How To Make Your Website Faster
How important is website performance?
How many times have you been browsing websites and have got frustrated with loading times? From my personal experience, if a website takes more than 4 seconds to fully load, I take my interest elsewhere that provides a similar service and that’s exactly what your potential customers will do too.
The question to ask yourself is this; Is having a slow and unresponsiveness website worth the potential loss in revenue and future customers?
Even if you’re getting hundreds of customers a day with an underperforming website, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to optimise your website to be the fastest it can be. Think of it like this — when a customer visits a physical store, the company tries to make the experience as nice as possible. Your website represents your business/self online so you should provide the best experience there too for your digital customers.
Tools to check your performance
There’s a number of tools that you can use – for free! – to see how your website is currently performing on a range of devices with different connection speeds.
Although there are various tools you can use, it is important to test your website on the devices you have on hand. It’s vital you test your websites on at least 2 different devices with different screen sizes, such as a laptop and a phone.
Not only can the website layout change depending on screen sizes, but performance also changes as laptops and desktops tend to be more powerful than mobile devices. Your website should work well on a range of devices without any performance hiccups.
GTMetrix allows you to see how your site performs and shows why it’s slow and discover optimization opportunities. The reason I personally use GTMetrix is that it can export your performance results as a PDF with details on exactly how you can improve your performance – taking steps such as deferring loaded files, changing sizes of images, etc.
You are able to sign up to GTMetrix to unlock features like changing your testing location to see how your website performs around the world, changing the connection speed and how different browsers deal with your website. Testing your website doesn’t require an account, but to test your website in the location closest to your business requires an account to change those features.
GTMetrix does offer a “pro” subscription, however for most people (unless you are a media agency), this isn’t necessary to test your website multiple times to see changes in performance.
Pingdom provides a very similar service to GTMetrix without requiring to sign up and all features that you need to test your website are free. Pingdom provides slightly less detail about how to improve your website speed however it does give information on some more basic changes you can make.
I’ve used these tools, what now?
You’ve got the results back from your website performance. The first step is to see what your overall rating is, the higher the better. On both of the aforementioned tools, beneath your score is a list of steps you can take to improve your performance. Begin by going through these and seeing what you’re able to do. There are very few cases when you are able to make all the suggested changes as some user experience features do result in a decrease in performance, but this is something you’ll have to decide yourself.
Most steps may require some background knowledge on how to make a website, understanding of HTTP protocols and depending on if you’re using a content management system (CMS), you’ll need to know how it processes information.
Go through the list of changes that these tools suggest, preferably on a local version of your website so you’re not affecting your current website, and you should start to see your website page score increasing.
I can improve your website performance!
If you’ve read this post and don’t feel confident optimising your website on your own, I’d be happy to work with you and make your website better optimised. My optimisation bundle is £175 and includes full image, search engine and performance optimisation. If you’re interested, visit my hire page!
I’ll run the necessary tests to find out how your website works and I can improve your performance, search engine ranking and accessibility.
At the end of optimisation, you will receive a full reporting, including the before and after performance check along with any steps taken.