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Website optimization is the field of knowledge about increasing web performance. And web performance being the speed at which web pages are downloaded and displayed on a user’s web browser.
Learning about web performance is an important step to take and it’s something you should definitely look into as a webmaster. As you dig deep into web performance you will also learn about website optimization and implementing the practises involved. Learning about these practises is essential if you want to run a successful website (or blog) that is SEO friendly and if you want to rank high in search engines.
Today, I bring to you ways and practises you should put to use to improve your website speed performance. The aim here is to have a website that delivers your website’s content fast. The faster your website the better! And having a fast website will definitely increase your site’s rank and visibility on search engines.
To prove what I just said, check the picture below:
Based on the (attached) picture: The highlighted part shows how long it took Google’s search engine to find the results that appear. In other words, if it took 0.26 seconds and your site has a loading speed of 0.30 seconds (above 0.62 seconds), it won’t appear on the first page in the search results. Google advises us to have a hosting server that loads within 0.20 seconds.
The time it takes for Google’s search engines to fetch results changes from time to time and is dependent on certain factors. Yes, things like the location of the searcher, device used, time of the search and all that.
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A fast loading website will influence your search rankings positively. Search engines will list your website pages on the first page and that means you will have more organic traffic (visitors). Also, if your website loads pages fast – visitors will be happy to continue browsing on your website and even become regular readers. Therefore, the bounce rate will be less and things like conversions or sales won’t be affected. In fact, it has been proven that visitors will abandon a website that takes more than thirty (30) seconds to load.
Anyway, let’s look at the causes of a slow website and some good SEO practices to put into use.
Causes of a Low Website Speed
- Your hosting server.
- Installing bad plugins.
- Choosing a bad theme. A theme that has bad JS, HTML, CSS codes and a lot of files.
- Having content and files that are not optimized. Files like images, videos and documents.
- Inserting codes from affiliate programs’ and ads.
- Having too many widgets on side bars.
Identifying the Causes to Improve your Website Speed
Google Page Speed and Gt Metrix are two free online tools that will help you in identifying the reasons behind your slow performing website. Each tool has its own features and the special thing about these tools is that they point out the problem and give solutions on how you can speed your website.
Google Page Speed will point out the problem(s) and show a “how to fix” link. It will also create a .zip file with optimized contents (codes included) to help you optimize your website. Gt Metrix will also point out the problems on your site and provide a list of recommendations to help you fix your site’s issues.
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Your website issues may be different from mine but the common issues may be related to minifying HTML, CSS files and so on. For those who use WordPress: Check the plugins I have listed below.
Improve your Website Speed with These Plugins – WordPress
- WP Smush It.
- WP Fastest Cache.
- Revision Control.
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How to Improve your Website Speed using a CDN – Free and Paid CDN.
If you have tried all the plugins and tools mentioned above but, somehow you will feel like your website is not really fast then consider adding a CDN. A Content Delivery Network is ideal if you receive traffic from different locations.
What’s a content delivery network? And what does it do? A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centres.
The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. In short, a CDN will boost your website’s load time and deliver your site’s content really fast (especially files like images).
If you have a small website or blog you can use Cloudflare’s free account. The free account is ideal for small blogs and is definitely reliable. And if you have a professional website or a well-established one, choose Cloudflare’s paid options. KeyCDN on the other hand offers a free trial for its first time users. You can also try MaxCDN that is also reliable.
Thank you for reading this post and I hope it helped. Should you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to comment below or Contact Us.