How does it feel if you have to wait for your food much longer than expected? You get angry and you get annoyed that you probably would not want anything to do with that particular restaurant in the future. Well, the same thing can be said for slow loading websites. People who come across a website that takes more than 5 seconds to load would most likely never return. In fact, slow loading speeds is one of the major factors as to why websites experience high bounce rates.
Improving your website loading speed is actually quite simple and most of the fixes do not require any technical know-how. For instance,
getting a top hosting provider will certainly help things run smoothly from here on out. Of course, there are also other, much simpler fixes and I will talk about them in this article.
Enable GZip Compression
Assuming that you are running a WordPress blog or website, you can install the W3 Total Cache plugin that will help compress the files on your website so that it will contribute to faster loading times. You see, every website has files on it that have to be accessed for it to load properly. And, uncompressed media can certainly contribute to longer page loading times.
GZip is a compression algorithm that helps compress files before it is being sent to the user’s device. To enable this, download the aforementioned WordPress plugin and go to
its settings menu. Click the ‘Browser Cache’ tab and select the box that says “Enable HTTP Compression”. That should do the trick.
Compress Your Media
GZip is pretty good at what it does, but it cannot compress media files that are on your website. It mostly handles text which is why ou need to be compressing your media files if you were to improve your site’s loading speed. To do this, you have to reduce the size of your images before you upload it to your content management system. There is plenty of free software out there that can help you do just that.
As for video, you can try reducing the resolution a bit or upload it from a website like Youtube as it compresses media files on the fly, depending on the connection of the user.
You might have come across the term ‘CDN’ before but you are not entirely sure what it is. Well, it is an acronym that stands for Content Delivery Networks and they basically offer a caching service that helps improve page loading speeds, especially if users are geographically far away from the original source.
For instance, if your web hosting provider is from the US and your customers from Asia is trying to access your website, it may take time for them to load your webpage as a result of the huge distance that they have to cover. That is where CDNs come in. The content on your website will be cached on this network so that in the event that someone tries to access your page and they are far away, they would still get relatively the same performance as your regular customers do.
Remove Unused/Unneeded Plugins
Plugins are great because they can further extend the functionality of your website. In fact, some of them are really useful that I definitely vouch for them. However, plugins that are not up to date may contribute to slow loading times. Make sure that any plugin that you use is updated to its latest versions so that performance is never going to be an issue. Furthermore, it is best to only use plugins that you actually need. No superfluous plugins!
Enable Browser Caching
Every good website knows how important browser caching is. Basically, whenever someone visits your webpage for the first time, the data that is on your website will be cached on their devices so, in the event that they would visit your website again in the future, it will load much quicker since some of the data is already on their device, waiting to be accessed.