Top Tips to Improve Website Speed

Posted on
October 16, 2020

Top tips to improve website speed

Did you know that a one second delay can reduce page views by 11%? In fact, a one second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16% and can account for a 7% loss in conversion rates. Ouch! We live in a culture that expects everything here and now so it’s not surprising that we expect web pages to load instantly. So, how do we get your website page speed to be as quick as possible?  

Read on for our top tips to speed up your website.

How are you currently performing?

First off, run a speed check. You can do this on Shopify via the online store speed report which provides an overall speed score of the website and also a comparison of how your website performs against similar stores. If you’re not on Shopify you can use tools such as Google Page Insights and Pingdom Website Speed Test. Once you’ve run the test, note down the overall score as this will give you a starting point and benchmark for measuring improvements.

Apps & Plugins

Shopify is famous for its apps and plugins which can help boost your websites effectiveness. Take a look at the blog on our favourite Shopify apps designed to improve your conversation rate and increase sales. However, some apps can slow down your website due to inefficient code and external JavaScript and CSS which conflicts with the core JavaScript or CSS files used on your ecommerce platform or theme. We recommend removing any apps you don’t use along with any related code. The best way to understand which apps are slowing down your site is to disable each app and then run a test to see if your site speed improves. Don’t worry though as most apps and plugins won’t impact your site speed.

Optimise your images!

One of the biggest reasons for slow page load is over sized images. It can be tempting to upload images straight from a product shoot or right from your mobile phone, but often the size of these images will be huge. Adding one large image might not seem like a big issue, but if you have 1000’s of products and just a handful have large images, this could become a massive problem. You can use the previous speed testing tools we’ve mentioned to highlight big files and then optimise your images via Photoshop or any other photo editing software. Free tools such as Tiny PNG are great for small image batches and can save you many hours too.

Reduce your redirects

Web page redirects (known as 301/302 requests) are used to send users and search engines to a different URL to the one that they requested. Every time a page redirects your visitor will have to wait for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete. This means if your page is redirected it will make the page load speed slower. Redirects are an essential part of any re-platforming strategy so that Google knows your old pages have moved, but they should not be used as a production tool, we’d recommend using them as infrequently as possible.

Minify CSS and JavaScript files

Minifying (the compression of) CSS and JavaScript files consists of removing anything that is not required by a web browser to understand and render your web pages (such as whitespace and commas). This makes the code smaller and therefore the code loads quicker. Even though doing this won’t have a huge impact on speed on its own, if this is implemented in conjunction with the other factors we’ve mentioned it’ll increase the overall performance of your website.

What’s next?

Learn as much as you can by looking at online resources such as the Moz Blog, https://moz.com/blog and the Raven Tools technical dictionary https://raventools.com/on-page-seo-dictionary/ and there are plenty of other online resources that can provide further information.

We could talk for weeks about page speed, and we often do! Our team spend their days working with a wide range of clients to optimise their websites, we’ve outlined some of the most important factors in this piece but if you need further help on how to make sure your website is lightning fast, then get in touch here or take advantage of our free SEO audit by filling out the form on our web site.

Posted on
October 16, 2020
in
Marketing
category

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