4 Ways To Speed Up Your Slow Website in 2023
Loading, loading, loading… Have you ever tried accessing a website and it take forever? I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the patience to sit and wait. My reaction is to move on to the next website to get what I want. In this day and age, do you think others have patience to wait? There are many factors that play into SEO and website speed is one of them. In this article I will discuss what a slow website means, why it matters and 3 ways to speed up your slow website! In fact, I implemented the same steps for my website and improved my website speed by 2 seconds!
Why listen to me? I recently redesigned my entire WordPress website built with Divi and improved it from an E rating to an A rating (F being the worst, A being the best). Don’t believe me? Check my performance rating out here.
You can also check out my full case study here.
What is a Slow Website?
According to Google’s Core Web Vitals threshold, a slow website or page speed, means that it takes more than 2.5 seconds for the main content to load. This is referred to a Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). Specifically, this is time it takes for the largest image or block of context within the user’s view to load and be interacted with. Anything that extends beyond the user’s view does not factor into the LCP. So what? Google controls over 90% of the search engine marketshare. By failing to follow one of their thresholds for user experience, you could risk being deprioritized in search results. Let’s talk more about why it matters.
Does Page Speed Matter?
Google has thresholds for user experience that are referred to as their Core Web Vitals. To monitor your website’s Core Web Vitals, you can do so via Google Search Console. If you fail to achieve their threshold of 2.5 seconds for LCP, you could risk being ranked lower. So what? Well, your competitor could jump ahead of you on Google! What else? That means you could lose potential business which means an impact to your sales!
So Google watches out for slow websites, but what about my customers? The number of potential customers that could leave your website increases dramatically for anything above 3 seconds. In fact, according to Pingdom, what is referred to as bounce rate, increases by 38% once 5 seconds is reached! Once again this impacts your customer engagement, lead generation and ultimately, your sales. Next, I’ll jump into ways to speed up your slow website.
4 Ways to Speed Up Your Website!
Hopefully by now it’s evident that fast page load is essential. I am going to outline 3 ways you can speed up your website. 1) Stable hosting services 2) image optimization, 3) Cloudflare, 4) Caching plugin.
1. Stable hosting
Stable hosting is key to improving your page speed. Several factors including service response time, the use of CDNs and PHP setup. I personally use SiteGround because they offer advanced CDN and PHP features which have proven to speed up websites. In fact, they tout that over 2,800,000 domains trust them for their hosting services. They even have a WordPress service that makes it even easier to manage WordPress built websites.
2. Image optimization
Image size and optimization are additional key factors in reducing page load time. If your images are of a large file size (not necessarily big themselves) they could take some time to load, thus affecting your Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), as referenced above. I am here to tell you that it is impossible to speed up your website while not affecting image quality. In some cases you could reduce the file size of an image by 3 times without visibly affecting the quality. So how can I do this? For my website and my clients, I always run the images through TinyPNG. TinyPNG is a reliable way to maintain quality of the image while ensuring they are still optimized for a website.
Cloudflare is my go-to! Cloudflare is a CDN and internet security company that enhances website performance and optimization by caching content, minimizing file sizes, optimizing images, and leveraging its global network of servers to reduce latency. Its services contribute to faster loading times, improved user experience, and added security for websites. I personally pay ~$20/month but it’s well worth it. Furthermore, after installing and configuring Cloudflare I noticed a significant performance increase – moving up to an A (99%) performance rating!
4. Caching Plugin
A reliable caching plugin is yet another way to speed your website. This is a great option if you’re not interested in Cloudflare – Cloudflare offers this option, too. A cache’s purpose is to speed up retrieval of web page resources, thus decreasing page load times. Cache preloading, cache and page caching and GZIP compression are all tools that my favorite plugin WPRocket leverages to speed up your slow website. I personally improved my own website speed by at least 2 seconds at RadfordResults.com by using WPRocket and minifying/combining the CSS and JS.
So, How Fast is Your Website?
Do you want to see how fast your website is? My go-to tool is GTmetrix because it is easy to use and understand. Like me, you too can turn your website a lightning fast website. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to speed up your website so it has a better chance of ranking. If you need a hand in optimizing your website for SEO, Radford Results Web Design can help. For my SEO clients, I take time to understand current state and craft a future state strategy that aligns with their goals and business outcomes.
Contact me today to speed up your slow website or fill out my SEO survey form below to get started!
You can also check out my full case study here where I outline the entire process!