When you’ve been spoiled with fast loading speeds, anything slower than average feels like an eternity. According to Google, the average page loads at about 7 seconds, but best practice page speed should be under 3 seconds.
Other internet users relate to this dilemma, and you don’t want to lose your potential website visitors by having a website that loads more slowly than molasses. Don’t settle for the average; shoot for quick speeds. Great news for you, there are fixes to your slow site speed woes.
First, check your site speed using tools that use a scoring method and that give recommendations to improve the speed.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a great tool to use. It gives you lab data, a list of opportunities for optimization, and performance diagnostics. Below those is a list of passed audits. When you click each diagnostic or opportunity, it expands to a list of files and quantifiable data like potential savings and file size that impact them.
With these tools, you can get into the nitty gritty of your slow site speed. You can definitely fall into the rabbit hole of site speed improvement tactics and strategies.
How Can We Fix This Up?
There are many ways to go about speeding up a website since the fixes are a case-by-case basis. However, there are a few critical aspects of a website that can severely impact the speed. Improving these certain things will surely aid in your site speed efforts.
Metrics mean nothing when the foundation of your website is not good. A good foundation is critical to ensuring a quick load time. This comes down to web hosting.
At Markitors, we use WP Engine as our web host. But regardless of the host you use, make sure not to overload your hosting account if you have several websites. This affects the servers which in turn affects the site speed of all of your websites on the web host account.
The theme you choose also has a huge impact on the loading speed of your website. What’s the point of having a pretty theme if your it takes forever to load and makes visitors back out of your site never to be seen again? Furthermore, ensure that your theme is user friendly by making sure the colors are impactful yet easy on the eyes, the font is legible with good contrast from the background color, and the theme has excellent user experience (UX). At Markitors, we use the Brooklyn theme from United Themes on our site as well as many of the websites we have developed.
Images add spice to web pages, but they sure can slow it down. I’ve outlined a few beginner-friendly techniques regarding image optimizations in another article. Bottom line, make sure that your images can be quickly loaded by anyone. Also while you’re at it, SEO optimize your images as well by using file name best practices and using relevant alt tags.
Plugins add a lot of pizzazz, as well as functionality, to a site, but these bad boys sure can bring down the speed. We love them, we want to keep them. Here’s how we do a plugin audit to our clients.
Make sure that they’re up-to-date. You want to have the latest version of a plugin not only for the whole speed aspect. The updates that plugin developers make are for the not only for an improved experience with using the plugin both on the backend and the frontend, they are also critical in the security aspect. Thus, be sure to look over your plugins regularly for any updates or errors.
Finally, only keep the ones you actually need. If you don’t like or need a plugin, opt for deleting them instead of disabling them more often than not. At Markitors, we strive for 25 plugins or less for each client.
Accessibility is the name of the game, and it’s hard to provide a great user experience to your visitors when your website takes a lifetime to load. Don’t let potential customers and leads escape you; stay ahead of the game by improving your website’s speed.