We all begrudge waiting in line in a queue to pay for our shopping, and that’s one of the main reasons why so many of us have switched to online shopping. With the internet we expect immediacy, and the stats tell us that even a one-second delay in page response time can result in up to 7% drop in conversion rate!
So, what can you do to make sure your website is fast enough to stay ahead of the competition? Read on to find out!
Analysing Web Performance
First thing’s first, just how fast (or indeed slow) is your current website? Luckily tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix are simple and quick to use, providing not only stats on the performance on your site but also actionable tips on home to make improvements.
Where To Start: Instant Actions That Speed Up Your Site
If you’ve not already done so, these should be first on your list of changes to make. All four of the steps above will have an instant impact on the loading time of your site:
- Compress the file sizes of your images to boast loading speed
- Utilise browser caching to enhance user experience
- Making sure you have the most appropriate hosting solution for your needs
The Next Step: Proactive Steps for Longer - Term Results
These next steps need more work and a degree of experience to get the best results, but they are definitely worth taking right now so that you can enjoy sustained benefits in the medium-long term.
- Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Evaluate your server response times & take steps to improve performance / change provider
- Optimise your website’s database
Don’t Forget to Optimise for Mobile
The majority of your web traffic will be coming from mobile devices, therefore mobile needs to be your primary focus for speed. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and the implementation of a responsive design are vital for making sure that your site runs quickly on multiple different devices
Is your Content Slowing you Down?
Images and media files can significantly impact loading times in a negative way. Make sure that videos are optimised to boost SEO efforts and give a better user experience to your web visitors.
Cache is King!
Caching really helps to give your best customers a better experience. Take the time to draw up a cache strategy that will give your loyal customers the fastest loading website you can provide them with.
Have you got the right Hosting Solution?
Who you choose as your hosting provider, and they hosting package they offer, will determine the speed of your site. Consider upgrading to a more suitable hosting solution if your site still isn’t fast enough after taking the steps outlined above.
The role of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
CDNs distribute your content across multiple servers around the world, reducing the physical distance that data has to travel to reach a visitor to your site.
A well-optimised database allows for faster data retrieval and an overall smoother experience. Schedule maintenance and optimisation of your database to make sure it isn’t holding you back.
Be sure to check plugins and software, updating where necessary to prevent security vulnerabilities.
Continually Monitor Performance with Analytics
Use tools like Google Analytics to track performance of your site and make data-driven decisions about your optimisation strategies.
What Not To Do!
Avoid common mistakes such as overloading your site with lots of plugins, or neglecting mobile optimisation.
Research the Latest Practices & Trends
Stay ahead of the game by keeping an eye on tactics and technologies that emerge from the world of web optimisation. SEO is always evolving, therefore you can’t afford to sit back and not engage with the latest developments.