In today’s age, your website is the digital face of your business and your website speed effects how your company is viewed online. However, everyone on the internet is in a hurry and no one has the time to wait on your site to load…they have a million other choices. You can fix this with efficient and effective website design. Not only will tweaking your website speed help it in search results but it will greatly improve the usability and importance of your site.
We Have All Dealt with Website Speed
Don’t believe me? Take a look at a website on your phone or tablet that is not responsive, optimized or includes loading screens…that’s right, you won’t. Just like the millions of other users. We value our time and having a slow or annoying website hinder that time and it is quickly avoided.
Have you ever faced a situation where you struggled through a website that promises to give the information you need but in the end you land on a page that is not only unrelated but took forever to load? Do you recall the rage that quickly built up? That is because of the website speed. Often time, people come to your website looking for information or products through a search and if you websites hinders their progress because it is slow, they move on to your competition.
America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.
– Will Ferrell, Talladega Nights
Preventing a Slow Website Increases Conversions
How can you prevent slow load time and increase your website speed? Well, the answer is surprisingly easy to find, not as easy to resolve. Websites with large non-optimized images or heavy designs take time to open. Even if it is a few more seconds than your visitors are used to, it is annoying. You would not wait and your visitor does not have the time to wait.
To retain your visitors and boost your online presence and social sharing you have a few objectives to increase website speed:
- Optimize all images: There are free tools to help such as TinyPNG or Kraken. This is the quickest and most efficient way to speed up your site and it will also save your precious server resources.
- Use optimized code: This is a bit more difficult. If your website is built using old inefficient code, you may have to hire a website development agency to update your website to the newest, most efficient code.
- Compress your website: GZIPping your website is easy but you have to know how to edit server files. One mistake and your server WILL crash. When you GZIP a website, you compress the files at a server level and it reduces file size in real time.
- Enable caching: Use caching plugins or setup a caching system on your website to cache images, scripts, styles, and even HTML in order to speed up your site. When you cache an image it is saved on your hard drive in a cache and does not have to access the real file until it changes or the cache is removed.
- Know your header and footer: Don’t link every script or style in the head of your website. Place the styles in the head and the scripts before the closing body tag. Don’t make your visitors to wait to download a script file that may not even be used on the page they are on.
- Go responsive and get rid of HTTP redirects: Old school developers used mobile subdomains to show mobile content…now you need to minimize this type of redirect and just go responsive. Remove content that mobile users do not need to see and use responsive frameworks like Bootstrap to make their experience no different that desktop users.
Remember, your website is the face of your business online. Don’t make people want to punch you in it when they visit your site. Better yet, reach out to our agency and let us give you a professional review of your current site and help you make the internet a better place.
About the Author
Director of Website Development
With over a decade of experience designing and developing websites, Eric has worked in every position of the agency ladder. He is fluent in multiple backend and front end programming languages and has written multiple international best selling plugins for WordPress. He has been part of or is still part of many startups. He is the Director of Website Development for Future Design Group and one of it's founding partners.