A slow loading web page will seriously hinder your search engine rankings and send customers running into the arms of your competitors. Here we take you through why page speeds matter and how to improve page load speed with just a few easy hacks.

What is page speed?

Page speed is exactly what it sounds like, it’s the speed at which individual pages on your website take to load.

Why is page speed important?

Imagine you’re standing in line at a food truck waiting to order. All around are other food trucks where the lines are going down quickly, yet the line you’re in isn’t moving. Do you stay or do you go elsewhere?

This scenario is much like page load speed. If the site you’re on is taking ages to load, chances are you’re not going to sit patiently and wait. In fact, if you’re among the vast majority of internet users (who abandon a site after just three seconds), you’re probably going to navigate back to Google and click on a different result.

That’s why page load speed is so important. Not only does it define where your website places in internet searches, it also impacts your click through rates and conversions. In short, if your pages load too slow, you’re going to forfeit customers and sales.

How to improve your page speed

Images, plugins, redirects, and your website’s cache can all impact page loading speed. Here’s a few easy fixes you can make today to turn your page speeds around.

Compress large images

Large image files are a big reason some website pages load slowly. Make sure that all images on your site have been compressed from their original file size to an online friendly size that takes up less space without impacting image quality. Images don’t have to be huge to be good enough to view online. You only need super large files if you’re sending images to print.

Reduce your site’s redirects

A redirect is usually needed to send site visitors to a page that has changed location, name, or even been deleted. When this occurs it essentially adds an extra step to the page loading process that makes the page slower to load – a bit like driving the scenic route instead of the most direct. Search engines will also take into account redirects when organising their results, so reducing the number of redirects on your page can help to speed up load times and move you further up the rankings.

Cache your pages

Caching your pages enables your site to load using few resources. Copies of your site are essentially “stored” so that when a user attempts to access it again the server doesn’t have to do all the work to deliver the page. It’s considered to be one of the most effective ways of improving page load times and can be easily achieved by using a caching plugin.

Limit your plugins

Ok, we appreciate this might sound slightly ironic given our previous tip defers you to a plugin, but stick with us. While some plugins (like caching) improve your page load speeds, others can unfortunately slow it down.

The trick when it comes to plugins is to choose wisely. Make sure the plugins you’ve enabled are actually serving a purpose and delivering value. If a plugin isn’t really adding anything, delete it. The more plugins you have the longer it will take your site pages to load.

Want to get more technical with page load speeds?

The tips we’ve outlined on this page are just a few basic steps you can take to improve page load times. Many of the most effective solutions involve altering your site’s java settings, HTML, and code. If you’d like support with making these changes and improving the speed at which your site loads, give our Regency web design and SEO experts a call.