Fast Access: How to Improve Your Website’s Loading Speed

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More than half of mobile website visitors will leave if a page takes more than three seconds to load, according to Akamai’s 2017 State of Online Retail Performance report. It also found that just a 100-millisecond delay can decrease your conversion rate by around 7%. Companies such as Walmart and Staples even saw an improvement in their conversions and revenue when they employed methods that improved their sites’ speed.

These pieces of information show that if your website loads slowly, your customers will likely take their business elsewhere. So how can you enhance your loading speed?

Check Your Site Speed

Before implementing any changes to your website, you should check your website’s speed first. This will serve as a baseline in checking your improvements. The best tool to use for this is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It’s simple to use. Just input your page URL, and it will provide you with a number grade of your site speed for both mobile and desktop devices. It will also provide insights such as parts of your site to revise to improve page speed.

Enable Browser Caching

Every time customer visits your website, they request for and download data from your website’s server. This can take a lot of time to do, especially if your connection with them isn’t as stable. This is where caching comes into play. Caches are simply data such as HTML, photos, CSS, and JavaScript files that a site stores in the user’s browser. This way, your customers don’t have to download them the next time they visit your website, ultimately giving them a faster and more responsive experience.

Not every website saves caches automatically. Ask your reliable outsourced WordPress developer to enable it for your site. They’ll likely install a caching plugin such as WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache—both popular and reliable choices for a WordPress site.

Optimize Your Images

Visual content is a surefire way to attract and engage with customers. But they often have large file sizes that take a while to download. In fact, they take up over 21% of your web page’s total weight. You can compress these images to significantly reduce their file size while sacrificing a bit of their quality. There are a lot of great tools available online, such as Imagify, TinyJPG, and TinyPNG.

Use a Content Delivery Network

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Every time your customer visits your website, they request data from physical servers. No matter how fast their Internet connection is, the data still has to go through physical wires before they get to their destination. The farther the user and the server is from each other, the slower the data transfer will be. A content delivery network (CDN) solves this problem.

A CDN is a network of servers located across the globe. It saves your website data in these international servers. This should result in a faster connection between your site and your domestic and international customers, as data has to travel only a short distance to reach them. Cloudflare, Akamai, and Google Cloud CDN are all reliable CDN providers. All you need to do is to subscribe to their plans and provide the necessary website data for them to upload on their servers.

Once you’ve implemented these methods properly, check your speed score again. You’re sure to see a significant improvement. You may have to shell out some cash and overhaul your website to make it faster, but it’s worth it when you finally see your engagements and conversions improve. Time really is money—even on the web.

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