We’ve done a couple of blogs on revamping your website and bringing it up-to-date. If you’ve followed along then you’ve rebuilt your website using a responsive, mobile first methodology. You’ve installed an SSL certificate and made sure the site loads securely and is only served up via https. And now you’re ready to unveil your new site! Wait… what do you mean we have time to go get a cup of coffee while it loads?

What do you mean we have time to get a cup of coffee while your website loads?

It’s no secret that today most visitors to your website are viewing it on a phone. That’s why you’re going to all this trouble re-building your website in the first place. This means when you build your new site you need to take many things into consideration. Not just how your site looks and responds on a mobile device, but also how quickly your site loads. Users on phones are not always sitting in a home or office with wifi. They could be browsing your site while riding to work, waiting in line at Starbucks for their grande frappa dappa whatchamacallit, or while sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office because of that nasty rash, wishing they’d just listened to their mother and not… never mind. But one thing is certain, wherever they are using their phone, they are probably in a hurry.

According to madeupstatistics.com when mobile users try and access a website that loads too slowly 47% have yelled profanities at their phone, 32% have thrown their phone against a wall and caused an average of $300 worth of drywall damage, 22% have created a public scene scaring small children and animals, 13% have put their phone into a blender and made iPhone puree, and 7% have destroyed their phone, given away all their belongings, and moved to a small South American country to sell beads.

Okay, so I may have made all that up. But the frustration is real. Here are some real numbers: In 2017 Google found that 53% of mobile site visits have a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. And conversion rates are lower for mobile visitors than desktop visitors. The time it takes for your page to load is directly related to how many people stay and use it, so is directly related to revenue. If more visitors are using their phones, and phone visitors are more likely to bounce on a slow website and not convert, then the revenue from your website could be trending in the wrong direction.

Is my website too slow?

When we start to feel we’ve gotten a bit too sedentary, maybe put on a few pounds, the first step we take is to go to our doctor and get a physical — maybe run some tests and see where we’re at and what we need to do. (I know, most of us don’t check with our doctor first. We just buy a gym membership and then forget to go). The same is true for your website. You need to find out if it’s slow, and how it compares to the competition. You need to run some tests. Fortunately, this is easier to do on your website than it is on yourself. There are several website speed test tools that will check your site out and tell you how it stacks up. First, see what Google thinks of your page speed. This is a tough test based on a 3G phone connection. Another Google test is PageSpeed Insights. You can also check at Pingdom.com and GTmetrix.com. If you’re ready for a comprehensive analysis of your entire website, including site speed, we can help. We’ll also give you some tips and ideas on things you can do to speed up your site.

How do I speed up my website?

You can break your website down into four main file types: HTML, which is the content on your site; JavaScript, which is the functionality of your site; style sheet files, used to control the look of your site; and image files, which are, well… images.

Slim down your image files

The most common issue slowing down websites are un-optimized images. If you’re adding images to your site and not taking the time to optimize them first, then your site is almost certainly slower than it should be. And even if you are optimizing your images, they could probably be optimized more. If you’re using Wordpess there are plugins that can help with image load speeds: Smush and Shortpixel for example.

Website speed loss converts directly to revenue loss.

Speaking of plugins, it can be tempting to load your site up with all the latest and greatest. But there is a cost to this, often in website speed. And if your site is for your business then that speed loss converts directly to revenue loss. Take an inventory of what plugins your site is running and see if any are slowing your site down, and if there are any you can live without.

Squish those JavaScript and Style Sheet Files

One of the reasons plugins can slow your site down is because each one probably needs to load its own JavaScript and style sheet files. Both the number of files loaded, and their size, contribute to your sites overall load time. If you’ve already stripped away any files you don’t need, then you can speed things up further by optimizing the remaining files and by combining them together so fewer requests need to be made when your page loads.

Don’t make your visitors browser work too hard to get your files – Caching and CDN

When your browser loads a website, many of the files are cached within the browser so that it will not need to call that file again if it’s used on a different page. You can also do caching at your website host, and this can help speed up your sites load time. WordPress, for example, stores it’s content in a database. Pulling that content out of the database and creating a webpage from it takes time. If that page can then be cached on the server then the next time it’s called that database query time and page compile time can be saved.

To take the caching concept even further, if your web pages are cached on multiple servers spread around the world, then when a user visits your website those pages could be pulled from the server closest to them. This is what a CDN, or Content Delivery Network, does. It will cache files used in your website on multiple servers so they can be pulled from the one closest to the visitor.

These are just some of the steps you can take to get your site to load faster. And remember, every second shaved off your sites load time translates to more money in your pocket. Making sure your website is responsive and mobile friendly, that it uses a SSL certificate and only loads via https, and is optimized for speed are all important investments into your business. And if you need help turning your website into a lean, mean, marketing machine we’re here to help.

Once you’re done revamping your website you can finally take a break; get some rest, binge watch Breaking Bad again. Or maybe not. If you’ve done all this, and are marketing your website, you’re probably too busy with all those new clients.

 

 

 

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