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18 Quick Tips to Improve Your Site Speed

Speed is everything. And that’s especially true when talking about the internet. Everything has to load fast. Every second matter. When a page loads a few more seconds than normal, people have a tendency to leave.

The ideal page load time is three seconds or less. If your site is not performing up to standard, it’s time to make some changes. But site speed does more than scare off potential visitors. A slow site will negatively affect your SEO performance.

Google factors in site speed in its search algorithm. If your pages don’t load fast, you have a lesser chance of ranking for the keywords you’re targeting. You certainly don’t want that to happen.

Tips on improving site speed

So what can you do to stop your site from slowing down? Here are a few quick tips.

1. Look at your database

One way of reducing page load time is by optimizing your database. You can do so by adding an index. This index will allow your database to comb through information faster. The index will radically narrow down the data for your database.

For WordPress users, you would want to look into removing garbage content. These include unnecessary content, comments in the spam queue, post revisions, and items in the trash section. If you’re not going to use them, might as well get rid of them altogether.

2. The right hosting or server

Finding the correct server is crucial. This will determine just how fast your website will load. Find reputable hosting companies by looking at customer reviews. Some hosting companies will be better than others. Make sure you make a comparison among WP hosting companies.

3. Ease up on using iFrames

HubSpot’s definition of an iFrame is as follows: “An iframe is an HTML document that is embedded inside another, such document on a website. In other words, an iframe can be used to insert a piece of content from another source into a webpage.”

How do you insert iFrames into your site? You do it when you embed a video from YouTube or other video streaming sites. When you add social media sharing buttons, you also introduce iFrames to your site.

iFrames tend to render your site to a crawl. It’s best to avoid embedding altogether if possible. They will only slow you down.

4. Reduce the size of images

There’s no need to have all your images in high resolution. The larger your images are, the longer it will take to load. If you have software like Adobe Photoshop, it could be done in rather quickly. But if that’s not available, there are image compression tools online that are free to use.

The file format used also plays a factor. JPGs are the go-to file format for most people. They are smaller in size. PNGs should only be used for icons, illustrations, and other images that require a higher resolution.

Overall, you should just use fewer images, so it does not cause your site to slow down.

5. Look into using caching

Websites load faster if you use caching. The basic concept is to let the computer remember all the components that had already been loaded. This includes text, images, and other elements. When you go to another page on the same website, the computer will only load parts of the page that wasn’t before.

Take the footer for example. Almost all the pages in the website will display the same footer. Once the browser stores it in its cache in case you need it again. So when you go to another page, the browser will just load from the there.

WordPress users have many caching plugins at their disposal. You also have the option of making redirects cacheable.

6. Lazy Loading

Lazy loading is a technique where a web page only loads sections that are visible to the user. As the user scrolls down, that’s the only time the rest of the page is loaded. If you’re using WordPress, there are a lot of WP plugins for lazy loading to happen.

7. Find and remove 404/410 errors

If you put a link in your post that leads to a page that’s no longer working, that causes a 404 or 410 error. That can slow down your site a bit. The best way to resolve this is by scanning your site for broken links. You can use a tool like Xenu Link Sleuth, a free, downloadable program.

8. Content Delivery Network

Another way of improving site speed is using CDN or content delivery networks. What they do is store a copy of your website on multiple servers. That way, when someone tries to access your site from halfway around the globe, they can retrieve the site information from the closest server to them.

This, however, can only be done by paying companies like Amazon. If you don’t have the budget, you may have to put this off for a little while.

9. CSS should be on top

When creating your line of code, always out CSS on top. Your JavaScript should be located at the bottom. JS loads slower. If it’s on top of your code, it will stop the rest of your site from loading.

10. PageSpeed Insights

You’ll be amazed by what PageSpeed Insights can do for you. This service is a free tool by Google that analyzes your site to see areas to improve. After each scan, it provides you a list of action items and explains what you need to do to improve the site.

You can use PageSpeed Insights to check your mobile performance as well. And if you want, you can even use PageSpeed to check on your competitors and learn from the mistakes they’re making.

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