You have your site up and running, but something is not quite right.
Things are not moving as fast as you would want them to. If you see this problem, then it means you need website speed optimization services.
By doing so, your website will be a lot more attractive to users.
Why do you need to optimize website speed
Let’s put some things into perspective. According to recent studies, about 57% of visitors will leave if the page takes over 3 seconds to load.
Not just that, but if people have a bad overall experience, they are about 88% more likely to never return. That sounds scary, right? Well, luckily for you, things can get better right now.
Before starting to use a website optimization service, you should grasp a better understanding of your current state.
Test and find exactly how slow your site is. Then, go ahead and find out what makes it slow.
When all this is done, try and set your goals in terms of website performance. The before mentioned rule of three seconds is considered to be standard according to official Google researches.
This is a valid point both on desktop and mobile as well, across all industry sectors. It seems that generally, just very few websites achieve the holy grail when it comes to speed.
This should make you eager to reach the top. When you manage to do so, you will rank significantly higher from an SEO standpoint. That is a pure advantage against your competitors.
An online presence can be considered successful when you have all of the further points.
This basically means to have your visitors do whatever you need them to. For example, if your main goal is to sell clothes, then that is what your call to action towards them will be.
You might also want different secondary things from them, such as subscribing to your news mailing system or listen to some podcasts.
All these are directly influenced by speed optimization services. Faster pages equal better conversion rates.
Hubspot research says that a 1 second delay could mean a 7% down turn in conversions.
Let’s bring in the big guns like Amazon and put this into perspective. They could lose $1.6 billion in sales each year because of slow loading.
Like said before, if you load faster, you also rank higher in search engine results.
It’s a main factor taken into consideration by Google themselves when it comes to how a website is displayed.
Even general opinion agrees. Slower loading times always result in a bad user experience review.
The pages should globally be optimized on all platforms. Just because a site is fast on a desktop device that does not mean it is allowed to be slow on a mobile device. Page variants directly affect one another in their rankings.
How well can your site serve your visitors? That is what usability is. If your pages are intuitive and lovely to work with, then you are surely bound to be more visible to the open public.
Take this as a key feature of building a large and satisfied client base and a strong overall brand image.
How to Verify Your Speeds
Most performance evaluation tools try to do the same job: tell you how fast or slow your website is.
Try to keep your instrument of choice narrowed down only to the most trustworthy.
Here is a definitive list for you to choose from:
Google Pagespeed Insights
Yeah, it’s a no brainer!
At least it should be. Google is the great pillar of this overall structure.
It is only natural that you would want to base your opinions and future plans on performance tests that run on a stable and well-known platform.
It shows lots of valuable information and is available on both desktop and mobile versions.
Could be your secondary place to go.
If you feel like you want another opinion on the results, you should give Pingdom a try. It has lots of useful features, and it can even track your website’s history.
It can also give you data-driven recommendations in regards to making your pages load faster.
A professional paid plan for full-time monitoring is also available, so you know you can get the real deal.
This is just like it sounds. A professional website optimization service will most likely not use this kind of instrument, but if you are set on working on a budget, then it might suit you.
After all, it is a free tool that could provide otherwise very valuable statistics.
Techniques Used for Speeding Things Up
Speed optimization services are based on a number of specific guidelines created with a fluent experience in mind.
Once a site is tested, the real action is ready to start.
Let there be clear that there are lots of different ways of achieving faster speeds.
Regardless of how some might choose to combine them, we will further present the most effective ones:
Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
When you use one such network, your web servers are distributed across various geographical locations.
This results in end users receiving web content based on where they demand it from.
This is exactly what you would want. When things are stored on a single local server, everything has to be shared from that very exact spot, usually receiving requests on limited hardware.
This is exactly what you would definitely not want. Loading times are always bound to increase if users are physically far from the headquarters where the server is located.
This kind of work-around is extremely effective, but might be a bit expensive. If you know you can afford this, then remember to go CDN all the way!
Just finding a better host
It’s not rocket science.
Sometimes, you just have to find a new and better host.
If possible, try to avoid shared hosting. It usually is the slowest around, although it is quite cheap. If your budget allows you to, go for a Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting or a dedicated server hosting.
Obviously, these will rank higher when it comes to price, but in the end, the benefits might bring in more revenue than you have invested.
Planning is key.
Keep in mind important details, such as hiring a good system administrator. If you plan to buy your very own dedicated server, you need to have a great team to back it up when required.
Last but not least, it might be worth mentioning for some people that cloud providers are also available on the market.
For example, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, and others, provide such services. Depending on what your plans are, you might benefit from a solution of this kind. You can combine this approach with the physical one and get a hybrid type of hosting.
Optimizing the size of the images
Whatever you might be posting, always remember to keep photo size in check.
Everybody loves eye-candy, so visual content is a must.
But don’t let other aspects of your business be forgotten just for the sake of pretty showcases.
Do not worry!
Smart optimization will still maintain very lovely image quality. Agencies that offer website optimization services will know these kinds of details.
For example, an online shop will base its sales extremely heavily on the pictures displayed, so professionals know how important they are. Some tools used in this process are ImageOptim, JPEGmini, or Kraken. Alternatively, one could use HTML responsive images.
Whatever path is chosen, the end result will 100% be worth it.
Keeping a low number of plugins
Yes, you want features.
But, you need to find a balance here. Plugins are very common when it comes to websites. They add lots of functions that are especially beneficial for 3rd parties.
Sadly, the more of them are installed, the more resource-hungry the website will be. This will result in a sluggish experience and might even be the cause of security issues.
Usually, when time passes, some of the plugins become obsolete. If nobody is using them anymore, why not fully remove them?
Every once in a while, check every plugin you have installed and make sure to delete the unnecessary ones. You can run a performance test before and after the task is done. This way, you will convince yourself of the benefits.
Let’s keep it tech-friendly here for newcomers!
Every request is worked upon in a singular manner, thus slowing down the workflow. If you reduce the said files, you will definitely see a big improvement.
Going for website caching
Caching is the process that helps display a present version of your website until it is updated.
This happens in order for the page to not render itself again and again. This type of process does not require to send database requests every single time.
When there are a lot of users on a certain page at the same time, things start to get slower. Multiply the numbers, and you get even slower results. This why managing cache is super useful.
Optimizing databases in CMS
People do this in order to increase performance. If you use lots of complex plugins and other things, your database increases, and – you guessed it – your site will get sluggish.
Take, for example, a WordPress project. It usually has to store lots of comments, blog posts, and all other kinds of information that will surely build up with time.
Keep your database as light as possible. For the WordPress example, a great tool to take into consideration is WP-Optimize.
Keeping it simple with the web fonts
Of course, great font designs have an amazing first glance impact, but they can add up quite easily.
Web fonts and extra HTTP tend to be very taxing when it comes to external resources.
Only the absolutely necessary character sets should be included. Modern formats like WOFF2 can also be of great help.
Detecting 404 errors
This type of error means that a page cannot be found. They are the black holes of the internet. In order to get rid of them, particular tools are required for detection and repair.
For example, Google Webmaster Tools could be of great use.
Once you found every error on your domain, see what the traffic statistics show you. If one such broken page does not get any attention at all, then you could just leave it as it is.
If it still brings notable traffic, then use redirects for external links as a temporary solution until the link address gets fully fixed.
Using prefetching techniques
This type of technique consists in anticipating what a visitor might do. If you can successfully do this, then you are able to load content or links in advance.
Most contemporary web browsers are prefetching-friendly. In this case, you are required to hire a UX specialist and engineer in order to get the highest accuracy when it comes to understanding user behavior.
There are 3 preferred types of prefetching: DNS, Link, and Prerendering. Talk with your team in regards to choosing the most suitable one.
Considering the fact that there are lots of ways of making your website fast and many agencies are looking forward to helping you, there isn’t any real motive you would not do so.
In order to evaluate how this project benefited you, make sure to take note of your website’s before and after performances. Keep an eye on your overall revenue as well, as it is definitely bound to increase manifold.
Start using speed optimization services now, and be thankful later.