People will form an opinion of your website in 0.05 seconds – what can they see in that time?
I mention the importance of website speed a lot and how it impacts your marketing efforts, your website rankings and your ability to convert online traffic.
So, here are some simple ways that you can improve the speed of your website without needing a degree in website development:
- Reduce your image sizes – images are the biggest source of delay before a web page is fully loaded. Optimising them tends to be the most powerful tool for improving website performance.
- Minimise or change background images – if you have a large background image on your site but are not tied to it, consider replacing the image with flat colours, a gradient or a simple pattern. This will minimise how many assets need to load on the web page and increase page speed.
- Remove images on mobile that are above the fold (before you scroll down the page) – the mobile experience is usually slower than on a desktop but is often more important given that most people now browse on their mobile devices. Large images or slideshows will have a big impact on the mobile loading time.
- Reduce (or scrap) your use of video – video is becoming increasingly popular for website content, but they are also very large files that have a big impact on the speed. Reduce the use of them as much as possible and if you have to have them, move them to below the fold.
- Use image placeholders for video thumbnails – if you must include videos on your website, don’t force them to load automatically. Many people don’t watch them and those who do will have no problem in just clicking on the image to view it.
- Get rid of music – if your website plays background music, get rid of it. Most people browse with sound off and it is just an unnecessary element that will increase the time it takes your pages to load.
If you have a big issue with your website speed, it is worth investing in the help of a developer as there are lots of other ways to increase the speed, but you may need to be technically minded to address them.