How to increase your page load speed in just 3 steps

According to research by Microsoft, people’s attention span has dropped to 8 seconds!
(That is less than a gold fish)

So with a 5 second page load, you only have 3 seconds left to impress them
That means you are losing leads and business by having a slow website. And to make matters worse, Google also ranks you lower if you have a slow website.

But luckily there is good news too

There are some simple things that you can do to decrease load time.
And you don’t need to buy expensive hosting or CDN’s (Cloud Delivery Networks), or buy costly software.

Use These 4 Steps To Get Fast, Fast.

1. Create a Benchmark

First you need to know where you are at.
There are a multiple ways to benchmark your site. I have listed the ones I use here:

But you don’t need to rely on an external website. Did you know that your browser can tell you exactly what happens and how fast a page loads?

Mozilla: Tools -> web developer -> web console -> go to the tab “network”
Chrome: More tools -> developer tools -> tab “network”

Once you know how fast (or slow) your site currently is, you can start optimizing. The services above will also give you advice on how to make your site faster.
I have tried them all, but the tips below had the most impact.

2. Optimize Images

Images consume a lot more bandwidth than text does.
By far the biggest bottleneck to a screaming fast website are the images and video on it. Now, we don’ t want to have a text only website. Nobody would want to visit it.
So we need to make the images load faster.

If you don’t want to pay for bigger hosting, just make the images smaller. These are a couple of things you can do to keep your images as small as possible:

  1. Reduce the size before you upload them. Don’t rely on HTML or CSS to make images smaller. Just upload smaller images in the first place.
  2. Compress pictures with a graphics utility. You can use your graphics software to compress your images before they are uploaded. If you don’t have the software, you can try a free utility like TinyPNG.
    Just doing one of these will increase your speed substantially. But it’s best to do both!

3. Keep Scripts And Large Files Below The Fold

In website terms, the “fold” is the part of your site that a user must scroll down to see.
Try to keep everything above the fold very lightweight, so your visitors can start to enjoy your page right away. You can put scripts and larger utilities before the fold.

This will make it appear as if your page loads right away.

A way to do this without having to worry about scripts and such (my preference) is to use Lazy Loading. Many themes for WordPress and Joomla support this.
Or search for a plugin

4. Check Your CMS’s Speed-Enhancing Options

Do you use WordPress, Joomla, or another content management systems?

These types of websites all have some built-in or optional extras that can help you speed up your site. You might look at the standard options or look for high-rated plugins that can have been designed to make your type of CMS deliver pages faster

Retest Your Site, And See If You Can Go Even Faster

Now it’s time to go back to your speed test.

For most small businesses, 2 seconds or below is fine. Faster is always better, but you probably have other things to do. If you are still way off, it’s time to look deeper.

Go to the waterfall diagram and see what is taking the most time.

Now It’s Time To Take Action

You can’t control how quickly your page loads on every device. Some things will depend on your visitor’s computer, internet connection, and so on.

However, you can do as much as possible to keep your pages efficient. This can help you improve your page views and conversions, so it’s a good investment of your time.

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