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How to Optimise Your Website for Speed

A fast website is a good website. If your website is slow, it will significantly impact your user experience and in turn, your business. Users are impatient and will not hesitate to leave your site if it takes too long to load. This is why it is essential to optimise your website for speed. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to increase your website’s speed.

If you aren’t sure what your website speed is like, head over to my home page to get your free website audit report. This comprehensive report will include insights about your website usability, SEO, security and performance.

Choose the Right Hosting Provider to Speed Up Your Website 

Choosing the right hosting provider is essential to having a fast website. Here are some key factors to keep in mind: 

Bandwidth and storage

One of the most important factors in choosing a hosting provider is the amount of bandwidth and storage they provide. If you have a lot of high-quality images or videos on your website, you will need more storage. More traffic to your site will result in higher bandwidth usage. Make sure to find out the maximum limits for both bandwidth and storage so you can avoid overage charges. 

Uptime guarantee

Uptime is the percentage of time that your website is accessible online. You want to choose a hosting provider that offers at least 99% uptime. Anything less than that means there is a chance your website could be down when potential customers try to visit it. 

Customer support

When something goes wrong with your website, you want to be able to reach customer support quickly so the issue can be resolved in a timely manner. Find out what kind of customer support the hosting provider offers and how easy it is to get in touch with them. 

Pricing

Of course, you will also want to consider pricing when choosing a hosting provider. Make sure to compare the features and benefits of each provider before making your decision. It is important to find a balance between price and quality. 

Generally, I stay clear from hosting providers like Go Daddy, BlueHost and HostGator. Instead, I recommend using WP Hosting, SiteGround or Cloudflare.

Optimise Your Images to Speed Up Your Website 

One of the common culprits of a slow website is unoptimised images. There are a few different ways that you can optimise your images to speed up your website. I’ll go over the most common methods below. 

Compression 

One of the simplest ways to optimise your images is to compress them. This means reducing the file size of the image without reducing the quality too much. This can be done using an online compression tool like TinyPNG. Simply upload your image to the site and let it do its magic. You can then download the compressed image and replace the old one on your website. 

Resizing 

Another easy way to optimise your images is to resize them before uploading them to your website. This means adjusting the dimensions of the image so that it’s not too large. A good rule of thumb is to resize your images so that they’re no larger than 1000px wide for portraits and 1500px for landscape images used on full width banners. You can do this using an online photo editor like Canva or PicMonkey or with Preview on a mac.

File Formats 

The final way to optimise your images is by using the right file format. The two most common formats are JPEG and PNG. JPEGs are best for photographs while PNGs are best for graphics with fewer colours, like logos or illustrations. To make things even faster, consider serving images to your website visitors in WebP format. This is a modern image format developed by Google that offers unique compression systems without losing quality.

Speed Up Your Website By Avoiding These Plugin Pitfalls

One of the most effective ways to speed up your website is reducing the number of plugins you’re using. Here’s a look at why plugins can slow down your site and how you can avoid this pitfall. 

Why Plugins Can Slow Down Your Site

The primary reason plugins can slow down your site is because they add extra code to your pages. This code must be downloaded every time someone visits your site, which can add precious seconds to your page-load time. In addition, some plugins are poorly coded, which can further bog down your site. 

Unfortunately, simply eliminating all plugins is not a viable solution. In many cases, plugins are essential for adding features and functionality to your site. The key is to find a balance between the features you need and the speed at which you need them. Here are a few tips for doing just that. 

Pick the Right Plugins

Not all plugins are created equal. Some are lightweight and well-coded, while others are bulky and poorly made. When choosing plugins for your site, take the time to research each one before you install it. Read reviews and check ratings to get an idea of how well the plugin performs. You should also look for any complaints about website speed issues. 

In general, it’s best to stick with plugins that have been developed by reputable companies or individuals. These developers typically put more care into ensuring their products are high quality and perform well. Avoid installing plugins from unknown sources, as these could contain malicious code that could jeopardise the security of your site. 

Minimise the Number of Plugins You Use 

It’s tempting to install multiple plugins to give your site everything you think it needs—but more isn’t always better. In fact, using too many plugins can actually make it harder for people to use your site and make it more likely that something will go wrong. So, take a close look at each plugin you’re considering and ask yourself if it’s truly essential. If not, then see if there’s another way to achieve the same result without using a plugin—perhaps by modifying your theme or adding custom code directly to your site. 

Update Your Plugins Regularly

Once you’ve installed a plugin on your site, it’s important to keep it up-to-date with the latest version. Plugin developers regularly release new versions that include bug fixes and performance enhancements—so updating ensures you’re always using the best possible version of the plugin on your site. In some cases, failure to update can even leave your site vulnerable to security threats. Fortunately, most WordPress plugins will notify you automatically when updates are available, so all you need to do is approve them. 

The Benefits of Using a Content Delivery Network

A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers that deliver webpages and other Web content to a user, based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage, and the content delivery server. CDNs allow for the quick transfer of assets needed for loading Internet content including HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets, images, and videos. CDNs also serve as a backup in case of server failure. Many CDNs can scale elastically in order to accommodate sudden increases in traffic due to popularity or Denial-of-service attacks. 

There are many reasons why you should consider using a CDN, but three stand out above the rest: improved website speed, increased security, and lower bandwidth costs. 

Improved Website Speed

Users are impatient. If your website takes more than a few seconds to load, they’re likely to click away before they even see what you have to offer. According to Kissmetrics, 40% of users abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. And it only gets worse from there; if your site takes more than 5 seconds to load, you can expect a 70% abandonment rate. 

Fortunately, using a CDN can help mitigate these issues by reducing latency. CDNs work by storing cached versions of your site’s assets on servers around the world. When a user requests one of these assets, they’re served the version that’s closest to them geographically, which greatly reduces loading times. 

Increased Security

In addition to improved speed, using a CDN can also provide increased security for your website and its visitors. By storing copies of your site’s assets on multiple servers around the world, you can minimise the risk of downtime in the event that one or more of your servers goes offline. Additionally, many CDNs offer built-in security features like DDoS mitigation and SSL encryption that can further protect your site from malicious attacks. 

Lower Bandwidth Costs

Another benefit of using a CDN is that it can help reduce your website’s bandwidth costs. Since CDNs store cached copies of your site’s assets on their servers, they absorb much of the bandwidth usage when users request these assets. This can free up valuable resources on your own servers and speed up your website. 

Minimise HTTP requests

So, what exactly are HTTP requests, and how can you minimise them to speed up your website?

HTTP requests are basically what they sound like—requests made from your browser to a server in order to load a web page. Each time a user visits a page on your website, their browser has to request information from your server in order to load everything on the page. That information includes things like text, images, videos, and so forth. 

The more information that’s required to load a page, the more HTTP requests have to be made. And the more requests that have to be made, the longer it takes for the page to load.

There are a number of ways that you can minimise HTTP requests and speed up your website. Caching is one of them.

Use caching to speed up your website

Caching simply means storing often-used files on the user’s computer so that they don’t have to be downloaded each time they visit your site. This speeds up loading times because the files don’t have to be requested from your server each time they’re needed. 

Over to you

Speed is important when it comes to websites—there’s no two ways about it. If your site is slow, you’ll lose customers who will simply go elsewhere rather than wait around for your pages to load. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to speed up your website.

In this article, I’ve covered some of the basics: website hosting, image optimisation, caching, minimising HTTP requests, and using a CDN. Implementing these techniques can help improve your site’s speed and keep your visitors happy. 

If you need help with optimising your website for speed, get in touch – I’ll be happy to help you get the most out of your website. 

kreete

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