How to improve your website speed

Having a website that loads quickly is an important factor beyond usability. In fact, a ‘speedy’ website is a ranking factor for the search giant, Google (and other well-known search engines) which means that your website is in direct competition with the search results around you. Search engines often penalise sites that load slowly, but more importantly, so do we as users. Simply put, we stop our website visits or they bounce and potential customers don’t buy.

Every website has a customer base and gaining an edge over the competition has become more important than ever before. In an age where the customer expects instant and on-demand service, we can no longer ignore website speed.

When it comes to waiting for a website to load, some users are not as patient as you may think, with 1 in 4 website visitors leaving a website that takes longer than 4 seconds to load and even a 1-second delay can reduce customer satisfaction by 16%, according to LoadStorm.

In short, website speed is super important, and we’ve put together a few helpful ideas together which you may wish to consider to help you speed up your own site.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Widely used in today’s internet landscape, a CDN is a network of computers across a geographical location that works together to deliver content. CDNs offer an easy way to increase the speed of a website while also lowering latency, according to leading CDN services provider, Akamai. They are essential for fast, efficient and secure delivery of content to users around the world and help to improve the performance of websites.

Chris Ashcroft , Head of Technical Services, at Datacentreplus, says:

“Whether we’re aware of it or not, every one of us interacts with CDNs on a daily basis; reading that all-important news article, completing that online purchase or watching that YouTube video. The truth is speed matters, customers expect things to be done fast and utilising a CDN is a great way to help minimise delays in loading web page content as it reduces the physical distance between the server and the user”.

Minimise HTTP requests

Whenever someone visits a page on your site, the browser has to request a load of files from the website’s servers. These HTTP requests have a direct impact on how quickly the web page loads, SEO and overall user experience. Generally speaking, fewer HTTPS requests mean a faster loading website and a high page load speed. It’s important to reduce the number of files your site needs to render. After all, fewer files means fewer HTTP requests.

Use website caching

Caching is important because it can reduce the load on your hosting servers and make your website run faster. Browsers cache a lot of information (stylesheets, images and JavaScript files, to name a few) so that when a visitor returns to your site, the browser doesn’t have to reload the entire page and increases overall speed.

Move your website to a better host

It’s important that you find the right hosting partner to make sure your website is as fast as it can be. The provider and server you choose is a crucial one and will have a big impact on the speed at which your website loads for users. Simply put, the better the server and the less contention there is from the hosting provider the more enhanced your website performance is likely to be.

We have a range of hosting options suitable for all types of businesses that enable you to provide a speedy service to your customers. To find out more about our super-fast dedicated servers, cloud hosting or any of our services please get in touch today! 0161 464 6101.

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