8 Ways To Improve Your Website’s Performance
When it comes to your website, good performance is the key to success. If your site is slow, confusing, hard to find or broken, this can affect bounce rates, user experience, search engine rankings and conversions.
Therefore, you need to do all you can to make sure that your website is performing at its maximum capacity and that your visitors are happy.
The challenging part is there are a lot of different factors that can influence the performance of every single page on your website.
So, in order to see the best results, you need to take it one step at a time and make positive changes to improve your website’s performance. And in this guide, we’re going to show you exactly how to do that.
1. Choose the right hosting service
First and foremost, you need to make sure that you maximise your chances of getting this right from the start. This means choosing the right hosting service provider. This should happen from the moment you set up your website, but if it already exists and you’re no longer happy with your current service, it’s not too late to change.
Every provider is different and has its own standard performance. As a result, you need to run some thorough comparisons and look at the difference between the basic shared plans and the more advanced offerings available.
The best-case scenario is that you find a web hosting service that is great across the board. However, there may be times when you have to compromise on features or budget to make the right choice for you.
So don’t rush this decision. Take your time to weigh up all your options and compare price, scalability, features and usability to make an informed decision.
2. Run a website audit
There are some great tools out there, like Ubersuggest or Moz, that allow you to run a quick and easy audit of your website to see which pages, in particular, are holding you back.
This can be very handy in the early stages of the process as it will flag any major issues that you need to address right away. As you start working your way through each smaller item, you’ll see a marked improvement in the performance of your website.
Lots of these will be search engine optimisation (SEO) issues, but they can also be helpful for fixing broken links and understanding redirects.
3. Enable browser caching
Caching can be one of the most critical and effective steps you take to improve your site’s loading time.
If you enable browser caching, you are essentially telling all your visitor’s browsers that they should store some of your site’s static files temporarily. This means that when they come back to your website, the site won’t need to fully reload each time, making it much faster.
There are a number of ways you can leverage browser caching, and if you haven’t done it yet, you really should.
4. Choose a well-optimised theme
When using website builders like WordPress or Wix, you need to make sure that you choose a well-optimised theme. This means going beyond the simple style and look of the pages and choosing one that isn’t being held back by extra and unnecessary functionality.
Alternatively, you can have your website built for you by a web design company. They will be able to optimise this accordingly whilst meeting your design requirements. This can be the better choice if you’re very new to the world of web design and have no idea how to tackle this yourself.
5. Don’t forget about mobile
You can have the best website in the world on a desktop, but if it is slow or broken on mobile devices, this is going to impact your visitors, bounce rates and conversions.
So, whether choosing a pre-built template or having your site designed for you, it’s important that you don’t neglect mobile optimisation.
In fact, with over 60% of traffic now coming from these devices, it’s best to prioritise mobile-first code and design.
6. Remove unused plugins and extensions
Depending on the hosting service you use, you might have the option to add plugins or extensions to your theme that serve different functions. For example, these could be for social media, grammar, SEO and more.
While these can be a great addition and can give you new functions without altering the host program at all, if you’re keeping unused plugins or extensions around for no reason, it’s time to get rid of them!
Though most won’t really impact the speed or functionality of your site too much, it’s best to clean house and disable any that you’re not currently using. You could even uninstall them if you don’t need them anymore to ensure they aren’t affecting your website’s performance unnecessarily.
7. Optimise images
Images are a huge part of every website; they make everything better, clearer and more engaging. And, of course, you want your images to look good, but you should never underestimate the weight of these features.
The trouble is high-quality image files can be too big, which means they slow down your average page loading speeds.
In order to combat this, you have two main options. You can compress the files before uploading them, or you can use tools like plugins to resize them and adjust to screen solutions without compromising the quality of the image.
These are the files that account for the whitespace on your site. This also means they contain a lot of code. As a result, they could be bringing your loading speeds down.
If this all sounds a little complicated, don’t panic! There are extensions and plugins you can install to do this for you, or a web designer will be able to minify at your request.