What is a website these days if it doesn’t load almost instantly. I have personally gone back to searches when a website doesn’t load fast enough for me. Call it impatience or whatever is fitting but no matter what you call it the age of near-instantaneous website loading is upon us. It only make sense that as our technology constantly grows to unseen heights that our expectations for speed would have to catch up; what would be the point of innovative technology if it moved like dial up? That’s why it’s up to you as a business owner to make sure that your site speed is as fast possible.
To give you an idea of what you’re looking for (or what the basics are of page speed) I’ll break it down to a few things that you need to know about speeding up your site.
Don’t be too intimidated by the sounds of this it’s not all that bad. Basically, your site is built out of a bunch of code which is put into different files (scripts) in different folders that form up your site. Each file plays its own role, essentially built for a specific function. Take for example the styling of your site. This is going to be built using a styling language (CSS) but to make sure everything’s organized in an easy to access way, your specific styling is saved into CSS files that are organized under CSS folders. It really comes down to an organization thing being that hundreds of files are generally used to create a site and its various features. Within each file (depending on the file) there are multiple lines, sometimes hundreds, that take longer for the browser to read the more lines there are. The idea behind minification is taking all those lines and condensing them into one line (quite possibly a few lines) to make it a quicker process for your browser to read so it doesn’t take as long to load.
There are a ton of plugins for WordPress on image compression alone but we’re not gonna dive down the rabbit hole for that quite yet for that. The basic sentiment here is that a lot of images (ones you’ve probably already uploaded to your site) are not completely optimized, i.e. they are larger files than they need to be. One way of speeding up your site is to compress these images so they require less to load.
Image Lazy Loading
Having your images “lazy load” is basically meaning that images won’t load until an element is on the screen. Put simply, it’s a way to make all those files load faster because images on the page won’t be loaded all at once, only what’s on the screen so the screen can load a lot faster.
Content Delivery Network
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network that will store your site files in multiple servers (the things that deliver your website files to a browser) in a variety of places. Generally, this will be around the country or world depending on where a lot of your visitors come from. The idea behind this is that with those files so readily accessible and closer, it will take a lot less time for a browser requesting the files to get them, therefore, speeding up the process of loading your site.
Despite the fact that you may not have coding experience there are still plenty of ways you can make your site one of the future that loads near instantaneously. Albeit, this is assuming you have a WordPress site or hopefully have a Denver web design team to help out if you don’t. In most cases you’ll be able to talk to your Webmaster/Developer to get your site where it needs to be but just in case your more of a DIY person or just don’t have the funds for a developer, here’s some things that can help bring your website into the 21st century speed wise.
WP Super Cache
One of the more popular caching plugins, WP Super Cache is exactly what you need for your caching concerns. Giving you the abilities like being able to serve static html files, do a cache preload, and allowing for CDN support, you can really upgrade your site speed with one of the best caching tools (for a quick overview, caching is when certain files stay on a user’s computer if they’ve been to your site before so that some stuff is on their computer before coming back and making it easier to load).
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
One of the best plugins that we’ve come across for image compression without causing any additional problems. This plugin will compress images without compromising the quality of the image. From what we’ve seen, there’s a few plugins out there that you have to worry about image quality after images are compressed even when it comes to particular images like thumbnails but from what we’ve experienced so far, Smush Image Compression and Optimization doesn’t seem to have this problem.