t have to reload every time a visitor stops by. It works in much the same way as the WP Rocket plugin.

With browser caching, your page is cached and preloaded- greatly enhancing the speeds of your site. Overall, it’s great for enhancing the speed of your website.

Use Better Web Hosting

Did you know that your web hosting package can also affect your loading times? If your site is generating a lot of traffic, you’ll want to invest in high-quality web hosting. A better host should be able to handle all of the traffic better.

While it’s cheaper to use shared hosting, the speed of your website will suffer greatly. It’s better to pay for the better service- you’ll be more likely to make back your money this way.

Remove Plugins that You Don’t Use

The plugins that lurk on your site without being used actually slow down your site too. If they’re outdated, they can even be a security threat, since hackers can use them to gain access to your code. Plus, they also aren’t going to be compatible with your current website.

You’ll want to disable any of the plugins you don’t have a use for. Sometimes, it can be too easy to get carried away with adding plugins to a site. Don’t worry, most website developers are guilty of this at some point!

Every few months, sit down and take a look at your plugins. Are there some you don’t use or don’t even remember adding? You can deactivate them! You may want to delete them too, if you’re sure you won’t have a use for them in the future.

Final Thoughts

When a new visitor comes to your website, you want to make sure that they have a positive user experience. That means, you need to present them with an easy to navigate website that has fast loading times. The faster you make your site, the better!

Luckily, you won’t need to start over. If you use the above tips, you can build a quick webpage from what you already have available.