Why is website speed so important?
Everyone navigates and uses the internet differently, but we all know that there is nothing worse than a slow-loading website. When you click on a link, you don’t want to wait forever to get to the information you’re seeking. Having a website that loads quickly, and being able to click through and find what you’re looking for in a timely manner is paramount to a user’s experience.
If you have an Ecommerce website (or if you’ve ever done any online shopping at all), you’ll know that there is very little tolerance for a laggy website. People want to be able to add things to their cart and checkout in a smooth and seamless way. If a website gets stuck after a customer has entered their payment information, and they are forced to go back and repeat the steps, you’ll likely lose that sale and the customer’s trust.
Say it with me – Search – Engine – Optimization.
Google knows when a website is slow, just like users do when they visit, and will rank it accordingly. If your website takes more time to produce information than your competitor, it will likely get a much lower position in the search engine results pages. It’s not the only factor of SEO, but it has become a very important one, and losing out on organic traffic is a missed opportunity for any business or website. It also goes without saying (but let’s say it anyways), that the mobile version of your website also needs to be speedy, optimized and “friendly.”
How can I make my website faster?
Use A Good Hosting Server
Before your website is ever designed or built, the best thing to do is purchase a good hosting plan from a reliable web hosting provider. Knowing that your website is hosted on a server that is optimized, efficient and updated regularly is a key first step to having a faster website. Countless times at Agency, we’ve seen “free” hosting plans from telecom companies or promotions that just don’t cut it and cause a brand new website to load incredibly slow. We offer our clients reliable hosting plans for just this very reason and because we know what works best for the websites we build.
Reduce Third Party Apps/Plugins & Animations
All websites are prone to bloat. Adding extra apps or plugins to accomplish things or enhance a certain functionality can sometimes be a trial-and-error process, and with that, sometimes software is left behind unused. On the other hand, they are sometimes used for only one purpose and do not provide any added value to the owner or user. Trimming down the use of third-party apps and plugins can help reduce server load time and improve a website’s performance.
When it comes to animations, sure, sometimes they can be fun and interesting – for the brief 5 seconds they occur. Overall, how does this really help the website or a user’s experience? The real objective of a website is to provide information or products, and be useful. Functionality and speed should not be compromised for subtle wow-factors like animations that will drastically slow down your website.
Part of what we do at Agency in our optimization process is to shrink images and deliver them in a web-friendly format. Having large files drags down the server’s ability to load them quickly, so this practice has become very important to a website’s speed. Further, having a good caching system that works in conjunction with your server’s caching to compress code files as well will help produce your website much faster. You may also want to consider using a content delivery network (CDN), which is another caching system that provides your content from proxy servers closer to the destination, therefore speeding up the load times.
Contact us at Agency Media if you want to talk about improving your site speed.