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8 Ways to Make Your Website Load Faster

By Emily Boziwick

Timex ClockHow is your website performing? Chances are it’s barely passing.

The average load time of most websites was almost four seconds, according to HubSpot Research.

How does load time affect your website? Well there are several ways it does this.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of have a fast loading website and 8 ways to make your website load faster.

So How Does Load Time Affect Your Website and Its Performance?

Slow loading times stress out your visitors

When your website is slow to load, your visitors get frustrated and instead of converting, they exit your site before it even loads.

Did you know that 47% of users expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less?

Not only does a slow loading website affect your user experience, it affects your SEO as well.

Google penalizes websites that have slow load times.

Google has indicated that site speed is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages.

In addition to penalizing your website’s ranking ability, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.

 

How to Increase the Load Time of Your Website

As we have seen, website load time is important for user experience and for SEO.

So, how can you increase the load time of your website? Here are 8 ways to do just that:

1. Determine How Your Mobile Site is Set Up

First, is your website responsive? If it’s not, your website is likely not loading fast enough.

Also, did you know that if your website isn’t responsive, Google will actually penalize your website ranking in the SERP? But that’s another topic. You can read more about Why You Should Have a Responsive Website in one of our previous blogs.

Based on how your website is set up, there are performance optimizations that your marketing team can look into. Try testing your website for mobile-friendliness.

 

2. Load Videos in the Background

Videos are likely the main factor that is making your website slow.

Videos will take the longest to load on mobile so if the video is not crucial to user experience on your site, considering hiding it in the background on your mobile website or not loading it on your website at all.

In order to hide your video in the background, ask your web developer to insert some CSS into the code so that the video won’t show up at all when the visitor lands on your website.

Try using a call-to-action instead of a video to increase the load time of your website and user experience.

 3. Compress & Optimize Your Images

Your images could actually be the main reason why your website is so slow.

By compressing your images, you can take seconds off your page’s load time.

On mobile, this is where we see this issue the most. The full-size image can take a long time to load, which can lead to a frustrated user. To fix this issue, consider resizing, cropping, and then compressing your images.

 

4. Replace PHP with Static HTML

Another way to improve the loading time of your website is to use static HTML when PHP is unnecessary.

Static HTML simply delivers the page for the viewer’s browser to render. PHP has to first generate the page before presenting it to the browser.

This is great for being able to customize exactly what your page will look like, or to make it easier to keep a site-wide element consistent, but there’s no need to render an entire page in php when html is sufficient. Save your server the work, and your users the time.

 

5. Disable Hotlinking

One thing that may be slowing your site down is hot linking – when other sites pull your images.

Your server does the work of storing and sending the image, handling all the traffic, but someone else’s site displays the image.

You can disable hot linking by blocking access to your picture files via the .htaccess file, or in the settings in your hosting or site builder. Make sure you remember to allow all versions of your own domain access – and consider allowing search engines in as well.

 

6. Good Hosting Provider

Always be aware that your website depends on your hosting. If you don’t have a good hosting provider, or are trying to use a smaller plan than you need, your site’s speed will suffer.

Make sure you are aware of your available bandwidth and how that compares to your site’s needs.

How big is your site? Is it mainly text, or do you frequently stream videos? How much traffic do you expect?

 

7. Turn Off Pingbacks and Trackbacks

If you have pingbacks and trackbacks enabled on your site, your server will have to handle the traffic generated by them – and this doesn’t just mean the potential for new visitors to your site.

It means that every single time someone links to your site, even if it’s not particularly relevant or outright spam, your server has to handle the notification you receive. Ask yourself if it’s worth it, and consider disabling these features for a faster website.

 

8. Have a Solid Theme or Framework

One of the first questions to ask yourself when attempting to speed up your website’s loading time is “What do I have that’s unnecessary?”

This could be pictures, video, excessive php or javascript… but don’t forget to look at the framework of your website. If you’re using a content management system like Wordpress, you likely also chose a pre-existing theme to start from, however much you customized from there.

What sort of content management system or theme are you using? If you’re just starting your design, be sure to look for a streamlined one that does what you need it to, but no more than necessary.

The more functionalities, the more processing your server has to do – even if you’re not using them.

 

How Can Your Business Implement These Tips?

Be sure to ask your web developer or your marketing agency to find out why your website is taking so long to load and take the necessary steps above to increase the load time of your website!


Not sure how your website is performing? Get a free website audit now!

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Tags: SEO