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The need for speed: 5 ways to make your website load faster

For a while, you probably haven’t paid a huge amount of attention to your website’s load speeds. You might not even have had a great idea of how to measure them – but you can certainly start doing so by using the Google-provided PageSpeed Insights tool. There’s a very strong incentive for you to use it right now, too…

Google has revealed that, by the end of August, Core Web Vitals – several measures of a website’s loading speed – will be factored into search engine rankings. So, what can you do to push up your site’s scores?

Compress your site’s images 

It’s a cruel paradox that, the higher-resolution an image, the heavier it will weigh on the loading speed of your website if posted on it. You can, however, have your cake and eat it – or at least nibble at its icing, metaphorically-speaking – by compressing that image before adding it to your site.

While the picture might already have been compressed in Photoshop, you should still put this image through another compression tool such as TinyPNG or Smush

“Lazy load” data-intensive images 

What is “lazy loading”? It’s a clever technique where an object isn’t loaded until it is actually needed – and you can take this approach with images otherwise capable of draining your website’s zippiness. 

It works by delaying each image from loading until the user is meant to see it – for example, because they have scrolled down to where it resides. Fortunately, numerous plugins exist for lazy loading, making it easy to implement on your website.

Keep redirects to a minimum 

Every time your website has to redirect a visitor, such as when they have landed on an outdated URL, the site takes a little longer to load all of the page elements.

One common example of a redirect is one that points from http to https. It’s reassuring, then, that many plugins can force a switch to https before the page even loads, thereby bypassing the redirect entirely.

Don’t cram too much onto a single webpage 

If PageSpeed Insights warns you that a webpage is too big, you might assume this to mean the page is very long, which we acknowledge it could mean in your case. However, one alternative interpretation is that the page simply has too many elements or overly deep ones, like sliders and nested galleries.

It would therefore be worthwhile for you to go through a page and carefully prune its contents, asking yourself along the way which of them are really needed.

Make sure your website is on the right hosting plan 

Another thing PageSpeed Insights could tell you to do is reduce the “initial server response time”. This warning can pop up if you have skimped on your website’s hosting, leaving it ill-equipped to accommodate all of the traffic your site attracts.

Scenarios like this are why our many services here at Webahead include web hosting, where we can host your site on a Microsoft Windows server with full Perl and PHP support. We welcome email enquiries via info@webaheadinternetltd.co.uk

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