One of the first things I look at when a website is taking forever to load is the images.
Images should be roughly 50KB or less. Anything exceeding 1MB is basically out-of-the-question.
You also want to make your images progressive. A progressive image is one that starts out low quality but then builds in quality as the page loads. They can also be roughly 10% smaller than baseline JPEGs, so that’s less data your website has to load.
Keeping your images small enough that they don’t slow down your website but also high quality enough that your website doesn’t look like garbage can sometimes be difficult, but it’s usually easy to pull off.
There are ways you can optimize images and Photoshop is definitely one of them.
There are also plugins you can use – Smush, for instance – that can do this for you automatically.
Too Many Plugins
It’s easy to accrue tons of plugins on your website for various reasons and later forget about them.
These plugins become useless when you’ve accomplished whatever one-time task you needed them for, or if you’ve found a newer, better plugin that you’re using in its place.
They’re also easy access points for hackers.
Deactivate and delete any unnecessary plugins on your website.
Unclean code – that is to say, code with excessive inline stylings, white spaces, empty lines, etc. – is going to bloat your website stylesheet.
All right, that’s a lot of technical language, but to put it simply: The underlying “quantum level” of your website is simply code. There are various forms of code – HTML, JS, CSS, PHP – and all of them are their own “language”, so to speak. All of them can also contain a lot of unnecessary elements that can slow down your website.
The solution to this is to compress – or “minify” – the code.
Look, if you’re like most people and you don’t know the first thing about coding, you have 2 options – find someone who does or use a plugin.
HOWEVER, I would not recommend the latter option unless you have some idea of what you’re doing – plugins that compress code can screw up your website, so before you go that route, BACKUP YOUR WEBSITE!
Not Using gZIP Compression
When a browser accesses a website, it does so via the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
An HTTP request is sent to the website’s server – the server then responds to the request by processing back-end code, querying databases, and ultimately building the page – then the server sends the page to the browser.
gZIP compression instructs your server to wrap all of your website’s data into a single container prior to being sent to the browser. Ultimately, this reduces the size of the data being transferred and thus speeds up your website’s loading process.
Plugins like Hummingbird can do this for you, but again, when it comes to coding, it’s best to hire someone who knows what they’re doing if you don’t speak code-language yourself.
(And again – BACKUP YOUR WEBSITE FIRST!)
Not Using Caching Techniques
Remember how I explained how browsers and servers communicate in the section above? That info applies here.
Caching stores data so that it can be delivered up faster.
There are three main types of caching – browser caching, site caching, and server caching.
Site and server caching stores frequently requested data in a cached memory, meaning future requests for that content will be served up faster.
There are ways of doing this on both the server and site level, and ways of doing so that include automatic updates of cached data every time an update is made on a page (so users aren’t seeing outdated versions of your pages).
Doing this can massively increase your website’s load speed.
A Slow-Loading Website Is Going To Tank Your Rankings & Traffic
Conversely, taking care of the issues illustrated above can result in a significant ranking boost.
It’s not so much that Google and other search engines reward fast websites; rather, they punish slow ones.
Arcane Marketing can help with all of these issues. Let’s get in touch and see what we can do for you.