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When it comes to web browsing, five seconds can seem like an eternity, especially when users are waiting for a slow website to download. This lag can have major consequences, as Google considers a site’s speed when determining your search presence.
According to Google, the likelihood of users abandoning a website site grows by 32% when page load time increases from one to three seconds. In another study, about four in five website visitors who are dissatisfied with site performance say they won’t return to the site again.
That means if your website is unresponsive and slow, you’re losing customers, and it’s time to do something about it. Here are some suggestions for speeding it up and making it more responsive.
1. Choose a faster web host
The reliability and speed of your web host have a big role in how fast (or slow) your website loads. While many webmasters choose the cheapest hosting to save money, this typically comes at the expense of their site’s download speeds.
If your web host’s servers are slow, causing your site to lag while loading, you should consider switching to a better (faster) host. Check out what other webmasters say about which web hosts are the quickest.
Related: 5 Vital Considerations When Choosing Your Web Hosting Service
2. Use a fast, responsive theme for your website
To get faster download speeds, you should use a fast, lightweight theme for your site. This is because you want a website theme that will download quickly for your visitors when they visit your site. Poorly coded themes are “heavier” and take longer to load, particularly on mobile devices.
Because the majority of internet users access the Internet via mobile devices, you’ll want to utilize a mobile-friendly, lightweight theme that is responsive and downloads rapidly. You should read reviews from other webmasters to discover how they rated the speed and responsiveness of potential website themes.
You should also measure the speed and responsiveness of different themes on your site to guarantee you choose the best (fastest) one.
3. Upload and stream any videos directly from YouTube
Large online files, such as videos, can cause your site to load slowly. As a result, rather than uploading videos to your web host directly, you should upload them onto YouTube. You may then simply embed the video links on your website. Your visitors will be able to stream your videos directly from YouTube, which will speed up the load time of your website.
4. Plugins should be used sparingly
While installing plugins might enhance your site’s functionality, installing too many will slow down download rates. Because all of the plugins must be loaded before your site can fully load, visitors will have to wait.
If you feel that having too many plugins is slowing down the speed of your site, you should delete the ones you really don’t need.
Oftentimes, you can replace multiple plugins with an all-in-one plugin that has all of the functions you require for your site.
Related: 8 Plugins Every @WordPress Website Needs
5. Large web files can be compressed
Large web files can cause your site to load slowly. PDF documents and graphics-heavy files, for example, can take a long time to download, especially for visitors on mobile devices. As a result, reducing huge files can help your site load faster.
6. Optimize visuals for faster loading speed
If your images aren’t optimized for quicker download speeds, they’ll also slow down your website. Here are some simple ways to speed up the loading time of your site images:
- Use the proper file extension when saving images (GIF, JPEG or PNG).
- To make photos load faster, reduce their size.
- Compress your photos with a free image-compression tool.
7. Cap the number of comments that appear on a single page
While user comments are beneficial for increasing audience engagement and enhancing SEO, a web page with too many comments may take more time to download.
As a result, you shouldn’t display more than 50 comments per web page in order to maximize the speed of your pages. If your blog posts and articles have a lot of user comments, your visitors won’t have to wait as long for web pages to load.
Related: How SaaS Companies Can Boost User Engagement With Video Marketing
If you want to improve your website’s SEO, increase visitors, improve user experience and boost conversions, then your site needs to load quickly.
Google provides a free site speed test that includes advice on how to improve the loading speed of your web pages. Once you identify the issues, you may wish to bring on a web developer to assist you in optimizing your site for faster download speeds. It’s generally well worth the price.