A slow website is bad for a variety of reasons. On the user experience side, people get impatient quickly. In the modern world of the internet, most people aren’t willing to wait longer than a few seconds for a website to load (especially when we are on our phones). A slow website sets a bad first impression for a customer, almost as bad as having an unresponsive website. And beyond users, Google and other search engines continually crackdown on slow websites by hurting their search ranking. Here are five questions you should ask yourself if your website is loading slowly.
Where Is Your Website Hosted?
There are two types of hosting: website and domain. In order to have a working website, you both have to pay for your website’s name as well as server space for all of your website’s files. When someone clicks a link to your website they actually are contacting your website hosting server to get all of the content, images, and code that make up your website. Paying for cheap hosting can lead to slow websites and weak security. Plus, cheap hosting companies tend to be very unhelpful when issues arise and don’t have the necessary customer support to help you. We recommend working with a reputable company known for fast website speeds like SiteGround or GoDaddy.
What Assets Are On Your Homepage?
Even if you have the fastest servers in the world, that doesn’t mean your website will load in under a millisecond. Videos, images, and other content can cause your website to slow down. There are a few ways to mitigate this (without destroying your design). First, you can use a lazy loading plugin to decrease the time it takes for your website to load. These plugins are designed to quickly load things at the top of the page, while assets lower on the page load as a user scrolls. This means a partial page can load quickly while other elements come in later, saving time. Additionally, optimizing image sizes so that they are the correct size can improve loading time. Don’t put an image designed for a billboard with a file size close to a gigabyte on the top of a webpage. Image optimization plugins can help shrink your images to the smallest size without losing photo quality.
Is Your Code Optimized?
Every website is made of combinations of HTML, PHP, CSS, and other coding languages. The way humans write code and the way robots read code are often different. In order to stay organized we often put unnecessary spaces, extra lines, and erroneous code that can slow down how quickly a website loads. Code optimizing plugins can help shorten code, but be aware that this can cause formatting issues. Always make a backup of your website before you allow an AI to rewrite code for you.
Do You Have Caching Enabled?
Caching is a clever tool that can quickly improve page speed loading. Caching works by storing data about your website on computers and other devices that have already visited your website. Although this can have a downside, if you consistently update specific pages on a website (like a prices page) you will want to make sure caching is disabled. Otherwise, clients and customers might see an older version that was cached by their web browser.
Learn More About Web Speed And Get A Free Digital Audit
The team at Boston Web Marketing provides speed audits as well as tailored plans to help improve not just the speed of website’s but their overall design, organization, and effectiveness. Contact us today to get a no-obligation quote on how we can help you improve your website.