How to speed up your website

How to speed up your website

What’s the most annoying thing that happens when you click on a website?

Terrible layout? 
Not being able to find what you’re looking for?
The website takes AGES to load?

We asked everyone in our office, and by far the TOP of the annoying ‘web charts’ was…drum roll…slow loading speed.

Who has time to wait for more than 3 seconds for a website to load? Honestly?
In our office, we’d already be thinking about what we’re getting for lunch by second 2.

How does your website fare?

There are many things out there you can test your website speed on. We find the most accurate one to use is the inspect element feature in your browser.

All you do is right click on your screen and select ‘inspect’ from the drop-down menu, then select Network from the tabs at the top, then refresh your web page. This will give you a very accurate reading of the speed your website is loading.

The downfall of this is that it’s only testing how your website fares on a desktop. To test your website’s speed on mobile head over to Test My Site. 

We’re sorry if your website’s running a little slower than you’d like, but not to worry!

 

Here at Ginger Root, we know speed is one of the most important things to ensure your website ranks higher on Google.

But what exactly can be done to speed your website up? We put a few procedures in place to ensure your website is as fast as it can be.

File Compression

 

Plugins

One way we increase the speed of your website is by reducing the number of files the browser has to load.
Most modern Content Management System or CMS websites like WordPress, Joomla!, or Typo3, have lots of different small files to download.

This can slow your website down, but we combat this. Here at Ginger Root, we use a plugin that combines lots of these files together meaning there are fewer files for the browser to download. It combines your CSS (styling) and JS (JavaScript) files which reduces your overall loading time.

Gzip

We also use something called Gzip compression which just compresses all your files into a smaller file. Think of a Microsoft Zip folder, it basically does the same thing.
This can typically save 50% -70% of the original file size, increasing the speed of your site.
Essentially, it works when a browser asks for a page from your website, your web server will get the compressed files (the Gzip files) rather than the bigger, original files, resulting in faster loading time.

Using these methods of compression ensure your website files are as small as possible, contributing to the increased speed of the website.

Images

 

Image Sizes

Everyone uses images on their website, but not everyone knows the best way to optimise them so they don’t slow down your website too much.

We take into account the image sizes when we build your website. Images have two ways they can be measured:

size (this is its width and height in pixels)
and
weight (this is the file size in kilobytes ‘KB’ or megabytes ‘MB’).

First, we ensure the image is only as big as it’s needed to be. If an image displays on a web page at 700pixels wide, it doesn’t need to be uploaded at 4000pixels wide now does it?
It’s like trying to fit your size 10 feet into a pair of size 9 shoes.
What we take the time to do is reduce the size to fit the container on the web page.

Image Quality

When we reduce an image’s size to fit, we also drop the quality slightly. This gives the image less “weight” (we typically aim for around 100 KB in size) We aim for around 50% – 70% quality, which doesn’t impact on how the human eye sees the image.

The last thing we do to ensure your website has the smallest image sizes in the whole damn town!
The way to do this is to install a plugin to compress the image even further. This plugin takes your image when it’s uploaded to the site and compresses it but in such a way that no visual quality is lost. As soon as the image quality starts to become visually reduced, it stops compressing. MAGIC!

The three methods above ensure your images are as small as possible, which will ultimately increase the speed of your website but without losing any visual quality.

Caching

This is simply a way of having a pre-built page for the browser to load rather than it having to rebuild the page every time it loads your website.

The plugin we use preloads the pages on your website, so the browser already has everything it needs to load the pre-built, static pages when someone visits your site.

This results in your pages loading at a fraction of the speed. It’s worth taking into consideration that half a second loading time can reduce your traffic by 20%, it’s a pretty useful and important plugin to use.
This plugin is also updated every week, so it keeps your website up to date with the latest styling.

My website’s too slow can you help?

 

Of course we can!

 

A fast website is crucial to compete in Google searches and is vital for your customer journey too.
No one likes a slow loading website and people will often leave websites if they take too long to load.

Give Ginger Root’s web & digital team a call, we can make your website run like the wind.
Get in touch on 0115 88 00 181 or email hello@ginger-root.co.uk

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