9 | Simply Site Speed

Alina Ghost

A typical consumer waits a maximum of 3 seconds for a page to load before they give up and go to another website.

Why Site Speed is Important

  • Unreasonable customer. There was a statistic that showed that people like you and I are unlikely to wait for longer than 3 seconds before bouncing back and clicking through to another website.
  • Google ranking factor. If a search engine finds your site slow, and consequentially unpopular with their searcher then your website will be demoted in the search result pages.
  • Devices. As the population uses more devices, including mobile, to browse and use more websites it’s important to have good site speed no matter what device that person is using.
  • Mobile first indexing. As Google is moving more sites onto mobile-first indexing, it means we need to be more vigilant with our slow pages, especially for mobile.

How to Check your Site Speed

Google’s own site speed checker is great. By going into the insights section and entering your site’s URL, you’ll be able to see your site speed score and recommendations in regards to what to do to improve it. I have my own suggestions below for you though, so keep reading.

Other sites such as Pingdom will also be useful, especially for checking different locations.

How to Make your Site Faster

  • Image optimisation. Before uploading your images onto your site be sure to resize your images to compress the file size but keep the quality. Find out more in Episode 6 for image optimisation tips.
  • Cache. I use W3 Total Cache plugin to surface content that has been stored previously so that the load speed is increased immensely. Someone who has visited your site before is able to see your pages with all of its content loaded in less than half the time (usually) and I’ve had bloggers tell me that their site speed was improved “DRAMATICALLY”. It is very simply and takes 5 minutes to download.
  • CDN. A content delivery network is only useful if you have a big site with multiple territories. It’s a way to host and serve content no matter where the visitor to your site is in the world. It makes it faster to show the content to someone in, lets say, Australia as someone in the UK or Europe.
  • Clean up your code. To do this yourself, you’ll need to be tech-savvy or at least comfortable enough to change and compress code yourself. If not, seek web development advice and help. Cleaning up your code means looking at removing plugins that you don’t use, decreasing redirects and Gzip compression for ‘neater’ code (which you can use a plugin for called WP http Compression) and combining your CSS and Javascript.
  • Check your Script. Last of all, check your advertising, pop-ups and sign-ups. These things all take load times and may even irritate your customer/reader.

So there is a lot that you can be doing to improve the loading times of your pages. I hope this was helpful and do let me know if there’s anything else that you’d recommend for site speed improvement below in the comments.

Music credit: I Dunno (Grapes of Wrath Mix) by spinningmerkaba (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/jlbrock44/56346 Ft: Jlang, 4nsic, grapes

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