Working on your site and making it load faster is not an option these days – it’s a must. It’s essential for your business. Optimizing site load speed directly impacts your bounce rate and conversions.  Even if you’re running a hobby site, you still need to make sure it loads quickly, or nobody else will be interested in staying on it for very long.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make it run faster. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using WordPress or another popular platform, there are both small and major things you can do to significantly increase your site’s load time.

1- If you are running a WordPress blog, be sure to install the WP Super Cache plugin. It generates static html files, which will be served to most visitors instead of the heavier WordPress PHP script. Even the small number of visitors who will not see the static html files will still benefit from a slightly faster loading time, as they will see different cached files that are not as fast as the static files, but still faster than uncached versions.

2- Use a plugin such as Lazy Load to only allow images to load when they are visible on the visitors’ viewport. This type of plugin prevents images from loading when the user will be unable to see them anyway.

3- Another trick you can do with photos and graphics is to implement new formats to reduce the size. New image formats you might want to try to adopt include JPEG XR and WebP. They will reduce image weight and load time by at least 20% without sacrificing quality.

4- Go over all of the plugins you have installed and consider whether you need each and everyone. If there are any you can do without, disable or uninstall them. It may be worth sacrificing a plugin or two to help increase your site speed a bit. There is also the possibility that some of them may be outdated and not running properly anyway. You will need to get rid of those or update them if you really need them.

5- Take measures to minify CSS and JavaScript. You can remove unnecessary elements such as extra space and line breaks. There are minification tools available that will reduce a script size by up to 20%. However, make sure you use the right tool, otherwise the script may appear squished together and unreadable.

6- Does your hosting include a firewall? How safe is it? Don’t bother with a hosting package that doesn’t come guaranteed with a firewall and other security features. Not only does it protect your own private information as well as that of your visitors, secure hosting also makes your site run faster by removing spam traffic and denying potential attacks. If your site or blog administration ends up under DDoS attack, everything will run very slowly as it can’t process a high number of login attempts.

7- Deferring JavaScript code loading helps to make a site run faster. However, you must make sure you do it correctly. Use a plugin that is designed for deferring the execution of JavaScript so that it loads when the page load is completed.

After you make the necessary changes, use a site speed test, such as the one offered by Google, to make sure your site loads fast enough to please the search engine crawlers.

Andrew Crowe

Andrew is a unique addition to the Nova team, not only does he possess a wealth of graphic design experience, he also is a seasoned web developer who has worked with many CMS products and excels at creating stunning (UXD) User Experience Design. Andrew puts a little bit of soul in every webdesign project, giving the design a life of it's own.

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