3 Things You Are Doing That Are Slowing Down Your Site
Life in the modern world is all about speed and efficiency. So, build a slow website, and your business will feel it – guaranteed.
A recent study conducted by the Aberdeen Group found that a website delay of just one second results in as many as 11% fewer page views, a 16% decline in customer satisfaction and – the one that hits your bottom line the hardest – a 7% drop in conversion rates. On the flip side, Amazon found that for every 100 milliseconds of site speed optimization, its revenue increased by 1%, which, for the e-commerce giant, is quite a chunk of change. Therefore, when you only have about seven seconds to capture a user’s attention in the first place, the last thing you want to do is waste a single moment on “loading” time.
Are you starting to get worried? Is your current website slow to load? Don’t throw in the towel just yet. There are many factors that could be contributing to your slow website, and fortunately, there are solutions for just about all of them.
Problem 1: Poorly Optimized Images
Your slow website troubleshooting should begin with a deep dive into your image library. How big are your individual images? For reference, a high-quality image can come with a file size as large as 3 MB or more, which is huge for a single image. Imagine if you have more than one of these 3 MB images on your site – no wonder your website is slow to load!
Of course, high-quality images are a crucial part of the website experience, but that shouldn’t come at the cost of reduced site speed.
In order to retain the quality of your image, but lose the slow loading time, make sure your image is saved at 72 dpi for use on the web. Of course, that same image would need to be 300 dpi for optimal printing, but for the web that’s overkill. Reducing the dots per inch will not affect the quality of the image on screen; instead, it decreases the overall file size so that it loads effectively within your website.
Problem 2: Too Many Redirects
By definition, a “redirect” is any time a browser attempts to open a URL and is instructed, or redirected, to open a different URL instead. Essentially, you are making your users travel twice to a single destination, and each redirect can result in an additional response time of up to .7 seconds, depending on your hosting.
Although certain redirects on a responsive website are necessary and cannot be avoided completely, you should ensure that redirecting is only used when absolutely necessary.
Perform a sweeping check of your website to ensure that the site is redirecting only the necessary pages – and that it is doing so as effectively as possible. To check for redirects on your pages, you can utilize the redirect mapper tool, which displays 301 (permanent) and 302 (temporary) redirects.
Problem #3: Not Caching Your Site
A cache, quite simply, is a temporary digital storage system that is used to store critical page information in an attempt to reduce server lag. In other words, your cache remembers certain data, like images, so that your browser doesn’t have to download it each time you visit the same website. As a website owner, if you have opted not to cache your site, that means that each time a user revisits one of your pages, their page loading times are likely to get slower and slower.
There are several different plugins for your WordPress website that will allow you to cache your page data and also clear your site cache at the click of a button, when necessary. WP Super Cache, for example, generates static HTML files from your website and serves those files to your visitors, rather than requiring them to process the heavier PHP scripts.
For more in-depth help improving the speed of your slow website, contact Paradigm Marketing & Design today for a consultation.