Loading speed is one of the most important factors in the success or failure of your website. Speed can increase traffic, encourage repeat visitors and grow conversions. About half of internet users (especially in developed countries) expect any web page they visit to load in 3 seconds or less. Every additional delay results in a steady reduction in overall conversions.

If your website’s loading speed isn’t satisfactory, you can expect to lose many of your potential customers to competing websites. Fortunately, no website is irredeemable where speed is concerned. You can make the following changes to raise your site’s performance to where it should be.

1.Resize Images

Depending on the nature of your website, images are responsible for anywhere between 40 and 90 percent of its weight. If you are going to get your site loading faster, there’s no better place to start than the optimization of images.

Most freely available photo editing software (including the most basic ones such as Microsoft Paint on Windows) allow you to shrink the size of images or change the image format (from bulky formats like BMP to more compressed ones such as JPEG and PNG).

More advanced tools such as Photoshop and Fireworks give you more options including a sliding scale that offers a preview of the quality of the resized image.

2.Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

The Internet has no central command. It’s a network of billions of devices scattered across the globe. When you launch a website (and depending on what your product is), you’ll attract visitors from all over the world. But since the server your website is hosted on is in a specific location, people further from this location will see your pages’ load slower.

For example, if your website’s host server is in Germany, a visitor from New Zealand would see your website load slower than a visitor from France does. To reduce this problem, make the most of CDNs. CDNs spread your content on multiple servers across the globe thereby cutting down the time it takes for your site to load for remote visitors.

3.Enable Browser Caching

Browser caching employs similar logic to CDNs except for this time, pages are stored on the visitor’s device. When you enable browser caching on your site, downloadable elements of your site are saved in the visitor’s browser.

That way, when they next visit your website, only the things on your site that have changed will be downloaded while everything else will simply be retrieved from local storage. Browser caching speeds up load times not just by making your website available faster on the user’s screen but also by reducing the amount of network bandwidth your website requires.

4.Get Rid of Superfluous Plugins

Plugins increase website functionality and drive customization. However, there’s such a thing as too many plugins, especially where website performance is concerned. At some point, the potential benefit you can realize from an additional plugin is not worth the subsequent deterioration in loading speed.

Regularly review the plugins on the site to determine which ones you can do without. List them by order of priority so that if you have to remove any, you start with the ones that are of least importance to your objectives. Also, make sure you are running the latest version of the plugin. Newer versions usually have a faster code and are built for optimal performance with the latest release of your CMS.

5.Choose the Right Host

The things we’ve looked at so far are those that are within your power as a website owner. However, your website doesn’t exist in a vacuum — there are third parties who can determine performance irrespective of the elements, structure, and configuration of your site. None of these is more influential than your hosting service provider.

A wrong choice of web host can make your site as much as 30 times slower. Good web hosts invest in the right hardware and software infrastructure to deliver quality service to customers. This includes not just making sure they provide adequate disk and RAM space but also installing security software such as firewalls and data loss prevention tools. Take time and research different web hosts before you settle for one.

Invest in the time and resources you need to make sure your website loads fast. Your site’s success depends on it.

Image; DepositPhotos