Google has started taking site speed into account as one of the factors for deciding search result listings.
Bounce rates, particularly on mobile devices, are higher when the site speed is slow. According to digital marketing specialist Max Goldberg, a website that loads faster makes money faster. In addition, it creates a better user experience because nobody wants to wait more than a few seconds for a page to load.
That’s the reality of it. So, what do you do if you find that your page loading speed is slow (3 seconds or more)? You don’t have to necessarily redesign your entire site.
These are a few ways to increase your page loading speed without an entire website overhaul:
Image optimization – There’s no need to have huge image files on your website. They can be sharp, clear and of high quality without them all being 2 MB images. Images tend to load much more slowly, when compared to text. If the images on your website are in the range of 1 MB or more, it can lead to longer website load times, and the more pictures you have, the more this factor plays a part. But, you can compress and optimize all of these images. A good standard is to make sure your images are around 100 KB in size.
Use system fonts – System fonts may not have the dazzle and funkiness of the custom fonts you can find these days, but they will improve your page loading speed. Using standard system fonts like Arial or Times New Roman will speed things up, and they look great on pretty much every device and operating system.
Get rid of the auto-playing videos – If you insist on having videos on your website, disable the auto-play. It’s incredibly annoying to the end user and slows things down significantly. Instead, display links to the videos on your YouTube channel, or at least allow users to manually click play in order to watch.
Minimize Redirects – Redirects trigger an additional HTTP request, which adds a delay to page loading. You should try to avoid redirects totally and they should be included only if it’s technically required and if an alternate solution is not available. When it comes to your web pages, you should never reference URLs that can redirect to others.
Faster Servers – The speed at which the website content is delivered by the server also has a major impact on the load time. This is why hosting companies will vary considerably in price. It’s the “you get what you pay for” scenario – the cheaper ones are a lot slower than the more costly ones. If you have a decent budget, opting for a dedicated virtual private server would be ideal.
Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) – Google now makes use of an open source standard for mobile devices referred to as AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Instead of loading all the content from your site, Google creates its own index of your website. It strips it down to HTML so that mobile devices load sites faster. Google attaches preference to AMP pages when it comes to mobile searches. For websites that were created with WordPress, you can use the AMP plugin for deploying AMP pages.