Compressing the elements of your website will lead to faster page loading. Why is that important? Compression converts the coding on your pages to shorthand, which can then be read by your computer and decompressed when it is received. When servers are tasked with sending large files, the time it takes to load a page is increased, but when files are compressed, they are much smaller, meaning pages load much faster! The more time a page takes to load, the more chance there is that the person waiting for it to load is going to get bored and leave your site, not to mention the fact that no one likes a high bounce rate.
When a page is cached, it is temporarily stored on your computer for faster loading in the future. If you have a lot of repeat visitors to your site – and we hope you do – then leverage browser caching to reduce the time it takes pages on your site to load for those regular visitors. That way, return customers can get what they need to get done quickly and efficiently.
Eliminate landing page redirects
You want customers accessing your site to be able to do so as quickly as possible (starting to see a theme here? Page loading speed is king!). If the first thing a browser has to do when it gets to your landing page is to then go to another page, it is using valuable time that a customer could spend making a purchase on your site, reading content, or taking advantage of any other great features your site has to offer. If you have a landing page redirect in place, remove it and restructure other pages as necessary.
Maximise the above-the-fold content
Never heard of above-the-fold content? Don’t worry, the term comes from the ancient days of paper newspapers, so if you don’t know it that probably just means you’re a budding rose! Ah, youth. Above-the-fold content is any text, images, video, or other content that appears in your browser window before scrolling down. You want this content to load as fast as possible to immediately capture the attention of incoming customers. One way to do that is to structure your HTML so that any content that’s above the fold loads first, giving it priority above everything else on the page.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
There are plenty of web optimisation checkers that you can use online (for free!) to analyse the performance of your site. Our favourite is Google’s PageSpeed, which gives you a breakdown of where you need to focus your energy when it comes to speeding up your site. But make sure to diversify and get a second, third, or fourth opinion: there are other website performance checkers out there you can use to see even more diverse matrices of your website’s performance. We also like SiteSpeed, which gives you a list of response times based on location, WebPageTest, which checks the site performance information and puts it into easy-to-read graphs, and GTmetrix, which is similar to Google’s PageSpeed, but has a few additional measures.
Just like getting your car serviced every year, website performance checkers are a great way to ensure your site is running at its optimal speed. Change your site’s oil, rotate your site’s tyres, and you’ll soon be speeding along the information superhighway once more.