Keeping your site fast without paying extra

Time is money.

The saying is absolutely true for any business, and it’s the same with websites these days. If your website takes too long to load, people will just move on. And that’s a potential customer lost.

According to a Google report in 2018, most viewers will wait three seconds for a page to load before deciding to move onto another website. And with mobile users increasing, making sure pages load quickly over cellular data is vital.

So just how do you make sure your website is loading quickly for everyone coming to the site? And more importantly, how do you do that without breaking the bank for a new website or fancy technology?

Well, whether you’re using WordPress, another CMS or just a static website, here are some cheap ways to make sure your site is loading quickly.

Reduce the size of your images

The first and easiest thing you can do is reduce the size of the images on your website. There’s no reason any photo on a website should be bigger than 2500px (though I’d argue that <2000px is much better).

So before you upload a photo, make sure to reduce the size of the image through Photoshop or even the Preview app (if you’re on a Mac). And for better file size reduction, you can use a website like Tiny PNG or a program like ImageOptim (what I use) to bring the size down.

On a more technical side of things, you can also make sure your theme is using custom image sizes correctly when loading things like featured images. For example, if the max size an image can be in one area of the website is 500px, then the theme should be calling a custom image size that has a width of 500px and not the full width image.

This change can reduce the size of the image call, meaning it can be loaded quicker, especially on devices with slower internet speeds. And time is everything online.

Let’s Keep Your Story Online

Creating a new website can be a challenge. But keep it up and running efficiently can be a challenge. You have to make sure things are updated and running smoothly because if your site is down, no one can find or read your story. But I can help make sure that’s never a problem for your business.

Let’s Come Up With A Plan to Maintain Your Site

Only install plugins that you need

One tendency of website owners is to use way, way more plugins than they really need to use on their site. They think they need everything under the sun in order for their website to “look cool”.

The problem there (other than it gets into a problem with people having no idea what they’re doing) is that it begins to load down the site. Every plugin makes a call to a set of files, whether they’re PHP, JavaScript, CSS, etc. And those calls take time. And depending on the file size, that call can take a lot of time.

So make sure you’re only adding plugins that you absolutely need for your website to run (eCommerce stuff, payment gateways, some SEO items, etc). If you do that, you can keep things running quick and smooth.

Plugin Auditor

Slight aside, but since I started working at the UNT Health Science Center, I’ve found that the Plugin Auditor WordPress plugin is a great way to keep track of each of your plugins, what they do on the website and why you need them. If you can’t find a reason for a plugin to be on your site, it’s time to chunk it out.

On that note, it’s a great idea to go ahead and go through the list of plugins on your website and figure out what can stay and what can go to help your website.

Use caching plugins/features from your host

Finally, caching can really help you website’s loading speed. Caching is

Some web hosts these days, especially top ones like Liquid Web, Kinsta and WPEngine, offer caching with each website. But if your host doesn’t off that, don’t worry. There are a bevy of plugins that can help accomplish the job. WP Rocket, WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache are the usual top suspects in this space.

Occasionally, you’ll have to find a way to clear the cache so that changes show up on the page. But as long as the website is live for people to see online, you should always have caching enabled.

So if your website is suddenly taking a long time to load for people, or if you want to keep your website loading fast, those are some quick and free ways to accomplish that. Just remember that a quick site is better than a super fancy website for your visitors.

So keeping things loading smooth and quick.

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