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Home » Help Hub » SEO Strategy » Website Speed Best Practices

Website Speed Best Practices

A Quick Introduction for Marketers and DIY Startups

In the digital age, users expect immediate results. Studies indicate that if a website’s load time exceeds 3 seconds, it risks losing 40% of its visitors1. This rapid departure of potential customers occurs even before they have the opportunity to explore what you have to offer.

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The Basics of Website Speed

I’d like to say, “Imagine your website as a storefront,” but there’s no imagining needed – your website is the modern storefront.

Would you want customers waiting impatiently outside while the door creaks open slowly? Website speed is the key to welcoming visitors instantly. Everything from the hosting service you choose to the website design to the size of your images impacts website speed.

Every element on your page, from images to code, impacts loading time.

Think small: optimize image sizes, ditch unnecessary plugins, and minify code. Remember, Google loves fast sites, rewarding them with higher search rankings. And most importantly, a speedy website keeps users engaged, happy, and more likely to convert, ultimately boosting your business like a well-oiled sales machine.

So, optimize your website for speed, and watch your online success take off!

5 Top Website Speed Hogs, Watch Out For These!

Optimizing your website for speed can save you money in the long run – and avoid thousands of dollars in redesign costs. With a fast website, lower bounce rates, higher conversion rates, and improved SEO can lead to reduced advertising spend and improve marketing ROI.

Let’s grab some of the low-hanging fruit and highlight the five worst practices for website speed.

  1. Cheapskate Hosting: Skimping on hosting is like serving stale snacks at your party. Opt for a reliable provider with robust servers and adequate bandwidth to handle your traffic. See my recommendations below.
  2. Images and Videos: Massive images are speed hogs. Website images should be specific sizes and formats. Videos can be engaging, but hosting them directly on your site can be a resource drain. Utilize services like YouTube or Vimeo for embedding and offload the heavy lifting.
  3. Plugin Overload: Plugins are fantastic tools, but too many can act like uninvited guests, hogging resources and slowing down the party. Stick to essential plugins and regularly audit for inactive ones.
  4. Feature Fatigue: Feature-rich websites are impressive, but too many bells and whistles can be overwhelming and slow things down. We’re talking, animations, chatbots, popups, sliders, etc. Prioritize essential features and consider using lightweight alternatives for non-essential ones. 80% of the time we recommend against using sliders and chatbots.
  5. Script Showdowns: External scripts, like ad trackers or analytics tools, can be necessary, but too many can create a script overload. Minimize external scripts and ensure they’re optimized for speed. BTW…features like chatbots and popups typically run off of scripts – another reason to minimize them.

Web Hosting Recommendations

  1. Siteground – It’s great for customer service and user-friendliness. Recommended plans start at $49.99 per month.
  2. ChemiCloud – It’s great for speed and uses Litespeed servers capability with a great caching and CDN. Their server dashboard is a little more complicated and technical for a beginner to use. Recommended plans start at $19.95 per month.
  3. Protilt – Their entry servers are as fast as Siteground, and they provide managed hosting, free funnel subdomains, and we work with them to build funnels on their service. Recommended plans start at $16 per month.

Website Speed Best Practices, A Quick Overview

There’s a lot we can write on this topic. For the purpose of this quick Help Hub article, let’s hit the highlights. Warning…some of these best practices get a little technical, so if you’d like to get help consider hiring a pro.

  • Minimize HTTP Requests: Each element on your website makes an HTTP request. Reducing these can speed up your site2.
  • Reduce Time to First Byte (TTFB): This refers to the time browsers need to wait before getting data from the server.
  • Enable Browser Caching: This allows repeat visitors to experience faster load times.
  • Upgrade Your Web Hosting Plan: A higher-tier hosting plan can offer better performance.
  • Run Compression Audits: These can help identify opportunities to reduce file sizes.
  • Reduce the Size of Images: Large images can significantly slow down page load times.
  • Minify and Combine Files: This includes removing unnecessary characters from your code3.
  • Use Asynchronous Loading: This allows multiple files to load simultaneously.

Remember, regular analysis of your website’s performance with tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help identify areas for improvement.

Need Help With Website Speed? We offer several services to help.

>> Ultra Fast Web Hosting

>> SEO Optimization Services

>> Super Fast Web Design


Footnotes

  1. Website Load Stats ↩︎
  2. Technical Speed Recommendations ↩︎
  3. Moz Speed Recommendations ↩︎