In addition to favoring the user experience, website speed is an aspect of utmost importance to SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
After all, while the delay in loading a page is extremely unpleasant for the visitor – not to say desperate – Google also does not welcome a site that has everything to be abandoned before it is even uploaded.
In this post, you will find 9 unbeatable tips to improve the speed of your site.
1. Use Google PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights is a Google tool designed to measure page performance on both desktop and mobile devices. For this purpose, it does two-page searches, using a mobile user agent and a computer agent.
After doing the search, PageSpeed uses a scoring system to measure performance, ranging from 0 to 100 points. According to the criteria of the tool, a score above 85 indicates that the page is loading at a desirable speed.
After the analysis, the tool indicates points that deserve attention and whose correction presents potential to accelerate the loading speed.
In addition to punctuation, after analysis, PageSpeed creates a priority scale that is signaled by colors: red, yellow, and green. Each color signals a need!
The actions indicated in red present measurable conditions of improvement of the speed.
Actions flagged in yellow indicate desirable improvement conditions, but do not need to be corrected if they are too laborious.
If the actions are flagged in green, PageSpeed announces that no problem has been detected and that you have done a good job.
2. Use Pingdom Tools
Pingdom Tools is another important speed analysis tool. However, it acts differently from PageSpeed Insights and part of the HTTP requests a site makes for images, stylesheets, scripts, and external resources.
After the analysis, the tool generates a report showing the moment each file was requested, the response time of the server, the load of the site and the completion of the request. Thus, it is possible to identify where performance is critical.
For example, external scripts, such as Facebook, may weigh when loading a page, which is detected by Pingdom.
Interestingly, Pingdom also offers an analysis of the loading time of the site in different places in the world, which also has its usefulness.
3. Turn to CDN
This curious feature, which Pingdom offers, has a practical utility. After all, the speed of the site is inversely proportional to the distance of the server where it is hosted, taking as reference the place where it is loaded. The further the server, the slower the loading.
The solution to this problem is the Content Delivery Network (CDN), also know as Content Distribution Network. The CDN’s role is to distribute content across servers around the world.
That way, the moment a site is accessed, the service connects to the nearest server where it has hosted that content, speeding up the loading speed of the page.
There are CDNs that do more than that. CloudFlare is a great example, as well as being free, reduces file size and generates cache. Did you know we’re offering CloudFlare for free?
4. Remember: less is more
When the sites were still new, all features were used, even when they were not needed. For example, it was common to find a gallery of images on pages in which they made no sense.
Things have changed, both in terms of design and functionality. Making an analogy, we realize that smartphones are clean, without that excess of physical buttons from other times. This is a design option that made the use of the equipment more agile and intuitive. The same reasoning applies to websites.
The best thing to do is to use only the essentials, preferring a design that is objective and features that really are needed. So, in addition to making your site more user-friendly, it will certainly load faster.
5. Beware of social buttons
No one doubts that social buttons are important to the site. However, it must be noted that they are also responsible for the slow loading of the pages.
The output may be in the use of a plugin like ShareBase, WordPress, which loads fast and brings together all the social buttons in a single module.
6. Increase site speed with a cache plugin
And speaking of plugins, also be aware of the indiscriminate use of them, since the excess of these resources delays the loading of the page. The solution to this situation is the use of a cache plugin, which stores the plugins in the cache, reducing the load on the server, which speeds up the loading of the site.
7. Pay attention to the images
More than half of a site’s traffic is associated with the images. That is why it is essential to have attention with this resource, which is fundamental but needs to be optimized.
There are many free services that can help you to reduce size without compromising image quality. If you prefer, you can do this manually.
8. Abandon the Gravatar
There are those who like the Globally Recognized Avatars, the Gravatars, which are the global recognition avatars that associate an icon with a person, identifying globally on the internet, as a personal logo. In fact, the idea is interesting, since it allows the quick recognition of users of chats, forums, and blogs.
It happens that each created avatar has 80 by 80 pixels. In terms of loading speed, it is easy to deduce what this represents on a page that needs to load 100 gravatar!
9. Install only as necessary
The same reasoning applies to plugins that, as we have seen, are recognized as villains that slow down websites.
So, avoid the temptation to install everything that comes in front of you and only uses what is really useful and favorable to the service of the site and the user experience.