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8 tips for a fast website

8 tips to speed up your website

08 October 2020
Ben Smith

As the owner of a website, the impact of your websites speed on users should not be underestimated. Speed is essential when browsing the web, especially on a mobile device.  Google research shows that half of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes any longer than three seconds to appear.

Many studies have been published on the effect of website speed. For instance, a one-second delay in a webpage loading can reduce views by 11%, lessen customer satisfaction by 16%, and reduces 7% of the conversion rate.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Google now uses website speed as a ranking factor.

So below, I have listed my top 8 tips to speed up your website.

1. Avoid loading from external sites

Apart from using a CDN (Cloud Delivery Network), one should avoid loading elements (such as images) from external sites too often. Many sources have a higher risk of longer loading times. If the linked content is hosted on a slow server, this can significantly reduce the loading time of a website.

2. Avoid advertising

Ad servers that automatically display advertisements can make a page painfully slow. Apart from the fact that the user is not exactly enthusiastic about flashing lightboxes and giant football banners.

3. Avoid redirects

Websites that can only be reached through redirects always have to struggle with a certain latency. So, avoid sending your website through multiple hurdles like 301 redirects.

4. Avoid incorrect requests

If you try to load content such as images or scripts on the website that cannot be found, the loading time sometimes increases until the timeout occurs. A faulty page is therefore absolutely essential.

5. Reduce image sizes

One of the biggest causes of a slow website is images that are too large or are loaded large but then only displayed in small sizes. You should really only load images in the absolutely necessary size. Images should also be compressed into the smallest possible web version using Photoshop, for example.

6. Enable Caching

Caching ensures can provide a much faster experience for your website users. This is by storing a version of your website on their browser and serving them that version until your website is updated. It will also refresh if you instruct it to do so.

7. Use a lightweight theme (if you’re using WordPress)

Prevention is usually better than cure. To stop lots of page speed issues in the first place, you should choose a good host, a good CDN, and a good theme or custom built template.

8. Fix broken links

Broken links are not only a strain on bandwidth, but they’re also one of the most foolproof ways to get a visitor to leave your site. A client recently had several hundred 404 errors showing in Google Webmaster Tools. After fixing all of these, the average pages visited per user increased from 1.4 to 1.85 pages/visit, and there was a noticeable decrease in bounce rate.

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