If your customers find your business through your website, having a website that loads quickly is important. With 53% of mobile users abandoning websites that take over three seconds to load , it’s essential that your website is optimised. Not only will your users leave your site, but you also face potential penalties on how search engines rank your website. Search engines want to give their customers the best service by providing the best search results – with so many competing sites out there, website speed is an easy way for Google to filter down the top results.
There are several steps that you can take in order to make your website load faster, and stay on top of competition. We’ve listed ten, and provided some useful information too.
- Select a fast, reliable server for your website
- Minify CSS & JS
- Optimise images for your website
- Compression (gZip etc.)
- Use CDNs
- Use Caching
- Defer loading of non-essential files
- Remove unnecessary plugins
- Monitoring and Testing Speeds
Select a fast, reliable server for your website
Your server is where your website lives. Every time a user enters your website or interacts with it, your server has to process these requests and deliver the requested information back to the user. Without a fast server, preferably located in the country where your customers are, the communication between your website and your users will be slow. When selecting a hosting option, make sure you read and understand the specifications of where your server is hosted.
There are several different factors to consider when choosing a server, all of which impact the price:
- Dedicated or Shared Hosting – With shared hosting, your website will be on the same server as countless others. If any of these other websites see a spike in traffic, your website could suffer. However, these are often more affordable than dedicated hosting.
- SSD or HDD storage – Solid state drives are more reliable and frankly considerably faster. Most hosting options now include SSD storage, but it is important to check.
- Bandwidth – This specifies how much data and visitor traffic can flow to and from your website. If you have plenty of users, this is a particularly important factor to consider.
- Storage – Storage specifies refers to the amount you can store on your server. If you have a simple website, this should not be a primary concern. If your website has a CMS, blog, uploads or many images, this is a particularly important factor to consider.
- Location – If your server is located in the US, and is serving UK based users, it will take longer for files to be sent than it would be if they were hosted in a UK data centre.
- Backups – In the worst case scenario, where your website is hacked, a massive error happens or you break something, it is always good to have peace of mind that your files will be safe.