Website development is the bane of many businesses. As important as it is to have a well-designed, highly-performing website, it can be very difficult to build and maintain one. However, as challenging as it may be, your website is a crucial touchpoint for your successful business. And it’s not just about internet sales. 82 percent of smartphone shoppers conduct local searches to find businesses.
How can you organize and produce a high-quality, SEO optimized website? One solution is to code it, by hand, from the ground up. This can give you a fast site that is highly ranked in google searches. However, most companies can’t afford the time or money for this sort of site design.
Most companies, instead, turn to more ready-made solutions, like WordPress. Did you know that it’s estimated that WordPress powers nearly 30% of the internet today? Don’t get the wrong impression: WordPress doesn’t mean you are using a simple or shoddy system. WordPress is built on over 400,000 lines of code and today, would cost over $6 million to produce. Powering with WordPress is building on the best open source platform in the world.
The problem is, using a database-based solution can get bulky and bring your overall performance down due to things like image sizes and duplicate code. The great news is there are solutions that can speed up your site.
Speeding Up Your Site
If you’re facing challenges with your website speed, the first thing you need to do is diagnose the problem. The good news is there are several tools out there to help you do just that. Websites like Pingdom or GT Metrix can analyze your business’s website. Not only will they tell you how fast your site runs, they can also provide you with analytical data that can pinpoint problem areas that are bogging your site down. Three of those areas include image sizes, overly complicated code, and server distribution.
One of the biggest drags on website speed comes from media used in the design. Images and video can slow performance as the site has to wait for these various bits to load. You might think video is the main culprit here, but in reality images are often the greater culprit. This is due to the fact that most websites contain far more images than video, and most people don’t take the time to compress images. In addition, video can be embedded and streamed from another source, minimizing impact on the bandwidth of the website on which it is displayed.
When a web page loads, the receiving browser requests all of the resources displayed on the web page in question. If images aren’t compressed, they create a bottleneck as the large files delay the load of additional resources and assets.
The easiest way to fix this is to resize images before using them. This can be done manually, but WordPress also contains several tools to do this. Three of the most popular include Imagify, ImageRecycle and EWWW Image Optimizer. While they all do more or less the same thing, they are each slightly different in the bells and whistles they offer.
Imagify can be free, but for those who need more space there are paid plans available. This application offers bulk optimization options and guarantees your image quality remains the same as the original. ImageRecycle does many of the same things, but offers PDF optimization as well. This tool continuously runs in the background, which means your site is always optimized. EWWW Image Optimizer is the free version, which might not be ideal for larger operations. However, for smaller businesses this can handle just about anything you throw at it.
Code is the language that runs your website. The problem is, code can often become overly complex. As new features are added and old ones are removed, code can become redundant or written in such a way that the code itself bogs down your performance. One solution is to minify the code — in other words, get rid of everything extra and have the code rewritten to be a short and sweet as possible.
Again, WordPress comes with several tools to do this, including WP Rocket, Autoptimize and Fast Velocity Minify. All three of these tools are worth checking out. Autoptimize works with HTML, Java and CSS, and does most of its work with just the touch of a button. Fast Velocity Minify works by combining scripts so there is less for each server to do. It also creates caches to increase future loads. WP Rocket is the only paid option on this list, but you definitely get your money’s worth. WP Rocket works with a variety of scripts and guarantees the fastest loading times available.
A third thing that can affect performance is server distribution. Are your servers in only one place? Or are you making use of a CDN?
See, database-driven website work differently. Instead of just reading a page of HTML, browsers call information from a stored site (the database) and then compile the site. The location and number of servers involved can greatly impact your load time. In a CDN, the information is stored on servers all around the globe. This means that anyone who pulls up a site can have a (more or less) local server bring up the database, which makes load time exponentially quicker.
Are you facing slow load speeds on your website? Talk with Green Vine Marketing about website design, website optimization and mobile ready website design.