So, how important is a fast-loading website in this day and age? Well, to put it simply, it is very important. So important, in fact, that Google has now deemed page loading speed as a ranking factor for any website that wants to improve their page ranking.
In a 2017 study, every second that a webpage doesn’t load would result in 11% reduced page views and decreases customer satisfaction by as much as 16%. In addition, if people were to wait for more than 5 seconds for a website to load, that would also decrease the conversion rate every second by 7% as well.
What does this mean? It just means that if your website is poorly optimized and doesn’t load well within 3-5 seconds, you are running the risk of getting poor page rankings as a result.
So, what can be done? The first thing would be to get the best web hosting service provider out there so that bandwidth is never going to be an issue. But, what other things can be done to improve your website’s loading speeds? Read further to find out.
Use Quality Plugins and Remove Crappy Ones
Let me be clear here, website plugins are great because they extend the functionality of any website. However, not all of them would provide a good user experience because it was found that crappy plugins can actually contribute to longer page loading times. Let me explain.
A plugin is basically something that your website uses in order to extend its current feature set. Different plugins would provide different uses and they certainly can be useful in certain situations.
However, non-updated plugins or ones that are coded poorly can result in vastly increased page loading times, mainly because it doesn’t handle scripts really well.
If you are to use plugins, make sure they are coded well and they are up to date.
Install Google PageSpeed
Google PageSpeed is a module that can be installed on your website to vastly improve your webpage’s loading speeds. It does this by making certain optimizations on the backend, thus improving performance.
However, the installation procedure might be too cumbersome for non-tech-savvy-users. If you do not know how to install it, you may need to get a web developer to do it for you.
Optimize Your Image Sizes
It is always a great idea to include images in your articles or blog posts, but do so in a way that you only use optimized images.
By ‘optimized images’, I mean that you compress your images to a certain extent that greatly reduces its file size, thus allowing it to load at a much quicker rate.
You may need to read up on the best file sizes out there, but the idea is to reduce the size of your media files without sacrificing quality too much.
Optimize Your Database Regularly
Your website will require maintenance from time to time, especially when it comes to your database. A poorly-optimized database can result in slow-loading speeds mainly because everything is not in order.
If you are using WordPress, you can install the WP-Optimize plugin to make the entire process so much easier.