Website performance has become a critical factor and can even affect your site’s performance in more ways than you might imagine. Website load times are so important that it is now a ranking factor by search engines like Google. In the wake of these changes, many website owners are trying to find ways to increase their website’s performance to keep up with the times. Here are four simple ways any website owner can use to improve their site’s performance.
Redirects kill your site’s performance in general and your customer conversion rate at the same time. Every second it takes to load a page costs ten percent of your would-be audience. Every redirect scares a similar percentage away out of security concerns. And every redirect as the server tries to serve up the right page is an unnecessary demand on your website.
Instead of landing pages that direct people to your website, create one home page or landing page that serves your main target audience. If you must use a landing page, a cacheable redirect speeds up load times.
Don’t forget to clean up dead links, too, since this turns off the customer and wastes a search engine crawler’s time, such that it may miss your new content when indexing your site.
Factor Speed into the Host Selection
If you want to boost online brand mentions or simply get more traffic, loading speed is vital. Don’t choose a host based on price and end up with a site so slow that no one waits for it to load. Check a web hosting review site and select a host that offers a good combination of price relative to the site performance. If possible, find their clients’ sites and see how fast they load. You need to pick a web host whose sites load quickly on the plan on you can afford instead of having to pay more for greater bandwidth and the load times you expect.
No Unnecessary Media
Get rid of background music or narration. Don’t show a video to your website visitors unless it is likely to convert them into paying customers and save your bandwidth by delaying the video from playing until you know that the person has the bandwidth to play it. For mobile visitors and anyone with limited bandwidth, have the video remain still until they choose to click on “play”. Streamline the images on your website so that you have only one or two high-quality images per screen and design the site to automatically resize the images to fit the user’s screen. If you must use high-resolution images, utilize gzip compression and specify their dimensions for browsers loading them. Drop the active content like scrolling galleries for two to four good images of the product.
Build in Better Performance
Use browser caching to speed up load times for returning visitors by utilizing expired headers. Where possible, rely on CDN or content delivery networks to deliver content as quickly as possible. Specify a character set for your content so that browsers can present it as quickly as possible. Serve resources from a consistent URL when they are used by multiple pages. Use sites like YouTube to host your videos instead of trying to serve them via your own server.
Doing simple things like limiting redirects, getting rid of unnecessary media files and choosing a good web hosting can have a direct impact on your site’s speed. So, don’t neglect these steps and do everything in your power to give your users the most pleasant experience possible.