Site load times not only impact visitors but also a site's SEO. Optimizing a site's load time isn't always easy or strait forward. Here are some of our favorite tips to let anyone improve their site's load time.
Before discussing what can be done to improve site load times, lets talk about how to find out your site's load time.
Site Speed Analytics
Ideally you want your site to load in 3 seconds or less. You have your site speed, now let's improve it!
Install a Caching Plugin
If you are one of the millions of site's using WordPress WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache are 2 great options to easily install caching abilities to your site. Install and configure your plugin, then test out your faster site.
Use a CDN
A CDN or content delivery network takes some of the strain off your web host. Your CDN will host static site elements like images on their servers, alleviating some of the traffic on your own host. There are many different CDNs available. CloudFlare, Amazon CloudFront, and Max CDN are some of the most popular.
Clean Up Your Site
When was the last time you cleaned up your web host? Do you have lots of random files just taking up space for no reason? Go through and clear out the junk taking up unnecessary space.
Limit Your Plugins
If you are a WordPress user limit your plugin use. Too many plugins will slow down your site. If a plugin is not in use, delete it.
Are hotlinkers stealing your bandwidth? Most hosts give the ability to disable hotlinking in your CPanel, as well as determine which domains do allow hotlinking. This will not only help you control your images' use, but also limit the load on your own server.
Review Your Site's Code
Optimize Your Images
Is your site image intensive? Optimizing your images for the web is a must! Even in this day and age of fast internet and retina displays, paying attention to your image sizes is important.
Upgrade Your Hosting Plan
Shared hosting might be affordable, but that can come at a price: site load times. Since as the name implies you are sharing the server your site is hosted on with a number of other sites you may experience slowdowns that are beyond your control. Beyond the tips already mentioned there's little you can do to stop this other than upgrading your hosting plan to a private server or moving to a different host. Not all hosts are created equal, so it does pay to shop around for the best value (not necessarily the best deal).
Site speed is important no matter your niche. From a lifestyle blogger to an e-commerce site and everything in between visitors (and Google) expect fast sites. You can improve your site's loading speed! So what are you waiting for? Get started! Do you have an awesome tip to improve site loading speeds that we missed? Share it with us in the comments!