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There’s no doubt about it – website speed matters.

As average internet connection speeds increase around the world and mobile use dominates, web users are becoming less and less tolerant of slow load times. 53% of mobile users will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load, and nearly 10% of web users will bounce after 2 seconds. Clearly, every second counts.

At the same time, Google has stated unequivocally that page speed is a ranking factor in search results.

In short, a fast site gets better results both from visitors and Google. To take advantage of these dual benefits, you need to make site speed a priority on your site. Following are the points to intensify the website loading speed:

Optimize Your Images:

One of the best and easiest ways to get your pages loading faster is optimize your images. This quick two-step image optimization process can go a long way to speeding your website up.

(1) Re-size your images before uploading them.
(2) Compress your images.

Do a Plugin Purge:

Keep in mind, every plugin you add requires resources to run – and more resources mean a slower site. If you notice your site is running slowly, perform a plugin review.

Go through the list and identify any plugins you aren’t actually using or that don’t seem to be adding anything worthwhile to your site performance. Go ahead and get rid of these.

Ensure Your Site Scripts Are Up to Date:

Depending on the CMS or e-commerce platform your site uses, you may need to check back regularly to determine whether new releases of your site’s scripts are available.

If they are, upgrade your site as soon as possible. Updating your scripts to the latest versions could go a long way towards eliminating coded roadblocks that prevent your site from loading quickly.

Make Use of CDNs:

Content Delivery Networks, or CDNs, are vast networks of servers that are housed around the world. Typically, if you’re not using a CDN, then your site will load from your web hosting server’s central location for every visitor to your site.

This can lead to slow site speeds, especially if your visitors are located far away from the central location of your server.

CDN’s solve this problem by letting your users access a cached version of your site from the web host that’s closest to them. Better yet, if one of your server locations is overloaded, they can be switched to a new server location, ensuring faster speeds all around.

Enable Browser Caching:

Browser caching is a technology that allows a visitor’s browser to store copies of your site’s individual pages so that when the visitor returns in the future, the content can be called up from within the cache rather than reloading the entire page.

This saves the number of resources used to display your pages, resulting in faster overall load times for your visitor.

Keep CSS files at the Top and JavaScript at the Bottom:

Finally, keep your site’s code neat and tidy by adding CSS files to the top of your page’s code and JavaScript snippets to the bottom when working with raw HTML pages.

Adding your CSS files to the top of the page prohibits progressive rendering, saving resources that web browsers would otherwise use to load and redraw elements of your pages.

Adding JavaScript to the bottom prevents your pages from waiting on full code execution before loading – leading to a faster browsing experience for your visitors.

Minimize and Optimize Redirects:

Sometimes redirects are necessary, but if they’re used any more than required they can slow down page load times. Regularly check the links on your website to make sure that all your links — internal and external — go directly to the main URL for a page.

In the cases where you do need to use redirects, make sure you only use one redirect for a page. You never want a browser to have to do the work of redirecting a visitor from one page to another that redirects it to a third.

Upgrade Your Web Hosting:

When starting out, you probably selected the cheapest hosting option for your website. That’s normal and usually works well enough for a new website while you’re starting to build visibility and traffic.

If your website traffic has increased considerably and you haven’t upgraded your hosting plan to match, that’s likely to cause slow or spotty performance issues.

Going from shared hosting to cloud hosting, or from shared to a VPS, can make a huge difference to how quickly your website loads for visitors.