The loading speed of your website is one of the most important factors Google considers while ranking. Although this wasn’t so a couple years ago, the significance of site speed (how quickly your website loads in your browser or mobile device) has been growing rapidly with time. A slow website would mean slower crawling rate and hence the speed at which Google will index the pages of your site will also be slow. Research shows that people don’t like to read on slow sites or even buy from them. It is a faster website that enhances the user experience. Therefore, if you want to boost traffic to your website in an organic way and reach higher rankings, you will have to increase the speed of your pages load on your website. A fast site is a user friendly site.
Site Speed Tools
First thing you need to do before you increase the speed of your site is check its speed using one of the site speed tools below. Checking from different locations might give you different results, which is why all speed tools may not give you identical results. Therefore, it is better to try out a couple of the tools given below, without relying on just one of them.
Google Page Speed Insights
Apart from providing you with the load time of your website, Pingdom also gives you a performance grade that it calculates based on various factors. It monitors your website continuously, checking its speed, uptime and performance at a nominal charge per month.
This is a free tool that you can use to find out the performance grade of any website that you may visit. It has about twenty performance grades that it uses to rate websites. Also, you can even take advantage of some free advice on how to improve the performance and speed of your website. You will love the way this tool breaks down the details.
WebPagetest gives you the load time of your website and also grades it based on its performance. There are about six different performance grades it gives based on a variety of factors. It also gives you a few suggested changes that you can work on in order to improve the speed of your website. The option to select the country from which you want to run your test makes it easier to find out how your website performs in different places of the world.
Once you test your websites on all these tools, you will be able to get a complete overview of the way in which your site performs.
Plugins for site Speed
One more way to speed up your site is to install a caching plugin. A few good ones below include:
WP Super Cache
This is an excellent plugin which does exactly what it is supposed to do – cache your site.
This provides a solution to increase the speed of your site minus risks and hassles. Although this is a better plugin, you have to pay for this as against WP Super Cache that comes absolutely free.
W3 Total Cache
This is also a good plugin to cache your site and increase its speed. However, it may not work for everyone. This is the top of the line tool and has may options. To many for the less experienced but once nicely tuned in will make your site load very quickly. It is capable of improving a score from 50 a 80 or more.
Suggestions to improve Site Speed
Apart from using a site speed tool and installing a caching plugin, there are many other things that you can do to increase the speed of your website. These include:
- Moving to another hosting service (You get what you pay for)
- Optimizing the images on your site (oversized images are extremely bad for load speed)
- Minimizing HTTP requests (Less files is faster)
- Enabling the option to compress your web page (Browser caching and server caching)
- Using a CDN (Cloud Flare is very easy to setup)
- Optimizing your CSS delivery (This takes some experience so be careful)
Doing a bit of research might help you come up with many other solutions to increase the speed of your website. Although this might take a bit of your time and efforts it is very much worthwhile to hire a professional.