How To Fix A Slow Loading Site By Optimizing Your Website
Whether you’re running a popular website or an interesting blog, if it’s taking too much time to load then you’re losing visitors. Everybody in the world does not have high-speed internet access; however, a significant portion of online users do have it. Many years ago, especially in the 1990s, so many aspects of technology were still in their infancy. However, even now, there are certain factors that can slow down your website, which can prove to be highly irritating to your visitors. You have to make it fast, and if your site is on the slow side of things, then read this article and take action on it.
Additionally, it is now a ranking factor within Google. If your site is slow to load it will impact your rankings.
Free Tools To Check Your Speeds
One of the first things you will want to do is to utilize a couple of free tools that will show you what is causing the slow down of your website.
You can go to GTMetrix and simply put in your URL and click a button and it will scan your website and bring back the results. This tool will measure many aspects of your website and allow you to identify what may be causing loading issues. I check my sites and then it gives me exactly what is causing the issue so I can fix the speed on my website.
Another great tool is Pingdom. This works very similar to GtMetrix and again you simply add your URL and click the button and wait for your website to be analyzed. Both tools give you a quick overview of the load time and then you can look below the results for additional details. Utilize both these tools to see what is causing your site to load slow.
WordPress Plugins That Greatly Help Your Speed
There are a couple of premium plugins that will optimize your site very quickly. I have been using WPROCKET for well over a year and it works great. It handles many of the speed issues for me hands off. It is a fairly expensive plugin, however, the cost of a slow loading website is much greater than using this plugin.
WpOptimzer is another good plugin that does many things in the background hands off to help optimize your website. I have used both of these and I do prefer WPRocket, however, WP Optimizer is a less expensive option for those on a tight budget.
Additionally, millions have used this Free Caching Plugin successfully to help speed up their websites.
Speaking of Plugins
If you are using WordPress for your website, then you will want to pay close attention to this speed tip.
DO NOT USE TOO MANY PLUGINS 😊_
Sorry for shouting, however, this is a big factor in load time. There are so many great plugins that help us perform all sorts of various functions on our websites. This is one of the great reasons to use WordPress, however, if you put too many plugins on your website, then it is going to cause issues.
Take a close look at each of your plugins and decide if you REALLY need them or not. Try to limit the number of plugins if possible.
Another Important Factor To Loading Time is Hosting
So many people use cheap hosting and they do not realize that it is a big factor to optimizing your website.
If you are on a cheap hosting, usually it is a shared server. For hosting companies to be able to offer such cheap hosting, they will end up putting tons of websites on one server which in turn will cause loading issues.
No matter what you do, you will not be able to fix the load times if you have a crappy hosting company. If you have done as much as you can to optimize your website and it still loads slow, you may want to consider moving your website to a better hosting company.
I have been using INSTY.ME for a few years. They have lots of options and as your business grows you can eventually move your site to a dedicated server where you will NOT be sharing the space within anyone.
INSTY.ME has fantastic support and their hosting is designed to work well with WordPress. I tested this site the other day and it is under 2 seconds to load.
Some of the really big sites can get away with using sophisticated scripts for their ads, but the smaller online business will not be able to get away with it.
There are other ways to tackle the problem if you simply must leave your ad situation alone. It is obviously better to have a lower bounce rate and high return rate at first, then you can start easing the ads in and see what happens. Flash banners and ads are just the worst, and so many became a bit blind to them many years ago.
You have to be careful if you decide to use a popup, and yes we know that is not really ever a cause for concern with how fast your site will load. Tons of people just hate them, including us, so you have to proceed at your own risk.
Any of the different applications using a pop-up concept will not adversely impact your loading times, though. So when it comes down to how many of your visitors do you want to possibly turn-off due to using them.
Try to limit the pop-ups on your website. They are important to capture emails, however, if you overdo it, then you risk the irritation of your visitor and they may not return because of it.
Optimize your images:
There are many ways to do this, however, I utilize WordPress for all my sites. There are a couple of plugins that will help you with optimizing your images. One is called Smushit. This plugin is great and it actually optimizes the image on the upload. It compresses the image and can greatly reduce your load time.
Another very good plugin for images is called tiny compress images. This one works with an API and you can load up to 500 images a month to compress. It is free and works much like SmushIt.
I have run some tests and have found that Tiny Compress Images seems to work a bit better then SmushIT.
Most people take great pride in their homepages for some reason, and maybe it is just like a real home and bringing people in for the first time, etc. Optimize your homepage if you are going to do anything for load time, and for what we hope are reasons known to you.
If your site is graphics intensive, then you probably know that your pics and whatnot are compressed and in proper format and all that good stuff. There are quite a few methods that can be employed to make your home page, or any other page, load as quickly as it possibly can.
If your site can be loaded in one second, that is great; but work to keep it under five seconds max. Optimizing your site in all ways is a process, and do not forget to check your site in other browsers, too.
As a webmaster or blogger, you should understand the pulse of your visitors and focus on giving them the best possible experience. Usability is extremely important if you want people to like your site, recommend it to others and keep going back to it.
Make sure you utilize both speed test websites above to get a better understanding of why your website is loading slow.