How do I speed up my website in 2019?

This article is going to give you my 15 top tips on improving site speed in 2019. At the end of this article, you will have enough information to bring your site speed and increase your website by up to 50%.

5th February 2019

By Jon Pankhurst

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How do I speed up my website in 2019?

Benchmarking your website speed

Before you start you need to get a benchmark of how well your website is performing we recommend two tools Google developer tools and a website called pingdom in tandem to get to report and get your benchmark here are some URLs:

Google developers

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Pindom  

https://tools.pingdom.com/

With over 60% of Internet traffic now on a mobile device your focus really should be on the mobile report specifically and start with that work first.

  • Image size
  • Video hosting
  • Inline styling
  • Lazy loading
  • Reducing redirects

Reducing Photos and graphic sizes

You need to start with looking at how large the photographs or graphics you are uploading to your website. We recommend creating a workflow for every photograph that you upload to your website. We recommend using Photoshop and the option save for web the reason why we like save for web as a function is that it allows you to change the size of the file easily. For example it could be 1080 by 920 and you would rather it was 600 wide, it’s possible to set the percentage you would like to reduce the photograph by, so you can set it to 30% of the original file size without any degradation of the photograph quality.  And that is really important because you need to use unique and original photography that has been prepared in a way that Google likes to view it.

So why do we need to go to the bother of reducing the file size of the photograph before you upload it?  Google uses customer experience as a search engine ranking Factor and user experience means that if someone lands on a webpage that they found through Google search that is relevant and they stay on that webpage that person has been satisfied by the Google search result and Google’s goal is to be the number one online search function.


Video hosting

With video marketing becoming more and more valuable for your online marketing you need to consider how you are going to host your videos.

Do not be tempted to host your videos yourself on your own web server. With so many hosting platforms out there that can do a far better job of streaming or buffering a video, to host a video on your own infrastructure will only reduce the site speed and make the user experience less favourable.

We recommend the following websites for hosting your video

  • Youtube
  • Vimeo
  • Wistia

YouTube.

The largest video hosting platform on the planet currently there are plenty of advantages for using it. YouTube is a well-known brand and people will feel secure  watching your video on that platform. However the downside of using YouTube is that of course it is branded like YouTube and it may look ugly when it's embedded on your website.

There are some urban myths around on the internet saying that you can't hide your competitors content on your embedded videos but if you add &rel=0 to the end of your video url it will show related videos from your channel

Vimeo

Vimeo is also a large video hosting platform.  With Vimeo You can brand your video so that looks and feels like your company and gives off a more professional look however this does come over cost as you pay for hosting and bandwidth of your videos directly to them.

Wistia

With wistia not only can you Brand your videos so it looks and feels like your company, but you can use very powerful tool by embedding calls to action directly within your video so you can ask people to go to a webpage to fill out a form for example.

It also has a very powerful statistic function so that you can find out how engaged your audience are with your content and change your videos accordingly

Inline styling

So what is inline styling?  It's very easy for people to add styling to how a web page will look directly within the HTML of the web page but this is very bad practice.  Every time the page is requested from the browser it must download all the HTML, so it's important to remember that any code that is controlling the style or the look and feel of the webpage needs to be placed within a relative file, type: cascading style sheet or CSS.

Example of how not to do it below:



Example of how to do it below:

Lazy loading

If you can lazy load your images, ie when you are scrolling through a web page they get  loaded as and when they are required, this will dramatically increase the site speed and user experience of your website. What happens here is that when somebody is scrolling down a website and a particular section becomes visible to that browser the DOM requests an image from your server and pushes it into the DIV or CLASS.

For an example of how to do this please visit this page https://www.sitepoint.com/five-techniques-lazy-load-images-website-performance/

Reducing redirects

Imagine if you're driving down the road and you see a sign for a junction but just as you get to the junction it changes to closed.  So you continue to drive down the road and at the next junction just as you get to the sign post it changes and tells you to go further on and this continues to happen for several miles until finally you get to the junction that you require.  It would have been a lot quicker if from the first Junction you have been sent directly to the new Junction and that’s happening every time you redirect someone on your server.

So before you create any content on your website make sure 100% that you are happy with the URL and the name of your article because if you change it in the future and the server has to redirect the browser to another piece of content Google will down rank your original piece of content and in so doing you will lose web traffic.

Maintaining your website going forward

Keeping your Wordpress website maintained on a regular basis will increase the number of visitors you get from Google Search. If you don't have the time or resource to do regular checks you may find our website maintenance packages reasonably priced.  

Your online marketing pit crew awaits.

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