We would all love to have a website which loads within a second. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the hardware which is capable of this. Generally, you should aim to have a loading speed of about three seconds. If you’re looking to improve your website so it can reach this level, here are some tips for doing it on a shoestring budget.
Know the Reality of Investments
Nobody wants to spend more than they need to on anything. You have to look at this with a long-term approach. You might spend money now, but by increasing page speed you’re increasing your potential revenues from your website. A good user experience will enhance your chances of making a successful conversion.
Whilst we would always advocate doing it as cheaply as you possibly can, you shouldn’t compromise for the purposes of saving a few pence here and there.
Your Choice of Web Host
Hosting a website isn’t an expensive business. Budget web hosts are good for smaller websites with very limited traffic levels. As you start to get more popular your site will naturally slow down. Budget web hosts, which happen to be the biggest hosts, only have small spaces for each website on their services. They aren’t designed for sites with lots of traffic.
Look into switching web hosts or upgrading to a different package. Websites getting thousands of visitors each year would want to upgrade to a dedicated web hosting package. This would enable them to have a server all to themselves.
Deal with the Content on the Screen
The page speed is really just the rendering speed. How quickly does it take all the elements of a web page to appear? Videos and image take up a lot of space and therefore take a while to load. If you have large images with super high quality levels you need to consider whether they’re really necessary.
Some experimental projects have started to work on brutal file compression. They compress files so much they don’t impact on your page speed any longer. Whilst there will be a time where videos and large images will be perfectly acceptable, for now you need to make some decisions on the sort of content you display.
Look at sites like eBay and Google. They don’t need to utilise lots of fancy graphics to succeed.
Check Your Code
Your browser reads through all your code as it renders your website. The less code there is the less time it takes to read through it. Some amateur web designers make the mistake of writing every piece of code for each page. Professional web designers write separate files and link to them for each page. This reduces the amount of time it takes for the browser to read it.
It’s a form of compression. Get a professional audit. It’s not particularly expensive and it’s a job which only takes a few minutes if you tell them exactly what you want. They’ll be able to tell you if the site has been coded correctly, or whether it needs some cleaning up.