Speeding up your small business website isn’t just for bragging rights that you have the fastest loading website around. A faster website will get more views and keep customers sticking around longer. If a website takes even 10 seconds to load, there’s a good chance that it will have a sky high bounce rate that will limit its effectiveness.
Think of a slow website in terms of seeing a long line at your favorite restaurant. No one wants to wait! Quickly loading your website provides impatient customers with what they want without delay. Best yet, it’s not hard to optimize your website to make it load faster.
Removing Unnecessary Website Files
Clean up old images, themes, and pages that you don’t need any more. These things can accumulate, but if you set aside time at the start of each year to do some house cleaning of your files, you’ll be in better shape than skipping it altogether.
Don’t forget to empty out comment spam and to run database clean up files to make sure you’re only processing what you need to make your site run. Database files can get cluttered as you run updates on your site if you don’t keep track of them.
Changing to Updated Coding
Old school websites created in basic HTML need to be constructed from scratch by web browsers. That’s not a bad thing when you were just starting out, but as you add to a website, it can lose a lot of loading speed. Thankfully website coding has advanced to provide better options.
For instance, if you use a website template or predesigned theme, use one with CSS—cascading style sheets. This is an extremely common code for websites today since CSS provides a simple guide for loading your website, saving browsers a ton of time while sorting through the parts of your pages that need to be loaded.
Improve Website Security
If hackers have permission to alter your files, you never know how much heft has been added to your website. By changing your passwords regularly and making sure your file permissions are secure, you’ll eliminate any unwanted code additions that could drag your site down.
Besides the regular drag that website attacks can bring about, you also don’t want your site to be hacked and taken down for an extended period of time. If a hacker has corrupted your files, there’s also a chance that Google will flag your site in searches as a host to viruses—a situation that could really harm your inbound search marketing.
Reduce Image Sizes
While you could delete your old image files that you’re no longer using, you can also compress the images you want to use with these free and simple image compression tools that will save you a ton of space. If you post images to your blog every day, these are must-have website tools!
For PC: Riot
Riot is one of the many image reduction programs you can find for Windows. While you’ll need to uncheck additional programs during the installation process, it is extremely easy to use and can handle jpg, gif, and png images through its simple interface. You can do batch compressions and also compare different compression sizes with Riot, making it extremely versatile for a wide variety of users.
For Mac: Image Optim
This open source image size reduction tool gets high marks form designers who love its simple drag and drop functions that make it a breeze to resize jpg, gif, or png images. While you should always resize website image to the smallest size possible in order to save space, you can also take away any unnecessary resolution for online viewing by using this tool.
Keep in mind that you don’t ant to alter your original images with this tool. You should only reduce files that are being used for online viewing. If you want to use the same image for a print brochure, be sure to save a higher resolution version.
For the Web: PunyPNG
PunyPNG is a free online image compression tool that allows users to reduce image size without losing the resolution of the originals. PunyPNG handles all three types of images and is used by name brand companies.
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