Website performance can have a dramatic impact on how your users interact with your site – increase your site’s speed with our quick tips.

Recent studies have shown that website loading speed has a dramatic effect on its performance and thereby on your online sales or conversions. Kissmetrics found that 40% of consumers will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Even more dramatically, back in 2009 Amazon found that every 100 milliseconds of latency which occurred on their website would result in a 1% loss in sales.

The good news is that there are some easy ways to improve your website’s performance and increase its loading speed.

First thing’s first: How fast is your site?

There are several online tools that will help you measure your website’s speed including Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Yahoo’s YSlow and Webpage Test. All these tools will give you a good indication of your website’s current performance and give recommendations on how to improve its speed.

5 easy ways to increase your website’s speed

Some of these will probably require the assistance of a web developer or someone with programming skills – others can be added quite easily in your site’s content management system.

1. Streamline your images

An easy fix which has a definite impact on website speed is reducing the size of your images. There are a couple of ways to do this without reducing the image quality. The first one is to use a site like JPGemini to shrink your images. Another is to install a plugin for your content management system such as EWWW Image Optimizer for WordPress.

2. Compress your site using GZIP

Now that you’ve streamlined your images you can use GZIP compression to target your text-based files (such as HTML, CSS and Javascript). Using GZIP compression can significantly increase your website’s speed by around 70% without losing any quality.

Check to see if your site is already compressed using GZIP using an online tool such as the GidZIP test. If not then speak to your hosting service about whether it’s possible to implement for your site.

3. Switch off features that are not being use

It’s worth doing an audit and removing any features on your site that are not required as these often require CSS or Javascript files that can slow down site loading time.

4. Caching matters

Investigating an efficient way of caching content on your site is another good way to significantly reduce page load time. This is because the internet browser is not required to ask the server for a new version of the page every time it is requested and can instead show a historic version. If your site is built with a content management system then you can use an efficient caching plugin like WP Super Cache for WordPress.

5. Minimise Round-Trip Times (RTT)

RTT refers to the number of requests that go to the server when a user accesses your website. Each element on the site (CSS files, javascript files, image files etc) is requested individually and so it’s important to minimise the number of round trips that need to be made. Google has a complete guide to best practises for minimising RTTs which you’ll probably need help from your web developer to implement.

If however the shoe is on the other foot and you are finding websites slow to load or you’re finding your connection unreliable, you may want to consider switching to Demon for fast dependable broadband. Take a look at the packages we have available on our Business Broadband page