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Make Your Website Faster: Tips to Increase Page Load Speed

In a time where Google puts its highest priority on user experience, and users are not willing to wait for much of anything… website load time is a critical factor for search engine rankings and retaining potential leads.

There are many factors to consider: browser, website host, device, page content, etc. But first, let’s start with YOUR website’s load time.

What’s my website loading speed?

You can check page load time through a couple avenues. If you use Chrome, you can use the Chrome extension “Page Load Time” or a separate tracker like Pingdom. You can also check if your website is loading fast enough for you visitors by checking your bounce rate. Bounce rate can be seen through Google Analytics. If the bounce rate is high, it can indicate load time is too slow. High bounce rate can also negatively impact Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Google Webmaster recommends a maximum of 2 second load time for an ecommerce website, but Google aims for a half a second. That’s fast.

frustrated user waiting for website to load

How to make my website faster

Compress: The file size that the browser renders is king. The smaller the image the faster the load time. Here are some tips to optimize your images for faster website load time.

  • Resize your images before you upload them onto a page. Don’t load a 5000x3500px image when your image on the page displays at 500×300. Your browser needs to calculate this resizing, and this takes time.
  • Remove all the metadata from an image to reduce the image size. For example, you don’t need to know what camera was used, where the photo was taken, etc… This can bloat the filesize that the browser needs to render. This takes time.
  • Consider compressing your CSS and Javascript files so that they are condensed into fewer files and the overall bytes loaded is smaller. This can make future edits to your site tedious and time consuming, so be sure to consult your web developer and get their advice before doing this.
  • Consult your website hosting provider about how to utilize gzip to serve your website files to browsers. Compressing the resources that the browser requests can allow your browser to get information faster.

Design, Coding & Content: The three main factors when build a website, all contributing to website load time. Here are some tips to optimize website design, coding and website content for fast website load time.

  • Remove the junk. Many prebuilt templates are built to sell and have ALL the features. By the time you have your content, images, page structure, etc. established, you’re left with a lot of dead weight you’re not using. Delete as much unnecessary data from your template as possible, including images, plugins and posts.
  • If speed is a top priority, consider getting a custom-built template. Often, prebuilt templates are built in a complex way to hide code, making it harder for others to “borrow” code. These hiding techniques are good at making it difficult to borrow, but they also sometimes make a browser load more files, or the structure of the code causes render blocking (some sections on the site cannot render until all the appropriate files are loaded). This can increase load time and create the illusion that the page loads extremely slow.
  • During the website design process, don’t force a ton of heavy elements into your design: Use fewer photos, host videos on YouTube, consider less “moving content” like ajax loading or lazy-load content.

Other Considerations: Consider utilizing the open source Accelerated Mobile Pages provided by Google. Basically, Google renders a snapshot of your site instead of reloading it for mobile users, so it loads lightning fast. But be sure to understand the problems with caching for this method of Google displaying your content.

How to design a fast website

The best route to go is to ditch the out-of-the-box solution and partner with a website design and SEO company. If you’re working with a team that builds websites to look beautiful with best SEO practices in mind, website load time will be considered through every step of the process.

Our website design and Search Engine Optimization Omaha team considers website load speed from the initial planning stages through our SEO strategy implementation. So, if you want to know how to design a fast website, let us know, or we can make it happen for you.

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Protect Your Website, Protect Your Customers

website security icon with shield and lock

Our Omaha web design and development team builds beautiful websites we hope will be kept updated and secure. Website security is one of our passions; as it helps keeps our websites and customers in business and successful.

Website security is so important to us that we have an entire team dedicated to website hosting and website security.

So, you say you don’t need website security…

Many businesses are skeptical of needing additional security for their website. Usually they retort with, “we don’t have anything valuable on our website.” And that seems reasonable, right? The website is not collecting sensitive data or payment information. But hackers are not usually looking for this type of “valuable” information. Instead, they are looking for a clean reputation. It’s not about how popular the website is or if it takes credit card information.

A clean website is the perfect place for hackers to host their own malicious content and mount a phishing campaign to collect data from users.wordfence logoMost of the websites our Omaha web development team builds are in WordPress. And WordPress is vulnerable to these hackers. But, WordPress and most WordPress plugins are being updated on a regular basis to resist these hacking attempts and protect websites and its visitors.

WordPress and WordPress plugins do not update automatically, and require manual work to protect against the most recent threats. Additional monitoring through Wordfence and server administration are also advised for best protection.

How can we help protect you?

It’s the recommendation of our Omaha web hosting team to update often. So often that we offer a website security package, through which we will update WordPress and plugins the day an update is released. Taking this small step to secure your website will save you hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars and will protect your website visitors from phishing campaigns.

So, while your website may not be collecting valuable information, and may only be a static, your website is not immune to attacks. Be educated and be proactive!

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