Improve Website Speed With These 5 Simple Steps

5 simple ways to speed up your websiteWe recently helped a client who complained that her WordPress site speed was very slow. She said that she had a big dip in online sales since clients did not want to wait around for her site to load. There are many reasons why your website speed may be slow. Below are five tips to improve website speed that are quick, easy and free.

Five Tips to Improve Website Speed

1. Use Website Speed Test – If you feel that your WordPress site is acting very slow, do an Internet Speed Test. Webpagetest.org is run by Google, and offers a free test of your site. It will give you a detailed summary with a website speed test score out of 100. It will also give details about the errors, load times, how long your site takes to fully load, etc. The site claims to “ run simple tests or perform advanced testing including multi-step transactions, video capture, content blocking and much more.” It will provide “rich diagnostic information including resource loading waterfall charts, Page Speed optimization checks and suggestions for improvements.” Doing the Internet speed test is important so you can see what the exact issue is that is preventing your website from operating at normal speed. Also, if you are planning to contact your website host, it will help to pinpoint the exact data about your website in the ticket request.

2. Compress ImagesDream Host recommends that you don’t just upload images to your site, but take the time to optimize each image. Big files slow down site speed, so resizing the photo to smaller dimensions will be optimal. Google developers recommend compressing images. They state that “image files are often created with extra information embedded in the file. For example, JPEG files written by many image programs include the name of the program that wrote them. PNG images can often be made smaller by changing the way the image is encoded. These transformations are lossless. That is, the compressed image looks identical to the uncompressed image, but uses fewer bytes.”

3. Reduce Files Sizes – Just like JPEGs and PDFS, other files also slow down website speed. The speed of your page loads often come down to reducing the size of the images on the page. Make sure to set your images to 72 pixels per inch and ideally size the image BEFORE you add it to WordPress. If you don’t have a native image editing application you can use an onilne one such as Pixlr. You might want to install WP Smush.it plugin which will reduce the size of the images of your site without having to edit them one by one. Check your CSS and JS files. CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) refers to text file formats that define things like the color and size of the text, as well as spaces and borders of information on the website. JS files are JavaScript, which control things like automatically changing the date, causing a linked-to page to pop up and allowing images or text to change when a mouse is rolled over them, according to Whatis.com. Obviously you need these files, so you cannot delete them from your WordPress site, but you can minify them. The plugin Better WordPress Minify will combine and compress your CSS and JS files, which will speed up your website. Another plugin called Lazy Load will only allow images to load when a visitor can see them.

4. Install W3 Total Cache – We’ve found that this plugin gives the most flexibility and levels of control to help improve your page loads. web cache is a mechanism for the temporary storage (caching) of web documents, such as HTML pages and images, to reduce bandwidth usage, server load, and perceived lag. W3 Total Cache can address various way to reduce the page load with settings for browser cache, minify and even CDN integration.

5. Get better hosting or a CDN – Page speed is often reliant on your hosting. If your site is on a shared servers for instance, your resources are pooled together and a site with a lot of traffic will demand more resources. We like to use WP Engine for dedicated WordPress hosting as they have advanced caching built into their servers and a high level of security. SiteGround is a great hosting company that is WordPress friendly and has their own caching plugin that is included with their shared hosting plans. You might also consider using a CDN or Content Delivery Network such as MaxCDN which serves your site’s data from a location closer to where the user’s browser request is being made. W3 Total Cache is also compatible with MaxCDN and has an option to easily configure it in the settings for the plugin. These five simple tips will help you significantly alter the speed of your website and allow your visitors to visit and shop on your site in the manner they were supposed to.

The team at Behla Design is dedicated to creating visual experiences that effectively tell our clients’ stories while engaging, exciting, and enticing their customers. Our firm consists of the top web design and development, WordPress, search engine optimization (SEO), and copy writing professionals. Our founder, Andrew Behla, has worked in the graphic, print and web design industry for over twenty years.

If you still have questions about the slow speed of your website, , contact Behla Design.

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