4 Ways to Speed Up Almost Any Website
Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish my website were slower”? Probably not! When it comes to websites, faster is always better. Faster websites have higher conversion rates, less user abandonment, and better SEO performance. No matter your website’s niche, you want it to be as fast as possible.
Measuring website speed
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Before discussing techniques to speed up your website, we should discuss how to measure your website speed.
Many factors influence website speed. Different tools may help you understand your website performance from various angles. We recommend using Google PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix to measure website speed and diagnose issues. Google Page Speed Insights will reveal your Core Web Vitals, the measurements Google uses to determine website speed. Improving these Core Web Vitals will boost your SEO.
Optimize your images and videos
One of the easiest ways to speed up your website is to optimize your images and videos. Rich media like images and videos are often the largest files on your website. Big media files can slow down your website dramatically, especially on mobile. Images can be optimized using free online tools like Squoosh and TinyJPG. These tools can shrink images by up to 90% without sacrificing image quality.
Videos embedded from YouTube, Vimeo, or other sources don’t need to be optimized. Videos played directly from your website, like background banner videos, may benefit from optimization. You can use free tools like VideoSmaller to shrink your self-hosted web videos.
Increase your server resources
Although more and more websites run on managed platforms like Squarespace or Wix, many websites run on hosts like GoDaddy, BlueHost, or HostGator. Without a technical background, users may not understand the difference between a $5/month web server and a $20/month web server. Does that extra RAM really matter?
The answer is yes. Website platforms like WordPress require enough memory to run a database, generate designs and layouts, and serve pages to users. Cheap hosting plans often lack the resources needed to do all these jobs well. If your website is slow, no matter what you do, check your hosting plan and consider upgrading to the next tier of service. In some cases, this change alone will drastically improve your performance.
Remove unnecessary scripts, fonts, and plugins
A website should do exactly what it needs to do, no more and no less. Most websites include scripts and plugins that they probably don’t need. Some websites use several custom fonts, all of which can take quite a long time to load. These resources can negatively impact our website speed while providing no value!
Do an audit on your website. Look for opportunities to remove features that aren’t in use. Consider switching to system fonts when possible to avoid downloading slow custom fonts.
Combine and “minify” files
If you are on another platform, you can get help from a web developer to combine files manually. A good web developer can evaluate which files are safe to combine and which must remain separate.
After our files are combined, we can minify them. Minifying is a development term for removing excess white space from files. When developers write code, they do it in a way that human eyes can understand. Computers don’t need that white space. They can read the code without spaces or line breaks. Removing white space can shrink files by a surprising amount. A free tool like Minifier.com can help remove whitespace from your website files.