A website that loads slowly is annoying to site visitors. With everything being fast-paced these days, it is likely that they would move to another website instead of sitting and waiting for yours to load. So, you’ll lose both business and reputation, and even blog readers.
Not only that, your search engine ranking is at stake too if you have a slow website. Google has always emphasized that your website loading speed is taken into consideration into the algorithm that determines your website ranking.
Now that you know how the speed of a website can affect your hits and business, you will certainly want to know how fast your website is. With Google being the mother of all search engines, the Google Speed Test is probably the best tool to use to determine the speed at which your website loads. The report doesn’t just tell you what the overall page speed score is, but also provides you with tips in how to boost your website’s speed.
So after checking your speed on Google Speed Test and other free website speed test tools, you find out that your website takes eternity to load and your competitors do much better. What next? Here are some things you can do to speed up your site; they are all free and easy to do:
Split long articles into pages
When your articles contain large multimedia files and very long content, it is best to use the just split it into multiple pages. That way, the file size within the page is smaller and thus takes less time to load. Splitting articles into pages is also a superb way to increase pageviews and boosting SEO.
Reduce image sizes
High resolution images are usually the culprits in a slow website. There are several ways you can optimize the images without compromising on its quality.
One is to compress the image by using a good software such as Adobe Photoshop. Alternatively, there are also various free tools to help you do this without affecting the quality of your images.
Another thing we can do is to combine the images into CSS sprites, resulting in something like a collage of pictures. By doing so, the web server only loads one image instead of multiple ones. This will reduce the number of hits and traffic the web server needs to handle to serve the page.
Finally, whenever possible, instead of using .png files as buttons, use .gif files instead. Buttons are, well, just buttons, which you don’t need high quality images of huge images sizes for.
Remove heavy elements that you don’t need
Cache your pages
To speed up your website, you can also cache your web pages with a good caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache, or WP Super Cache.
These plugins generate static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog which the web server will serve instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts and MySQL database.
Replace PHP functions with HTML
Another method to reduce PHP load is by replacing certain PHP functions with HTML codes whenever possible. Usually, PHP functions come with your website theme’s scripts to simplify the process of changing the site’s contents. However, only certain pages actually use these functions. Therefore, find out where you can substitute the PHP functions with HTML codes instead.
Avoid using the @import function as this add multiple requests to the server, stretching the time it takes to load your website. Also, did you know that you can reduce the size of a file by writing 3-letter color codes instead of 6-letter ones? For instance, write #fff instead of #ffffff.
Simple, but it makes quite significant difference in a page’s loading speed!
There you go – 6 simple optimize the images tips to speed up your website. Some are really easy to implement that you needn’t be an expert. Even if you might struggle through some steps or need to enlist help, the returns of a fast website are well-worth the efforts. You wouldn’t want to turn potential customers and blog readers away with your lagging website, right?
Image Credit:Global Jet