Landing on a website that takes forever to load is the worst. Being linked to a loss of millions of dollars every year, online stores lost money because of slow websites. The customer is hoping to quickly look at how much something costs and purchase it online, but after 2-3 seconds will decide this website is not the right one for them and moves on to the next online retailer.
The interesting thing is that keeping website speeds high, and load times low, is really not that hard. It simply requires you to be mindful when making tweaks or deciding on specific content. We’ve given a few things that will help you below, but also keep in mind that we offer hosting to solve slow moving websites for our clients. Let us know if we can help!
Web caches can be tricky, but applying them to your site in the correct way can save a ton of load time. Essentially a web cache communicates with the browser of the viewers computer, and upon loading your site the first time, will locally store certain pieces of the website. This makes things load incredibly quicker when the viewer comes back to your page because it won’t load certain elements from your hosting, but directly from the cache on the viewers computer.
Many times you can find free resources to implement caches, but be warned that you should read up on the technology being used in your site. While most times a cache will help load times, it can also bring some difficulties when making changes to your site, or when using technologies that require a specific environment. Don’t let this scare you! You can talk to your hosting provider, or even look for specific plugins to help implement this today.
A Content Delivery Network is a system of distributed servers that deliver pages and other Web content to a user, based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and the content delivery server. In layman’s terms, a CDN will deliver your site to a viewer from a server near their location, increasing the load time by being able to connect quicker due to nearness. For instance if you lived in Houston, and accessed a site using a CDN, you may connect with the site via a server in Dallas despite the fact that the company’s site is hosting in Pennsylvania.
Just like caching, a CDN can in most cases be purchased and easily implemented to your hosting.
3. Image Size
Most web designers and developers are fairly well-versed in knowing how to use the right sizes for the right images. Unfortunately some of the guiltiest culprits are those business owners that have a site based on a CMS (like wordpress or squarespace) and decide to add an image to their new post. Without knowing they may add an image that is 10-15x too big. Many times when a site has an image this big you’ll notice that the site loads the image really slowly, or even that you see the image slowly wipe down the screen.
This can be easily fixed by doing two things:
- Making sure that the image’s dimensions are not excessive. If the image is going to be applied full width, you are probably fine to have an image in the width range of 1920 – 2560. If it will be applied to a small area, make it smaller!
- Making sure that the image file size does not exceed 1 mb. Even that is pretty large in some cases, but getting all of your images at or below 1 mb should help a lot!
4. Quality Hosting
The last major important thing to consider when looking at site speed is your hosting. You can follow all the rules, and work hard on everything else, and if your server is not good quality, then you probably won’t see any change. Chances are if you are paying for the $14 /year plan, then you aren’t quite getting the results your looking for.
Our Studio provides high quality hosting like this, and if you have any questions feel free to let us know!