Tips on Improving Site Speed and Why it is Important
The pros of improving the site speed is not a myth anymore. Its benefits have been documented by all of the famous SEO blogs such as the MOZ , SEJ and even by Google itself.
You can familiarize yourself with the benefits of a faster site with the points below:
- Site speed is a confirmed SEO factor in the overall Google’s ranking algorithm. Improving the site speed could give you the much needed edge against your competitor in the SERPS.
- It makes the website more user-friendly. Know that the visitor can easily go to your competitor if your site does not load fast. Most of the people surfing on the web do not have the patience to wait for a slow page to load. This could lead to higher exit and bounce rates, which could lead to lower CTR.
I recently, made changes to my website, Gaming Gearoid.
This is considered exceptional as far as the site speed is concerned. Not only am I retaining my visitors, but I have also improved its ranking by making the small changes.
Is improving Site Speed Difficult?
How Do I test My Site Speed?
There are three famous tool that you can use in order to test your site speed.
• Pingdom Website Speed Test
• Google Page Insight
My favorite tool is the GTMetrix as it shows the most comprehensive reporting for your website. Pingdom Website Speed Test is also a fairly close competitor, but misses out on some strong metrics. Google Page Insight is the most important tool, but getting a perfect result on it is next to impossible. Plus, it doesn’t show a detailed report of the issues in your site.
So How do I Improve the Site Speed?
Now let us answer the most important question, how to improve the speed? Know that in most instances improving the site speed could cost you money. However, a few tweaks can be done without spending a single dime.
1. Changing the Theme
In my experience, this is one of the biggest factor that can affect the speed of the site. Some themes are so complex that they naturally take a lot of time to load.
Performing these changes could require you to know programming. You would also have to install several plugins to fix the issues. For example Cache plugins such as “WP Fastest Cache” can help you minify the codes and help you leverage browser caching.
The good news is that all of this could be resolved if your theme is already well made. My theme came with all of these issues already taken care off.
When getting a new theme, ask the developer if it covers all of the mentioned pointers.
2. Changing your Host
This is yet another highly important change that you should consider if you are serious about the site speed. According to Google Guidelines, the website should respond within 200 ms. In other words, the first byte transferred from the host of the website to the user should be within 200 ms.There is a term called Time to First Byte (TTFB) that you can look into further.
The only way to improve this metric is to move to a better host. Better host in this case is almost always more expensive. You will need to consider dedicated hosting or VPS hosting to reduce the server response times.
There is another type of hosting and this is the one that I use, it is called managed hosting. I personally USE WPEngine’s managed hosting service. Although it is expensive, it delivers what it promises – a faster site speed.
3. Reducing the Size of Images
This is a no-brainer and can be done without spending a single dime. There are plugins like EWWWW Image Optimizer that can help you in compressing all the images on your website.
There are two types of compressions: loseless and lossy. For a website, you need to perform lossy compression because every kilobyte saved means your site speed has improved.
If you have a Photoshop, you can set the quality of images to the lowest possible settings and then upload them to the website.
4. Using CDN
Content Delivery Networks, or CDN, basically hosts an image of your website in their servers all over the world. Therefore, the content is delivered to the user from the server that is the closest geographically to the audience.
For example if someone want to access my website which is hosted in U.S from Malaysia, then they0 would originally have to connect all the way to the U.S server.
With a CDN, I could have an image of my website in Singapore. Therefore, the guy in Malaysia would only have to connect to the geographically closer server which is in Singapore.
CDN are a bit expensive; however, they should not be overlooked if you are serious about improving the site speed.
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