Website speed matters greatly, not only because it can provide convenience for users, but also because it improves the overall performance of a website. Google recommends that a good website should load in a period of less than one second. There are several advantages that you get from a fast loading website. This includes:
- Higher search ranking – Google and other search engines give preference to websites that load fast. Amongst other parameters, a search engine’s algorithm considers a website’s load speed while creating page rank. This is to provide people with access to contents that they are looking for within the shortest time possible. Search engines usually store information about a website’s load time and use it when delivering query results. If your website loads fast, it is likely to appear on the first pages of search engine query results.
- Superior user experience – People like fast systems that give them instantaneous response. The same applies to websites and internet browsing. Many people like websites that load fast so that they can get access to the information they want with ease. Research shows that website visitors shy away from sites that are slow to load. Therefore, if you have a fast loading website, many visitors will have no problem visiting your site for the second or third time.
- Improved user engagement – One of the ways of growing a website is by having user interaction through forums and comments. If your site is too slow, users will find it hard to interact with others on the site and thus reducing the level of engagement on your site. As a result, you will fail to get more followers.
- Cost saving – With increased number of internet users across the world, the cost of internet has greatly increased. Accessing slow loading websites can greatly increase your internet costs as it will cost you more bandwidth than necessary. Therefore, web visitors appreciate fast loading sites as they help to save on their internet bundles and data usage.
- Faster browsing and access to information – When your website loads up fast, your visitors can be able access information and details that you have on the site. This will save them a lot of time especially when they have a lot of research to conduct. As a result, they will appreciate the fast loading speed.
How to increase the loading speed of your site
There are numerous ways of increasing the performance and load speed of your website. With numerous plugins and applications available, your site can load in a blink of an eye and improve visitor experience. You can use the applications below in order to increase the speed of your website.
Choose a good hosting service
You need to choose a good hosting service if you want your webpage to load fast. There are many different categories of hosting services available and it is important to go for the ones that offer the fastest loading times for your specific website needs. This could mean going with a Linux hosting package as offered here OpenHost Linux. This is especially important for those running websites with a large number of visitors. Your best options would be Virtual Private Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, or Managed Hosting. These offer the best solutions for websites with huge amount of daily traffic. However, it is important to point out that dedicated hosting is reserved for websites with millions of daily visitors.
WP Super Cache
A cache is a place for storing temporary data. WP super cache is a great application that you can use to speed up your website. The good thing with WP Super cache is that, it can be used by anyone without major difficulties. Whether you are an expert web user or a newbie, you will find this application very helpful and easy to use.
WP super cache works in different ways to increase the speed of your website. It performs page caching to increase the speed of a website, cache preloading to help in search engine indexing, and images loads up only when needed. Also, the application performs page compression so that it can fit into html.
Headway theme – the right framework
Framework plays a big role right from when you plan to build your website up until when you add features and content into it. A good framework improves the performance of your site. Choosing a flashy multimedia-rich theme and bulky framework is likely to slow down your site. You should therefore go for lean themes such as headway themes so that your website can be light enough to load fast.
Use of CDN
CDN or Content Delivery Networks help deliver files from your website fast by enabling users to access them from a server near them instead of from your site servers. This helps in speeding up a website’s load time. CDN servers are designed to deliver static content to users in the fastest possible time.
WP Sweep – optimizes your database
WP Sweep is a powerful tool that helps in cleaning up your website. It removes orphan content, redundant posts, spam comments and unused terms from your database.
P3 – Plugin Performance profiler
Plugin profiler analyzes all Plugins installed on your site before identifying the ones that are slowing you down. From the data collected, you will know which Plugins to replace.
CSS Sprites is an application that combines images into one file. This aids web browsers as they will not need to go back to the site to find more images but instead, load all of them as one big file. Use of CSS sprites reduces the number of http requests from a site while at the same time creating a far more efficient process.
Social sharing by Danny
As a marketing strategy, you need to share your content on social media. However, you need a light social sharing application that will not slow down your site. Social sharing by Danny is a great Plugin that can help you share links to your content on different social media platforms. The application has a file size of 50KB and this makes sites lean and easy to load.