A lot goes into designing and launching a website. But once you’ve decided on colors, themes, fonts, and everything else that goes into it, it can be easy to launch it and forget about it… Until you discover that traffic is bouncing from your site like a rubber ball.
Before you panic and start dissecting your entire site, check your site speed. More than half of visitors will leave a site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds… So there’s a high possibility of this being the culprit.
How to Speed Up Your Business Site
Here are 6 useful tips on how to speed up your business site and stop those visitors from bouncing! Implement these steps, and you might find that your traffic skyrockets and your conversion rate increase too.
1. Do a Speed Test First
Before you start taking any steps to speed up your business site, it’s a good idea to do a speed test first. This will give you a baseline to compare to once you’ve implemented everything, so you can see how much your website speed improves.
You can easily test your website for free using Pingdom, PageSpeed Insights, or GTMetrix, amongst others. It’s as easy as copying and pasting your website URL into the search bar, and you’ll get a comprehensive report back showing what you could improve.
2. Compress Your Files
You may be shocked at how much space you can free up just by compressing the images on your website! Just about every web page features at least one image, and if you have a blog, chances are you have hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures stored on your website.
But do you ever compress those images before you add them to your pages? Placing full-sized images on every page of your website clutters up your website’s memory… And can significantly slow down the speed at which your site loads.
Don’t let large pictures be the reason you lose traffic! Start by getting into the habit of compressing each and every picture you upload to the website with new blog posts. You can do so easily online using tools like TinyJPG or Optimizilla Image Compressor.
Don’t stop there, though. It’s highly advisable to go back through every single image in your library and compress them. It takes time and effort, but it’s worthwhile to bump up the speed of your website.
3. Host Video Elsewhere
If you have a video on your site, it can take up a ton of space and cause a lot of drag in your page loading time. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid using video completely. It just means you need to host them elsewhere and link to or embed them into your site instead of uploading them.
For example, a YouTube or Vimeo channel is the ideal place to host videos, as they take up no space whatsoever and are easy to embed into blog posts or website pages. This step might be eye-rollingly annoying—who needs another social media channel?—it’s a foolproof way of saving space on your site’s server and speeding up your website.
4. Double-Check Redirects
Redirects happen. If your site has been around for a while, chances are you have at least a few redirects, especially if you’ve had to update blog posts over the years. The problem is redirects use up extra memory as they go through the whole chain of URLs before landing on your newly redirected link.
Get rid of these, and you should find that your pages load much faster. Like image compression, this takes some time to do, but it’s a worthwhile action if you want your website to be speedy.
5. Rethink Your Fonts
You might inadvertently be slowing your own website down if you’re using web fonts instead of preloaded fonts. These are typefaces that exist online but haven’t been downloaded onto the visitor’s computer.
This means that when the visitor pops onto your website, these fonts are loaded from the original source online, which takes up a bit of memory. If you’ve got a lot of different web fonts across your site, it’ll be even slower.
The solution? Switch all web fonts to “system fonts”. These are typefaces that come standard on laptops, which means that instead of using your site’s memory, the site loads the fonts directly from your visitor’s computer.
It’s important to note that system fonts aren’t as fancy as some you can find online. If you’ve been using fancy web fonts, you might need to rethink your website design and choose new fonts.
6. Eliminate Hotlinking
Hotlinking happens when instead of downloading and reuploading a picture to your website, you instead copy the source of the image from another website and embed it in yours.
The problem is, when someone pops onto your website, it needs to go find the original elements on the server of the original website… Adding precious seconds to your load time. On the other hand, if someone is hotlinking to YOUR site, it uses your site resources, which does exactly the same thing and slows you down.
The easiest way to prevent someone else from doing this to you is to install a security plugin with hotlinking protection. And as it’s illegal, we highly advise against doing it yourself!
There are plenty of ways to speed up your business site, and thankfully, most of them are pretty easy to implement. These are just 6 of many steps you can take, but they’re rather easy to do and absolutely worthwhile to speed up your loading time.
Don’t neglect to check your site speed and make changes! This one small thing can chase off more traffic than anything else, so it’s essential to take care of it as soon as you possibly can.
It may take some time and effort, but it’s worthwhile putting in both to increase your chance of retaining traffic and turning them into paying customers!
About the AuthorPaul Wheeler is a web design specialist who runs an agency dedicated to helping small business owners optimize their most important asset—their website. He shares information, comparisons, and detailed reviews over at Reviews for Website Hosting.