In the age of big data, data analytics has become a core business activity, with endless different metrics to monitor. These varied numbers help us track conversion rates by platform, measure employee performance through calling data, and determine if our content is performing to its highest potential. With so much data to sift through, it’s not surprising that some numbers, such as page load speed, slip through the cracks.
Why does something as small as page load speed matter for your business? A slow website is one of the surest ways to lose customers. Simply put, your clients aren’t going to wait around for your landing page to load.
According to Google resources, if your site takes more than 2 seconds to load, in the world of ecommerce, that’s too slow. Here’s what you can do to speed things up.
Check Your Pages
Your standard site analytics software may give you an average page load speed as part of its overall output, but don’t rely on that data alone. Instead, run your pages through a site analysis using Pingdom, Speedtest, Yslow, or one of the many other site speed testers. These sites will not only tell you how long it takes your website to load from both desktop and mobile platforms, but also make suggestions as to what you can change to make them load more quickly.
If your tests reveal that your mobile pages are especially slow, you might want to test out Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP strips down websites to their necessities and these pages load 85% faster than standard mobile pages. Customers don’t need all the bells and whistles on a mobile page, they just need a site that functions well and quickly.
Boost Your Hosting
There are a lot of different options for hosting a website, and many people choose the cheapest option, a type of shared server plan. This can significantly slow down your website depending on the other sites sharing that server. To boost your page speed, switch to a dedicated server or to a virtual private server. This will help your page move much more quickly.
Weed Your Website
If you’re using a WordPress site, one common cause of slow page load times is overuse of plugins. In fact, you don’t even need to be using that many plugins for them to become a problem. Instead, the simple fact that you once installed a plugin and left it to languish somewhere in your site’s code is enough to cause your site to lag.
Take some time to uninstall old WordPress plugins that you aren’t using and to reconsider the ones you keep active. Are these actively improving your website or are they simply slowing things down? The fewer unnecessary plugins your site uses, the faster it will load.
Finally, large photos are a leading cause of slow site load times, so take a look at your website’s media choices. Optimize your image formats using both PNG-8, GIF, or JPEG formats and implement GZIP compression if possible. Not all sites support GZIP, but compressing photos is a great way to maintain image quality without sacrificing space and speed.
When it comes to site load times, every millisecond counts. That’s why you should put in the time necessary to speed up your site as much as possible. As many top websites prove, it’s possible to create an effective, aesthetically pleasing site that’s also faster than the competition.