The 5 Best Ways To Increase Your Website Speed

Difficulty: Advanced

Google Search Console is a great tool because it provides accurate information about your website with regards to Google’s search engine. If you haven’t got your website connected to Google Search Console you can find out how to do that here.

Image Compression

This will make the most difference to your website load time, often people have large images slowing down their website.

It is very possible to display all the images you want on your page but you have to make sure you are compressing them.

  • WordPress Image Compression Plugins
    There are two great Plugins available for you to use Shortpixel is the best plugin we have come across, it’s easy to use and does wonders. Shortpixel is a paid plugin but it’s definitely worth investing in. The second option is free and is called Smush we have also used this tool extensively and it works very well, but Shortpixel has a bunch more features.
  • Serious compression strategy
    The best tool we have found to do this is TinyPNG it’s very simple to use, just drag in your images and it’ll compress it. You can then re-download the images at it’s compressed rate, you can even run it through the tool a couple of times. From experience, we wouldn’t recommend running it through the tool more than twice otherwise you’ll start losing quality. If you do this you can reduce most of your images by up to 80%, this will vastly reduce your page load times. As an example we were working on a page that had 45 images being displayed, the page had a load time of 8 seconds in total. After performing this process for every image the load time for the page came down to 1.2 seconds. The only downside is it can take a bit of time which is why we usually opt for other methods to compress on mass.

You can find out much more information about Optimising Images for SEO here.

DNS Speed

This is a very large issue for a number of websites and often not considered as part of the speed optimisation process.

DNS (Domain Name System) essentially returns the IP address of the web server associated with your domain name. You can use this tool to check if your website suffers from this, simply put in your website and let it run.

Chances are your website will look something like the one above. If your DNS is taking considerably long, it is definitely worth looking into improving its speed.

After performing the process we show in our other article you should see speeds like this

This is a really quick and easy way to shave off valuable page load time.

CSS and Javascript minification

Minification essentially is just removing unnecessary characters from your files to make them smaller.

This point is argued to have little effect for most websites since it in most cases only saves a few kilobytes, however for larger websites it’s definitely necessary. Our recommendation would be to do this for your website no matter what it’s size is, it allows you to make your CSS and JavaScript files more compact so they are faster to load improving your website’s speed. If you have limited web knowledge it would be worth talking to your web developer about this one since it can be a little difficult. There are tools out there that will minify your files which you can find with a quick Google search. However for WordPress websites it’ can be a little more complex, you can use a WordPress plugin like BWP Minify to achieve this but we would suggest doing it the traditional way. The more plugins you add to your WordPress website the more it slows it down. You might find that the speed increase from the minification is negated by the installation of the plugin.

Leverage Browser Caching

This might sound very complex but it’s actually quite simple, this change will make a large difference to your website’s speed for returning visitors.

When you visit a website it caches the information so next time you load it up it doesn’t have to request all the resources again it just loads from the previous session. Making use of this you can put the following code in your htaccess file:

This will change the set caching time of certain types of files, for example, .jpg images will cache for 1 year. Don’t worry though, if you make any updates it will refresh the cache and the user will have to request the new image.

Enable GZIP Compression

GZIP compression for some websites can make a massive difference, decreasing page sizes by up to 70%.

GZIP compression goes through HTML and CSS files and replaces common strings and whitespace and replaces them temporarily so it loads on the server faster. For this to work you will need to enable GZIP on your webserver, you can contact your web host about making this change. You can enable GZIP compression using the following code in your htaccess file:

Simple as that! Now enjoy the faster loading speed you have suddenly acquired.


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