Improve website speed

Photo Written by Gijs de Rooij

The speed of your website is a very important part in many ways. You have a large share in the speed of your website. By improving your website speed with implementations like lazy loading, inline CSS and caching plug-ins you can outperform your competitors. Does this popular scripting language make you frown? No problem at all. In this blog we explain everything clearly.

Why the speed of your website is important

The first and perhaps biggest reason to optimize your website speed at all times is the influence of the almighty Google. We often insist on the significant value of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to obtain the highest possible SEO score. This will help you rise significantly in the Google rankings. Besides using the right search terms, Google also richly rewards the speed of your website. In short, the faster your website is, the higher your website ranks in Google.

It is nice to be found quickly in Google, but when visitors find your website the user experience must be optimal. Several factors can influence this experience, but the biggest factor is and remains the speed of your website. Endlessly waiting after a click on your page or stuttering scrolling down the page causes a lot of frustration to your website visitors. In the future they will think twice before visiting your website. The other side of the coin is also true. Clicking and scrolling through your website without any problems will be appreciated by visitors. The customer journey of the visitor who visits your website will increase.

What is a good load time?

The bar of a good loading time for your website is being raised ever higher. In concrete terms, in 2022 visitors will expect a loading time of two seconds or less. Studies show that with a delay of more than two seconds, a conversion loss of 7% is the consequence. The loss of revenue at the end of the year is therefore incalculable.

How do you measure the load time of your website?

You don't have to count by hand to test your website speed. Several tools have been made available for this purpose that provide insight into website speed down to the nanosecond. One of those tools is Google Pagespeed Insights. This Google tool provides insight into the points of improvement for your website in order to increase its speed. After using Pagespeed Insights your website will get a PageSpeed Insights score with a maximum score of 100. For a manageable score it is always important to be at least above 70 (when using Desktop computers).

Another useful tool is the global Pingdom tools. This tool mainly provides insight into which objects within your website cause delay. Think of complex Javascript files, images and high resolution videos. With Pingdom tools you have the possibility to test your website speed via the nearest server, in the case of the Netherlands that is the server in Frankfurt. GT Metrix is the last highlighted tool. With this tool you get a comprehensive overview of your current website speed including options to speed up your loading time.

7 tips to improve your website speed

We wouldn't be 2manydots if we didn't provide you with some practical tips to optimize the speed of your website. The suggestions are briefly explained below.

Choose a good hosting

Website speed is largely determined by the server the website is running on. When you choose a cheap hosting party, it is likely to be low in price because the party hosts as many websites as possible on the same server. This is very detrimental to the speed of your website. Website owners are therefore advised to choose a good hosting party that can offer you the power that goes with a fast loading time.

Optimize images

Images are the decoration of your website. However, images have a great influence on the speed of your website. If you have too many images on your website, the speed of your website will drop rapidly. Also, images on websites are often much larger than necessary. So check the file size of your images and reduce them where possible. The loading time of your website will benefit from this.

Nowadays, you can also submit images in a new file type: WebP. This file type is up to 30% smaller than PNG, the file type mainly used for images. It is now supported by all browsers.

Enable lazy loading

Lazy loading causes your website to not load in its entirety at the entrance of a visitor. This takes a lot of power which causes your website to have a much higher loading time and your website to be slow. Many images on your website are probably not even visited by your visitor, so they are loaded unnecessarily. With lazy loading, all large files (images, videos) on a website are only loaded when the visitor is almost at the file. Your website will therefore only load the necessary files, which will improve your website speed.

Embed your audio & video files

Embedding means embedding your files. This way you don't have to touch the files and you can still show them on another website. The file size of the videos and audio clips on your website is thus kept to a minimum. Your website will also gain a boost in speed with this little trick.

Limit HTTP requests

For every image, video or other element on your website, an HTTP request is made. HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol and these requests cause your website to slow down. So start by finding out how many HTTP requests your website is making at the time of checking. You can check this in Google Chrome by using the developer tools. It is therefore important to keep these requests to a minimum to ensure the speed of your website.

Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of different servers spread across all kinds of data centers around the world. CDN ensures that your website can be offered worldwide. Your web server will automatically keep you connected to other servers around the world. Because the servers of a Content Delivery Network are spread all over the world, websites connected to these servers have fast loading times. A tip that is certainly useful for your website.

Keep testing!

After incorporating all these tips, the speed of your website will increase significantly. Don't leave it at that. The speed of your website varies every day because of the changes you make to your website. It is therefore important to continue to perform speed checks. Only then can you be sure that your website will still have the right speed in a while.

More options at your internet agency

Many websites use a caching plugin. These caching plugins make your browser a temporary copy of the website you are visiting at that moment (also called browser caching). During browser caching a back up of the page is stored. The big advantage of caching plugins is that the website you are visiting does not have to be reloaded each time you make a copy. Through the WordPress dashboard you can implement this caching plugin.

All these implementations are very difficult to place without knowledge and experience. Nevertheless, the speed of your website is too important to do nothing about it. One solution is to outsource the speed optimization to a professional internet agency. 2manydots is such a professional internet agency with over sixteen years experience in optimizing websites. We would like to help you with the optimization of your website.

Gijs de Rooij Copywriter
Website speed testing
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