1. How To Test Website Speed
  2. How To Speed Up Website Load Time
  3. What If You Don't Have Time for Technical Optimisation?
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a website and often wait seconds, sometimes minutes, for it to load? If so, do yourself a favour and read this post.

Website speed is one of the most important factors that can impact the success of a website. A slow-loading website:

  • increases bounce rates
  • reduces conversions
  • leads to a poor user experience

The total opposite of what you want your website to achieve!

But don't worry, you can change this!

Below, we'll share 7 easy ways to speed up website load time.

How To Test Website Speed

Before we share our tips, it's important to know how to test your website speed. This will give you a baseline to work from and help you track progress as you make changes.

The first thing you need to do is choose a website speed tool. You can use the PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix.

Paste in your website's URL and click 'Test'.

Once the test is complete, you'll get a PSI score out of 100 and some recommendations on how to improve your website speed. The recommendations will be for desktop and mobile.

It is important that you focus on mobile speed, as more and more people use their smartphones to access the internet.

What is a good website response time?

A good website response time (the time it takes for your website to load) is a PSI score above 90. Between 50 and 90, your website needs improvement, and any score below 50 is kind of bad.

So, in seconds, anything under 3 seconds is great. Google says the average mobile site speed is 15.3 seconds (ouch!).

So, if you can get your website below this, you're already ahead of the majority.

How To Speed Up Website Load Time

With your score in hand, let's get to work on improving your website speed. (You can use our guidelines + the recommendations that your chosen tool gave you).

1. Optimise Your Website's Images

The images on your website are space hogs! Their file sizes are much larger than those of HTML and CSS files.

To optimise your website's images, you'll need to:

  • Resize them to the exact dimensions that they'll be displayed on your website.

If you upload a 4000px by 3000px image, but it'll only be displayed at 800px by 600px, you're forcing your users' devices to do extra work for no reason.

  • Use a compressed format like JPEG or WebP (for Chrome users).

These file formats are great because they retain good image quality while reducing file size.

  • Compress images using tools like Adobe Photoshop, Tinypng, or Squoosh.

2. Minify Your CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Minification refers to the process of removing unnecessary or redundant data from your code without affecting its functionality. This can include things like whitespace, comments and formatting that are unnecessary for the code to run properly.

Minification reduces file sizes, allowing them to load faster in the browser and consume less bandwidth.

To minify your website's files, you need to use a few tools:

3. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

If you're not currently using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), you should strongly consider implementing one.

A CDN is a network of servers located in data centres around the world that deliver web content to users based on their geographic location. A CDN stores your website's static files, like images, CSS, and JavaScript, on these servers.

When users visit your website, the files are delivered from the server closest to them, reducing download times and improving overall performance.

4. Move To Better Hosting

As a web development and maintenance agency, we've encountered many clients who have come to us with slow websites due to poor hosting. Your website's speed and performance are heavily influenced by the quality of your hosting provider.

If you're experiencing sluggish loading times, it may be time to switch to a better host. Look for a hosting provider that offers optimisation features like SSD storage, server-side caching, and CDN integration.

At Stabright, we offer excellent hosting and know firsthand the difference a good host can make to website performance. Contact us today to change your hosting provider.

5. Reduce The Number Of Plugins

Have you heard about the joke that goes, "I have 99 plugins on my website, but a performance issue ain't one"?

While it may be funny, using too many plugins can actually significantly slow down your website. Each plugin adds its own code to your site, creating more requests and potentially causing conflicts.

Take an audit of all the plugins you're currently using and evaluate if you really need them.

Remove any unnecessary or outdated ones to declutter your website's codebase and improve loading times.

6. Use Website Caching

If there are a lot of users visiting your website all at the same time, this can put a strain on your server and cause slower loading times.

One way to alleviate this is by using website caching.

Website caching is a process that involves storing frequently accessed data in temporary storage, reducing the number of requests made to your server.

The type of caching you choose depends on the platform on which your website is built. For example, if you have a WordPress site, you can apply the W3 Total Cache plugin.

7. Detect 404 Errors & Reduce Redirects

404 errors and redirects can severely impact your website's performance and user experience. A 404 error occurs when a user tries to access a page that does not exist on your site, while redirects are used to send users from one URL to another.

Both of these issues can slow down your website because they involve additional requests and processing.

To detect 404 errors on your site, use tools like Google Search Console, which can identify broken links and missing pages. Once these errors are identified, you should either fix the broken links, create the missing pages, or set up appropriate redirects.

When it comes to redirects, it's important to minimise their use as much as possible. If necessary, make sure that the redirects are efficient. For instance, instead of multiple redirects leading to a final URL, set up a single redirect to the target page. This reduces the number of server requests and speeds up your website.

Fixing these issues on your website also helps for SEO purposes, as search engines penalise sites with a high number of 404 errors and redirects. Check out our Technical SEO Checklist to learn more and keep your site in top shape!

What If You Don't Have Time for Technical Optimisation?

Implementing these 7 fixes can work wonders for your website's speed and performance! But we get it—not everyone has the time or technical know-how to tackle them.

That's why you need to invest in a web maintenance retainer. By outsourcing your website's technical upkeep to experts, you can focus on running your business while still enjoying a fast and efficient website.

Our web development team at Starbright offers reliable web maintenance services.

Contact us today to learn more about our web maintenance services and how we can speed up website load time!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is web maintenance?

Web maintenance refers to the ongoing tasks and updates required to keep a website functioning smoothly. This includes technical aspects such as software updates, bug fixes, security checks, and content updates.

2. Why is web maintenance important?

Regular web maintenance ensures that your website remains secure and performs optimally. It also helps to prevent errors and downtime, which can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings.

3. How do you check if your website is fast?

There are various tools available online that can help you check your website's speed, such as Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix. These tools analyse your website's performance and provide recommendations on how to improve its speed. You can also test your website yourself by navigating through it and monitoring the load time of each page. A fast website should load within 2-3 seconds.

4. Can I fix my website's speed on my own?

Yes, you can make some improvements to your website's speed on your own. However, there are some technical aspects that may require expertise and experience to properly optimise.