There is probably nothing more effective as a deterrent than a painfully slow website. You click on a link from an article you are engrossed in that looks like it will lead to some more interesting or helpful content, and as the new tab opens and the little loading wheel begins to spin—the new page remains blank. After more than just a few seconds that feel more like an eternity, you close the tab before it even finishes loading. Why? Because it was taking just too long to load.
We live in a time where speed is pretty much everything. Instant coffee. Instant video streaming. Instant sharing. Instant everything, and we feel the exact same way about web pages. No matter how badly we may need something from the webpage we are trying to load, chances are that we will shut it down and switch to “plan B” if the desired web page is just too slow.
Tired of having your website run so slow that you are losing and missing out on valuable traffic? Here are just a few ways that you can speed up your website.
Zip Up Your Files.
One of the best ways to speed up your website is to compress everything. If you are running a photography based website, or one that hosts a lot of videos that can be viewed and interacted with throughout your website, then all of that content that is all trying to load and buffer all at once can wreak havoc on your bandwidth, drastically slowing down the ability for your website to run optimally. One plug in that is good for compressing uploaded files, be it videos, gallery images, or large files that are available for viewing and downloading is GZIP.
GZIP is a great plugin because all you have to do is embed it into your website, and it does the rest for you whenever you upload. Simply put –after you embed the plugin into your website, the large files that you upload onto your pages will be compressed into much smaller files which are easier to interact with and take up less attention for your server, leaving your website with optimally faster speeds all throughout.
Google Page Speed Insights.
It is always good to keep tabs on just how smoothly your website is running, especially during your websites peak times. A useful tool to have access to is Google Page Speed Insights. What this tool does is simply scan your website for areas that are bottlenecking and then describes to you what the issues may be that are causing this issue. Although not exactly a plugin, this is certainly a handy tool that any webmaster will want to have a regular interaction with.
Just punch in the individual page URL into the bar, and just like that you can scan pages one at a time to pinpoint bottlenecks and performance issues.
If you do desire a direct plugin for a website speed checker, then this creation by the development team at Yahoo have created just the thing. Operating very similar to that of the creation by the folks over at Google, Yahoo YSlow is a plugin that is optimized to run checks and scans on your website to alert you where and how your website is or may in the future experience optimal speed issues.
This particular plugin is capable of being inserted into pretty much all of the major browsers that you use to maintain and perform upkeep on your website. Popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Safari, as well as the less popular but still used by developer’s browsers like Opera, Phantom JS and a few others as well.
EWWW Image Optimizer.
Another issue that causes a lot of issues for website hosts and servers is the images that are sent and uploaded online. Many times, the images that are uploaded that have insanely high resolutions look great on the screen, but wreak havoc on the servers because of the high amount of focus it takes to download and display every time someone logs onto your website.
To avoid this issue of high resolution images, the EWWW Image Optimizer is a plugin that is definitely worth taking note of. Simply put, this plugin takes your large files, automatically compresses them and exchanges them for smaller files. According to the description on the official plugin site, this plugin runs on your own website servers which makes it faster to use and maintain due to the fact that your desired upload doesn’t have to reroute to a third party location to work successfully.
It acts fast and grants your website the speed it needs to run at its best, so this is one plugin that you would do well to look into if you have many high resolution images on your site.
Look into Switching to a Plugin Ready Web Host.
More than anything else, you need to have a server that can handle the work that you are asking it to do. If you have a small web hosting server, then you cannot expect it to handle the workload of a massive multi-tower or cloud based web hosting server. You could of coarse purchase and maintain your own servers, which could be exponentially expensive but grant you all the speed and room to grow that you could ever want, or you could sign on and work with already existing web hosts. WordPress is the most popular example of a web hosting service that offers support, expansion, speed –and of course all of the plugins that you could ever think of.
All of these plugins and website scanners can be a little confusing if you do not know what exactly to do to fix and handle an issue with your web speed performance. If you are trying to handle it all yourself and are looking for help, or are even just looking for an outside party to handle it all for you, then getting in contact with a website design company is definitely recommended.
If you want to have them take the reigns completely, or even just offer some guidance to send you in the right direction, it’s a call or an email worth making.