Checking and Improving Your Page Load Time

Have you heard about the importance of speed? Within Ottawa’s modern internet scene, streamlined loading is not only common, but it is expected as well. Faster load times means less frustrated users “bouncing” or quickly leaving your site, and if you’re not careful, slower load times can lead to a decline in your search engine rankings. Not sure where you stand in the load time department? Here is more information to help you discern your site’s load time and to help you speed it up too!

How Fast Is My Website?

Before thinking about improving your load times, it can be a good idea to figure out your site’s loading times first. This information will help you set goals; it will ultimately tell you how much you need to optimize your site for speed or if you need to optimize at all. Some great tools for checking your Ottawa site’s speed include browser plugins that will actively track each site’s speed or actual websites like “Web Page Test” that can handily test the speed of a page from the perspective of different browsers (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.). These websites can also often check how page speeds are for a variety of different mobile devices as well. Google has also developed its own alternative for finding out page speed known as “PageSpeed Insights”. This tool can be great giving you Google’s own critique of your site’s speed and will provide advice for possible amendments you can make to both your desktop and mobile site versions. It can always be enlightening to use these tools on not only your own site but on competitors’ sites to see where you stand in Ottawa’s online marketplace. Also consider analyzing popular sites to see what they may be doing better than a run-of-the-mill site.

What Can I Do to Improve My Load Times?

If you are now certain that your load times could use some improvement, follow some the advice below to get started on your journey toward a zippier website.

  • Image Optimization: Consider making your images formatted as JPEG XR or WebP file types to reduce their data bandwidth. Focusing on using smaller images rather than large, sprawling ones will also help tremendously. Also try “smush.it!” or “reSmush.it” for simply
  • Caching: Implementing a plugin like “WP Super Cache” will help to store up-to-date webpages and will thereby dramatically reduce load times.
  • Scripts: Minimizing JavaScript and CSS can help speed up your site as well. Just remember not to over-do it; you want your scripts to remain legible. Also look into placing your scripts in external files so that they will load faster when users revisit your site; just avoid doing this for JavaScript that loads at the top of your page!
  • Redirects: While 301 Redirects are invaluable for making necessary modifications while maintaining search engine rankings, remember that too many consecutive redirects can really bog down load times.
  • GZIP: This compression technique can do wonders for your load times. It can compress your files by over 50% without a loss in quality. Your web host will be able to tell you if this type of compression is enabled for your specific server(s). Deflation is also a good alternative to GZIP compression.

Keep in mind that there are a variety of other tools and techniques you can use reduce your page load times; try many different approaches to see what works best for your website and soon you’ll be outpacing the rest of the online competition in Ottawa!

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