Google gave a naked exposure by saying that the speed or load time of your webpage does affect your rankings. With focused attention on mobile user experience, it became more important to optimize your blog and website for a faster mobile responsiveness.
Interestingly enough, webpage performance matters all across the board. Five obvious reasons why you should try to increase the speed of your website and optimize the load times of your blog and website includes:
- The search engines bots ( Google, Bing, Yahoo) all assumes that a faster loading webpage naturally translates to a better user experience
- A slow loading page frustrates customers and visitors, and this can lead to poor sales conversion and harm your leads generation
- A slow loading page with poor performance leads to increase in Bounce rate
- A slow loading page harm your rankings as explained above because Google now factors webpage performance in the computation of their search algorithm
- Finally, it hurts your overall SEO effort and revenue generation; a faster loading site leads to more money generation ( Amazon said it ” 1% increase in revenue for every 100ms of improvement – Amazon)
How do you know if your website and blog is slow or has a slow loading time?
I recommend three tools for you to use:
These tools will show and explain to you the issues you need to fix. Take the information gleaned from the tool and use it to fix problem areas regarding your site’s performance. A lot of designers may or may not know they have code errors that are causing pages to load at a slower pace. These free tools can help you identify even some pretty obscure issues.
With performance being such an important element of serving up web content, it makes sense that you might be interested in optimizing load times for your blog. Although, if you’re new to the subject, it can be a bit daunting to figure out where to start, but trust me, it’s not a rocket science.
How you can improve your website speed performance and reduce load times
Believe it or not, there are actually some very simple tips you can follow to keep your speed at optimal levels. If you’ve ignored these tips and already have a substantial amount of content, then increasing speed might be a hefty undertaking. But, if you’re starting from scratch, all you need to do is implement these practices in your regular routine.
- Choose a Decent Web Server
Considering the server (or your webhosting company) is what delivers all of the content and page information to users, it’s the singular most important elements regarding site performance.
90% of blogs and websites out there are hosted on managed webhost i.e. they are hosted on shared servers with other millions of websites. They are all clustered together under one server, and as such, performance problem usually comes up at regular intervals. This is the main and major reason why your blog sometimes take a whole day to load. Aside this, this clustered servers offer security issues
Even host servers can be bogged down at times by web traffic. If you have a site that generates a lot of traffic, you should probably factor that into choosing a web server or host.
Bandwidth allowance, server performance and availability are all going to factor into your page speed. Choose a better web server if you think your performance is suffering, but keep in mind that you’ll have to transfer all of your content and site files. Make sure you back everything up in advance if you change servers or the web host.
Don’t you think you will get a quality service if you pay 27USD per month to host your website than paying 6USD to host the same website? It’s a simple calculation. I recommend you host your website with reputable managed webhost, top on the list is WPEngine and Synthesis.
- Pay attention to DNS (source of your domain name)
An interesting issue was discussed on copyblogger and I think it’s a credible discussion. Most people do not know that the source where they bought their domain names actually matters to a fast loading page experience.
Your DNS works this way “if a visitor tries to open your website or webpage, your DNS is the first place for call of action before the page can be displayed”. Now, if the DNS is not working or not available, then the browser can’t find the site. This issue is not a problem with your web server or webhost, but from the source where you bought your DNS from. This issue is particularly associated with a wordpress powered website.
My recommend action is to make sure you bought or will buy your domain name (name of your site e.g. bloggingconsult.org) from a reputable source e.g. Godaddy or Amazon Route 53
- Optimize Your Images
This is especially true if you’re using a CMS (content management system) platform like WordPress, but it can also be an issue for native sites too. If you are looing for ways to increase the speed of your website, the size and quality of the images you use on the site can alter how fast the page loads. Extremely large images with very high resolutions can cause an increase in load time. It’s also a common practice to compress your images into a smaller format, which can be easily done through accessible software applications. If a website optimizes their images properly, then their webpage performance should run quickly and efficiently. Notice on this blog the amount of pictures present, but their speed is still good. This a good example of ways to organize a site that requires lots of images.
- Use clean premium wordpress themes
If you value your online business i.e. website and blog, then you can’t ignore investing in it. Forget about the use of free wordpress themes, they are not safe and reliable
Don’t bother yourself trying to run codes and create website, let the professionals do it for you while you concentrate on other important duties.
WordPress CMS platform dominates almost 85% of websites templates globally, so why not follow suite. Trust me with this advice, the use of anyhow themes or design affects the overall performance of your website.
Spend some few dollars and get premium clean coded websites designs from professionals. I recommend just two companies:
- Studiopress Genesis themes
- Elegant themes
I bet you won’t regret buying these themes and designs from the above recommended companies
- Deal with your installed plugins and clean the database
Though the use of plugins adds beauty, more functions and glamour to a WP website, however, it also has its own disadvantages. My advice is that you go slowly with the use of plugins. Too much plugins add weight to the overall database of your blog.
Only install important plugins.
Secondly, this is the time you need to clean and freshen up the database; if you are having unused plugin, simply deactivate and delete them immediately.
Just like in defragmentation of computer systems, it is also good to clean up the entire database probably once in a month. To do that, I recommend the use of WP Optimize plugin. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-optimize/
The plugin removes saved draft, post revisions e.t.c. thereby freeing up memory usage.
After using this plugin, deactivate and delete it.
Use CSS Sprites for Multiple Images
In instances where you are using multiple images in your design, you can use CSS sprites to combine them into a single download. This does a lot of different things, but most importantly it lessens the amount of content that needs to be downloaded for the site to display properly. Of course, it also decreases the load on the server, especially in cases where there’s a lot of traffic involved. Here’s a great piece on CSS sprites and how to use them.
- Make use of Cache Plugins
When working directly with a CMS like WordPress, a cache plugin such as W3 Total Cache can do wonders for your page performance. Similar add-ons can also help you perform frequent backups of your site and content in the event of a hardware or system failure.
The cache feature essentially delivers a pre-loaded page or site to users, making the loading process much faster. In some cases, this can break your site if the plugin is not implemented properly, so proceed with caution if that’s the route you decide to take.
Need it, check out: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/w3-total-cache/
- Please reduce redirects
Redirecting a webpage to another is an unnoticed action that causes poor performance and makes a webpage to load slowly.
Let me explain: If a search engine spider gets to webpage which is unavailable or deleted, it takes time and little bit of resources for the bot to navigate and move to the next location based on the redirection.
This practice is unacceptable and can also lead to Google penalty.
The solution here is to make sure that you don’t have redirected broken links on your website because most redirection is caused by broken links.
You are only eligible to use redirection if it’s damn important and secondly, it should not be abused.
Hopefully, these tips were helpful for you to increase your web speed.
About the Author:
Courtney Gordner sent in this post. Courtney enjoys sharing website knowledge she learned while doing freelance work for a web design company. Pls note; this article was edited by the admin to about 60% degree before going live.