Everyone wants things fast – and your website is no exception. We like sites to load instantly and to find what we’re looking for in seconds. In this article, you will learn how to speed up your website to give your visitors a better experience and please search engines.
Why your website needs to load quickly
There are two key reasons why your website needs to load quickly. The first is to create a good user experience. You do not want to annoy users. We have been spoilt by fast broadband. You can get 4G on the bus!
We’re very lucky we’ve got that connectivity. But when we find ourselves somewhere without that connection, that’s when page speed matters. If your site is slow on mobile, your user is going to be sitting there waiting and getting frustrated.
The second reason why your website needs to load quickly is search engine optimization. Google will give you a score based on a 3G connection. If Google finds you are slow on a 3G connection, they will rank you down because that speed suggests to them that if they serve your website to a user, they are not going to get the best experience.
What slows down your website?
Your website can be slow for a range of reasons. Website hosting is one of the biggest culprits. People do not pay enough for website hosting. But you do not need to be spending $400 or $500. Youpreneur.com’s server costs around $170 a month, for example. Communication is an area every business owner should be investing in. If you pay pennies, you can expect a penny service in return.
If you’re looking to grow your traffic, want to get conversions and optimize your content, you need a fast-loading website. Invest $20 a month.
The second big culprit when it comes to slowing down your website is off the shelf themes. You are looking for a solution which will give you the kitchen sink but your theme is also giving you the kitchen. Your theme will be loading all sorts of things into your website that you do not need and are not using. Jazzy sliders and animated logos are distracting for your visitor and also kill the site speed because they are loading scripts and files.
Look out for simple elements on your site which drag down your website speed. Font icons can load over 3MB. On a browser your site can seem quite fast but when you run it through Google, you find your score is low. It’s these little chunks of data that Google’s ranking you down on.
How fast does your website need to load?
A first time visitor will leave a website if it doesn’t load within three seconds. The average time for a page to load is about five seconds across the internet. Google wants you to have it loading in one second.
One of the problems business owners have when it comes to speed is that all the marketing tools and tracking scripts we have on our sites to see how they are performing, actually slow them down.
Don’t panic about your site needing to load in a second. If it loads in two to three seconds, you’re 75 percent better than most of the internet.
You’ve got to get that balance between speed for the user and tracking and marketing for yourself.You’ve got to get that balance between speed for the user and tracking and marketing for yourself. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
Two quick ways to speed up your website
There are some simple steps you can take to speed up your website. The first is to reduce your image sizes. You do not need a huge picture on your site which takes up 10MB. Images on your website are tiny. Your picture needs to be a fraction of its original size. You can use plugins to optimize your images and resize them automatically.
The second thing to look at is browser caching. Use a plugin such as WP Rocket, which saves a version of your website on the browser, then if someone goes to the next page it loads those files already, so it’s not got to wait for those files to load. It can be a bit frustrating if you are making website changes and people are seeing the old version but you can hit the button to clear the cache if you need to.
Those are the two quick wins but there are lots of other factors. If you have someone on your team who is good at code then you can limit what’s going into the website. Many sites have unnecessary plugins. Eliminate those.
You can also turn off certain elements on the mobile version of your website. This can speed it up and also create a better user experience.
The way you link your domain name to your website can be a key factor. If you have too many redirects bouncing around, it can take a long time. Tools like Cloudflare can help with this.
There are lots of things you can do, however be warned, when it is very easy to break your website while trying to optimize it for speed. If you want to dive deeper into optimizing your site, talk to a professional.
Is it worth it? For every second you can boost your website’s speed, it’s estimated your conversion rate goes up seven per cent. That’s a great incentive for getting a professional to look at your site and help you make it load faster.
If today’s video has helped you in some way… perhaps answered a few questions you’ve been having, or helped you develop a new idea or two.. let me know what your biggest takeaway was! I’d love to hear from you.
And don’t forget, you can watch my free training course ‘The Youpreneur Launchpad’ over on YouTube… it’s focused on helping you build, market and monetize your expertise better than ever before. I’ll see you in the next video!
Chris founded Youpreneur® in 2015. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestselling books “Virtual Freedom” and “Rise of the Youpreneur”. He hosts our weekly podcast, Youpreneur.FM, as well as our annual conference, the Youpreneur Summit. Chris is based in Cambridge, UK.