How to Increase Website Speed [7 Tips to Speed Up Your Site Fast!]

Lagging site? Visitors flee. Fix excessive code, redirects/404s, add CDN, remove plugins, downsize images, compress. SEO.com accelerates for better SEO, brand, user experience.
  • SEO.com team members
    SEO.com Team Industry-Leading Experts
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  • June 13, 2024
  • 6 min. read

Your website should load in two seconds or less. If it already does, congratulations on managing a speedy website! If it doesn’t, you may be losing visitors — 53% of users abandon a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. If you want visitors to stick around, keep reading for tips on speeding up your site. 

Why is my website slow? 

The following are examples of factors that impact your website speed:

    • Superfluous code: You may have code that doesn’t serve a purpose or add value to your site. 
    • Hosting your site yourself: Hosting your website yourself is time-consuming and challenging. If you face hosting difficulties, a slow-loading website may be a side effect. You may want to use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress to host your site instead. 
    • Image sizes: Having lots of large images can slow your website. Large image files take longer to load than small or compressed images.
  • Server location: Your site may load more slowly when there’s a greater physical distance between the server and the device making the request.
  • Excess plugins: If you use WordPress to host your site, you may notice that your site slows down as you add more plugins. Try removing unnecessary plugins to keep your site loading quickly. If they don’t serve a purpose, get rid of them!

Why a faster website is better

Your page speed is important because it:

  • Impacts SEO: Google uses a page’s loading speed as a performance measure. Google views websites that load quickly as performing better, meaning fast websites will likely rank higher than slow websites. They made it official in 2018 by making page speed a ranking factor for mobile search results. 
  • Impacts brand perception: People may start associating your business with the time it takes to access its online content. If your site loads slowly, people may develop a negative perception of your company. 
  • Affects audience impressions: Nobody likes waiting around while a website loads. A slow website is one of the easiest ways to dissuade visitors from sticking around. Users may get fed up waiting for your site and leave, carrying their negative experiences with them. 
  • Reduces bounce rates: Bounce rates are the rate at which people come onto your site and leave without visiting additional pages. Your bounce rates will likely be higher if your site loads slowly, as people leave when they can’t gather the information they need quickly. 

Speed it up: 7 strategies for making your website faster

If you’ve noticed your site running slowly — or have checked it using software like PageSpeed Insights — you have several options. Try these seven strategies when you want to make your website load faster: 

1. Clean up your code

Removing unnecessary code from your website helps your site load more quickly for visitors. You need to be very careful when removing code, as a wrong step could break your site. Unless you’re a coding expert, contacting an expert may be the best way to go here. 

2. Reduce redirects and 404 errors

Redirects occur when a person clicks on or types one URL and gets automatically directed to a different page. For example, if you recently changed one of the URLs on your site from “onlinestore.com/flipflops” to “onlinestore.com/flip-flops,” users will be automatically directed to the new URL when they type the old one. 

Redirects are a super handy tool when you’re undergoing a rebrand or updating pages. However, adding redirects may make your site take longer to load. The HTTP request and response process gets longer every time you add a redirect. Eliminating unnecessary redirects will help your website load more quickly. 

You can also find 404 errors on your website to help speed it up. If the “dead links” are still generating traffic, they’re still consuming server resources. Consider adding redirects for these external links instead. 

3. Use a content delivery network 

If your site is only on one server, every visitor must send a request to that server to gain access. The more people you have sending requests, the slower your site will load. 

The distance between the server and the person making the request is also a factor. For example, if your server is in Boston, your site will probably load quickly for people in Massachusetts. People in California, however, may not be so lucky.

A content delivery network (CDN) helps out. When you use a CDN, multiple servers can answer the requests to access the site. Those requests also get sent to the server closest to the person accessing your site, reducing distance-based lag. 

4. Disable unnecessary plugins 

As mentioned above, plugins add fantastic functionality to your site. However, using too many could slow your site down. If you use a hosting platform that allows plugins, go through them and disable the ones you don’t use. If they don’t bring value to your site, you may as well get rid of them and boost your speed in the process! 

5. Optimize the images on your site

If you have an image-heavy site — perhaps you have a page dedicated to a gallery of your work — compressing your images will make them load faster and vastly improve your visitor experience. When done correctly, compressing images won’t impact their quality. All it does is make the image size smaller and easier to load. 

6. Compress files 

You can compress more than just your images! Compressing files on your site allows browsers to download them quickly, which impacts your website’s speed. GZip compression is a popular method for compressing files. You can enable GZip on Apache and nginx servers to reduce the size of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files that are more than 150 bytes. 

To verify GZip compression’s effectiveness, use Chrome DevTools. Remember that you shouldn’t use GZip to compress images on your site. 

7. Invest in site speed optimization services

Websites that load quickly are appealing to visitors. Investing in site speed optimization services gives you an all-encompassing look into opportunities to make your site load faster. Website experts will audit your site and speed it up so that you enjoy improved Google rankings, decreased bounce rates, and increased conversions. 

Optimize your site speed with SEO.com

When you want speed optimization services that work, SEO.com is here to help. Contact us today to learn more!

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