A fast website makes users feel empowered; a slow website is simply agonizing. In a time-poor society, users and consumers want to use fast, responsive sites. As website owners team up with developers to prioritize strategy, speed is consistently the most important factor. At a recent Search Engine Marketing New England event, Jonathan Hochman made the case for website speed optimization and how you can boost it for your site.
What every website owner should know about speed
- If your site is penalized 100% of the time you will be notified in Google Webmaster tools.
- Amazon reports that .1 of a second in load speed causes 1% loss in sales.
- Browsers only run between 2 and 5 simultaneous requests (for images and data etc.)
Be selective when choosing hosting
- It’s OK to complain if your site isn’t loading fast enough! The worst possible hosting is your own IT department.
- Users recommend BostonComputing and TigerTech because they are good for WordPress and offer quality support.
- Mediatemple and RackSpace also good hosting choices, but they are a bit more expensive.
- Double your WordPress speed with W3 Total cache plugin. This tool allows you to turn on page caching and minification, which can double the page speed
- Don’t self-host video, embed from Wistia for better quality and analytics. It’s not free, but can learn more and is compatible.
What affects website speed?
- The number of lines of code (although this matters less than other factors)
- Ad scripts being served from Google Adsense servers
- Page size
- Flash video player from YouTube
- Images from Blogger Photos and other sites
What is a CSS Sprite?
- An image sprite is a collection of images put into a single image. A web page with many images can take a long time to load and generates multiple server requests. Using image sprites will reduce the number of server requests and save bandwidth
- Those looking to hire a developer should hire those who know CSS Sprites. Experts say developers should absolutely know sprites – should be standard nowadays.
Quick fixes help and code tactics count
- Merge images
- Merge CSS and JS files
- Use <link> instead of @import
High-impact, easy-to-use tools
- Use content delivery network Cloudflare (free) to speed up your website’s load time! Users says comment spam and site scraping will be reduced.
- Linux servers are faster than Windows. There may be a correlation to self-hosting and Windows
- Measure website speed with Pingdom tools (you want 1.5 seconds or less). Users say it has great data speed when tested correctly.
- Yoast works especially well with WordPress. This tools helps users optimize speed with the help of a plugin developer.