If you want your website to be successful, speed is essential. People have short attention spans and may hit the back button if your site loads slowly.
Even making your website load a second or two faster can make a large difference in how much traffic you get. Websites that load faster also rank higher on search engines. Google and Bing want the best websites to rank near the top, so their algorithms rank slow websites lower.
One of the best ways to make a site load faster is to remove unnecessary content. You might also enable server/browser caching, use a content delivery network, or remove plugins.
You may have to do a few different things to make your site fast enough. Your competitors take loading speed seriously, so you must take it seriously as well.
Even very slightly slower websites receive less traffic
You might think that a difference of less than a second could not matter, but research proves it does. A website that loads as little as 0.4 seconds faster has an advantage over a similar but slightly slower website.
If a site takes more than four seconds to load, many people will click the back button. Mobile users are even more likely to abandon sites that take more than four or five seconds to load.
Large companies see huge increases in profits if they speed up their page load times by only a second or two. Sales pages need to load fast – one second faster is enough to make a difference.
1) Enable browser caching to make your site load faster
A website that takes a few seconds to load the first time you see it may take less than a second to load on your second visit. This is because of browser caching. Essentially, a web browser can download and save some of the content on a website so that it loads faster.
2) Enable server caching as well
A server cache is different from a browser cache. A server cache is a way to temporarily saving content on a server, as opposed to a client’s hard drive.
A server cache can make a website load faster in many different ways. For example, a PHP script might be compiled first and then stored in a cache until a user needs to run the script.
This is faster than compiling the script only when a user needs to use it. A server cache can also store information that a user enters when they use a website. Many sites use both server-side and client-side caching to keep the load time down.
3) Enable CDN
The closer your computer is to the server the website files are stored on, the faster the website will load. Thankfully, this is something you have some control over as a website host. You can use a content delivery network (CDN) to make sure that users load content from servers that are not too far away.
A content delivery network stores content in many different locations all over the world. If you use a CDN, a user may get their content from a server only dozens of miles away, instead of thousands of miles. Content delivery networks are an essential part of the modern internet – most of the content people see today is distributed with a CDN.
4) Reduce plugins and content
The single most important thing to do may be to remove content that loads slowly. Removing content can actually improve the quality of your web pages – a page might look better without some unnecessary images, for example.
Reducing the quality of an image may be a good idea. You might hardly be able to tell the difference between an ordinary image and an unnecessarily high resolution one. Slower loading times are easier to notice and have a larger effect on sales.
You do have to use images to succeed – a sales page without images will not generate sales. At least most pages on your site should have images. However, they do not have to be extremely high-resolution images.
Content that uses plugins can slow your site down. Many sites are running plugins that are not doing much or are doing nothing. If you installed any plugins in the past that you no longer use, remove them.
You can also replace one plugin with another one that works better and does not slow your site down. Newer and better plugins are always being introduced. Replace your plugins when better software becomes available.
5) Switch to VPS hosting
The type of web hosting you use also determines how fast your site loads. If you want a competitive, fast loading website, you need to pick the right web hosting company and invest a bit of money for the right web hosting package.
VPS stands for “virtual private server.” It aims to give you the advantages of a single server for your website even though it uses a server shared by other users. The server is not private, but it mimics a private server.
With a VPS server, there is some RAM, bandwidth, and other resources set aside for your site only. This way, there is no risk of there not being any RAM or bandwidth left over for your site due to too many other people visiting sites on the same server.
A virtual private server can make a significant difference in how fast your site loads. The only disadvantage of having a virtual private server is that it costs money.
Usually, it does not take programming skill to combine different files. You may be able to copy and paste the code from each file together to create a new file. Simple copy and pasting will not usually cause the code to malfunction.