One of the worst areas to cut corners in your digital strategy is neglecting to speed up your site. Here are a few (mostly) non-technical ways to increase your website’s speed and make sure those jewelry customers have a great user experience.
Website speed is one of the most important factors to keeping visitors engaged and happy on your site.
According to Crazy Egg, A one-second delay in page load time yields:
11% fewer page views
16% decrease in customer satisfaction
7% loss in conversions
Additionally, Walmart did a test on how their website speed affects their sales. This showed that the faster a page, the more likely a visitor was to make a purchase.
At the end of their test, Walmart reported the following results:
For every one second of site speed improvement they experienced up to a 2% increase in conversions.
For every 100 ms of improvement, they grew incremental revenue by up to 1%.
So how do you maximize the speed of your website to capture as many customers as possible? There are 5 key areas I’d look into first.
The biggest cause for websites loading slow is by having large graphics (or other files that take a long time to load) on your pages. If your image is going to display on the screen at 300 x 300 pixels wide/tall, theres simply no reason to have that image saved on your server at a larger file size. Often I see business owners displaying enormous 4,000 pixel wide images on their page when it only needs to be about 400 pixels wide. This forces the website to use HTML/CSS code to decrease the file size on the fly. This takes work, and causes the page to load slower.
The easy solution is to minimize your graphics before uploading then. In Photoshop, you can use the Save For Web feature to reduce files to screen-appropriate sizes. There are other solutions, depending on your website platform. If you have a WordPress site, I recommend using the Smush plugin to help do a lot of this work for you. But if you have Photoshop, I still like reducing the file size manually first and then letting Smush do further work once the image is uploaded to my page.
It’s very tempting to get $7/month GoDaddy hosting. It will be “good enough” in most cases, but at some point you’ll probably want to get serious hosting.
Your website host, at that price, is probably giving you a shared hosting plan. With shared hosting, you share certain resources like CPU, disk space, and RAM with other sites hosted on the same server. This isn’t always a great option.
For our WordPress websites, we use WP Engine. We’ve found an enormous increase in speed and reliability across all our websites since moving over to this host. (If you’re interested, email me – I can get you an affiliate link with a great price – email@example.com)
Your website and browser store previously loaded versions of your website so that it doesn’t have to reload everything from scratch. This is called Caching, and I recommend every website have some kind of Caching plugin or implementation to help your site load faster. If you’re running WordPress, there are some great ones out there like Autoptimize and Comet Cache.
Your website host may also have a built-in mechanism for this.
Everything your website has to load for your visitor takes time. It’s tempting to add lots of plugins and add-ons to your website, but every little thing you add will slow the site down. Do you really need 4 different sets of “social media icon” plugins on your site? Probably not.
A Content Delivery Network – or CDN – is a simple change you can implement to score big improvements.
Cloudflare explains what a CDN is: “A content delivery network (CDN) refers to a geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content.“
Without getting too technical, this means that a CDN company has servers all over the world and can deliver the content and files from your websites to visitors from servers that are closer to their physical location. This helps get files to your visitor’s computer faster.
There are a few options for this, but we recommend Cloudflare.
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