Wondering how to boost your site’s value and lower bounce rate? Follow these tips on how to speed up your business site and wait for results to happen.
Your website is the first impression your prospects get of you. The worst way to introduce yourself as a company or blog is to have a slow site that causes frustration to your readers. But do you know how to speed up your business site?
Don’t assume the speed of your site is out of your hands. If you own the site, you can change things, and we’re not just talking about the design. And if you change the right things, you might just find that your site speed improves dramatically.
Here are our top tips on how to speed up your business site to keep readers happy and make things flow smoothly.
1. Check Your Website Speed
Before you decide that you need to take steps to speed up your business site, it’s helpful to know how fast/slow your site really is.
Even if you know nothing about website speed, running this test will give you a baseline figure so you can compare before-and-after results.
Running a speed test is as simple as Googling a speed testing tool. However, we recommend Google PageSpeed Insights, which is quick, easy, and very straightforward to use.
Considering almost half of visitors abandon a web page if it takes 3 seconds or longer to load, it’s important to know that your site falls under that number.
If you’re losing traffic (and potential paying customers) and you’re not sure why this could be the first step to understanding.
And if you fix your speed but continue to struggle to get traffic, you know that something else is the bigger issue that needs to be fixed.
2. Reconsider Hosting
Your web host could be part of the speed problem. If you’re on a budget and went for shared hosting, your speed could be negatively affected because you’re sharing resources with other websites. That means no amount of fixing other things is going to get your site as fast as it could be with another hosting.
Yes, it’s going to cost you a little more. But you’ll be shocked at the difference it makes. If you’re using shared hosting, see if you can switch to a dedicated server or VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting.
Both of these types of hosting knock your site speed up significantly. On VPS servers, you still share with other users, but you have your own private section on the server, so other users’ activity doesn’t affect your speed.
Dedicated server hosting is the most expensive but the fastest. If budget is no option, we highly recommend switching to this option.
3. Reduce the Use of Web Fonts
Web fonts are typefaces that exist online but aren’t downloaded onto the end user’s computer. You might think this goes for every font, but some fonts come preloaded when you get a new computer.
If you use web fonts on your site, they take longer to load than preloaded fonts. If the font isn’t one of those that comes on your visitor’s computer, some memory will go towards loading those fonts as they need to go back to the source of the font online.
An easy way to boost your website speed is to only use regular “system fonts”. They’re not fancy, but they’re just as effective.
4. Enable Caching
Browser caching is an effective method of speeding up your site and it’s very easy to do. Each platform has an option for you to enable browser caching, and we highly recommend doing so.
Instead of loading your site from scratch every time someone lands on it, your website’s elements are stored on the browser. So every time someone hops on your site, it pulls those resources from the browser instead of deep diving to access them.
It’s a simple matter of enabling it in your website settings. That’s as easy as it is, and it can make a big difference to your site’s loading speeds.
5. Streamline Your HTML Code
This is something you may not be able to do yourself, depending on your level of skill. You might need your web designer to do it for you, but it’s worth looking at.
HTML refers to your website code. When there’s too much unnecessary code, it’s known as “bloated HTML”. This can slow your site down in the background without you even realizing it’s happening.
HTML pages can contain thousands of extra lines of code that just aren’t needed. Get this sorted out, and you might find that your site speeds up significantly.
6. Take Steps to Prevent Hotlinking
Hotlinking is something that you might not even realize is happening. This is when someone copies the source of an image from another website and uses it on their own. It’s actually illegal (!), but aside from that, doing it can slow your website down.
The reason this slows your site so much (if you do it) is that it loads using the original site’s server, which means it needs to roam around and find those elements on a different server to load it on your page when someone opens it.
On the other hand, if someone else is doing this to your images, they’re using your site’s resources, which can still slow your site down.
You can take several steps to prevent others from hotlinking to your site (and of course, stop doing it yourself!):
- Use a Content Delivery Network that incorporates hotlink prevention
- Install a security plugin with protection against hotlinking
- Disabling the ability to right-click on your images
Understanding how to speed up your business site isn’t difficult. In fact, these steps are all small and easy to do, with the exception of possibly changing your web host. They can all easily be done within a few days of reading this article.
Your website speed should not be responsible for losing visitors. Imagine getting more business just because your website is faster. It’s a reality, and implementing these tips can make it happen.
About the Author
Paul Wheeler runs a web design agency that helps small businesses optimize their websites for business success. He aims to educate business owners on all things website-related at his own website, Reviews for Website Hosting.
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