Measuring site speed
When is the last time you measured the speed of your website? Page speed is a measurement of how fast the content on your page loads. If you haven't measured lately or if you're curious as to how your site measures up, you can test it (and your competitors' sites!) with Pingdom or Google. You can also compare your website to your competitors with WhichLoadsFaster.
Page speed is a first impression, and speedy pages help create conversions. Half of web users expect a load time of 2 seconds or less, and they'll abandon a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Walmart.com noted that with every second of increased page speed, they saw a two percent increase in conversion rates.
Lastly, Google has indicated one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages, which basically means speedier pages = higher ranking.
Improve Site Speed with these 5 Tactics
So what are 5 things you (or your friendly Minneapolis website design team) can do to increase your site's speed?
Improve the code that your site is built on - ExpressionEngine (the platform), for example, is built using the PHP coding language. Improvements in the latest version of this language (particularly PHP7) have been made that can improve the speed with which your site can be viewed by a browser. Make sure you are taking advantage of these improvements and are at the hightest possible level.
Make sure your images are not too large - Images with a file size that is too large will require more data to be downloaded, slowing down the user experience. To optimize the images, you have to consider the pixel size needed for the page (ex. 350 x 500), the resolution, and any other options for compression that can be used at the code level. Images that are too large can impact your SEO, and a simple crawl of your site can identify any that need to be improved.
Use httpd2 - Similar to how most cell phones have transitioned from 3G to 4G service, web servers now have better protocols the optimize site speed. You'll want to make sure your server is using the most advanced techology.
Caching your site - Work with your developer to make sure as much of your site that makes sense is cached. Caching allows the user to keep or reuse as much of the page or template as possible between page views, meaning they have to download less to see the page, speeding up the rate at which the page is seen.
Update your CMS - There have been so many advances in device technology in the last few years, platforms like ExpressionEngine are continuously improving the way they communicate with the browsers. Take advantage of this optimization by updating to the newest version.
Want to work with our team to improve your website speed? Contact us here or give us a call at 612.605.0822.