However important it may seem at first glance, a nice-looking layout is not enough for a website to succeed with its visitors. Even more important than the visual aspect is the speed at which a website performs. According to the statistics, forty per cent of internet users will not allow a webpage more than three seconds to load before they decide to leave it. Moreover, the conversion rate will drop by seven per cent with every additional second the website takes to load. So here are a number of tips on how to improve your conversion rates by making your website load faster to get you started.
Unfortunately, the concept of image optimisation is often mistaken for that of mere image resizing. Although many website administrators will modify the physical size of the images they have uploaded on their websites, in order for a website to load faster, you need those images to be compressed as well. In fact, the process of image optimisation involves a number of different aspects being covered, as follows: image resizing – to the largest correct size as per usage and page dimensions –, image formatting – to JPG, GIF or PNG formats –, image compression (e.g. 60 per cent in the case of JPG images) and also, the use of code-based scalable vector graphics – for an easy download and light weight.
Upgrade your hosting plan
As expected, maximised cost effectiveness is a constant objective among business owners upon starting out and therefore, when it comes to choosing a hosting plan for their business websites, many opt for shared hosting. However, additional content and increased usage are bound to cause a decrease in speed. Therefore, upgraded hosting solutions, such as dedicated or VPS hosting, become necessary in order to benefit from higher bandwidth limits and better RAM or CPU, among many others.
Improper caching is another common cause of a slow website loading time. This particular aspect is highly relevant in the context of repeat visitors for it shortens the loading times considerably by eliminating the need for the database to retrieve every stored file every time a request is made. WordPress users can rely on plugins such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache as effective caching solutions, whereas non WordPress users can opt for caching at server level.
In this context, as a website owner seeking to speed up their website, you can start by using GZIP compression to reduce the size of various files you may want to upload on your website by seventy per cent without compromising their quality. Also, you can choose to minify all these files using tools such as BWP Minify for WordPress websites or WillPeavy, which will clear all unnecessary comments, code and blank spaces and help you achieve a reduced file size. However, you might want to note that the ideal solution involves the combined use of GZIP compression and minification.