Are you having website speed issues? If so this is the perfect guide to cutting down load times and improving overall website speed.
Before we begin improving your website speed we need to look into just how slow your site may be loading. One of our favorite free tools is GTMetrix. This website makes it simple to test your site and even to find out what may be slowing you down.
Here are the most common ways to decrease load times:
- Compress and Optimize Images
- Add Caching Solution
- Add Lazyload
- Remove Unneeded Plugins
- Change Theme or Hosting
1) Compress and Optimize Images
Many times imported images are far too large for their purpose on our websites. If you have a 2000 by 2000 px image filling a 40 by 40 space your page will be spending all that processing power rendering your massive image whereas it could have only taken a small amount of power. It is important to make sure that our images are the right size to fill into our website.
Once you have sized all of your images properly the next step is to compress them and minimize the file size. In many situations, it is possible to losslessly optimize images to be significantly smaller than their original size. Luckily there are many useful free plugins that will handle all of this compression for us. Some great examples are Autoptimize and Hummingbird.
2) Add a Caching Solution
Caching solutions are a way to speed up your website for returning traffic to your website. When someone visits your website the caching plugin will save some of the information from your site on the user’s browser so that future browsing sessions will become faster. This will also make it easier for customers who are browsing your website for long periods of time to bounce between pages with fewer delays and loading screens. Overall it is a great way to improve the overall user experience. Some of the best free plugins are WP Fastest Cache and W3 Fastest Cache.
4) Add Lazyload
Lazyload is a great way to speed up your site and add to the overall ease of use. It works by prioritizing what is seen on the page first. So when a customer loads into your home page their computer will only be focusing on loading what they see. As they scroll down the page it will load the next parts of your website just before they come into frame. This results in a much faster load time without hurting the customer experience in any way. A great Lazyload solution is Lazy Load and a3 Lazy Load.
5) Remove Unneeded Plugins
It is all too easy to end up with way too many plugins downloaded on your website. All of these plugins are bogging down your website’s speed and hurting your customer experience. If you have fallen into this trap then take some time to look into your plugins. Which plugins are you still using, which ones do you no longer need? Remove the unneeded plugins and do your website a favor.
6) Change Theme or Hosting
If none of these other methods are working then it might be necessary to change your theme or your website hosting. Both of these methods can be fairly difficult to implement but they can create a meaningful difference in your website load time. Some more unreliable hosing services can slow down your website in ways that are completly out of your control. Moving to a more reliable faster hosting solution like siteground might be the best move.
If your site is still slow it might be time to choose a new theme. Some out of date themes can really start to slow down your website and create numerous issues for their owners. If you are having trouble with your theme then changing to another more lightweight theme can be a great next step.
Creating a fast loading website can be difficult to do but it is an important part of any online success. By following the steps of this guide your website should be loading much faster. If you are still having problems with your website load times contact us here for additional assistance.