You should be concerned about optimizing your website performance because failure to do that will mean you are going to lose traffic and consequently customers.
Learning how to make your website perform better should be a concern to you because if you don’t do that, your efforts will be frustrated.
It doesn’t matter much if you place your keyword well, write a good meta description or any of the other SEO practices, if your website speed is poor you will lose traffic.
People are not patient these days, they are used to fast life, fast and fast everything, so they expect your website to be fast also. Research shows that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you will lose traffic.
Your potential visitors will go to your competitors because you are not the only one with what they are looking for, therefore you need to pay close attention to your website performance.
Thankfully, you are reading the right because you will be guided on how you can achieve this, but before you learn these tips, you need to understand what Website performance means.
What is website performance?
Website performance measures how quickly the pages of a website load and display in the web browser. Web performance optimization is the practice of improving website performance by various methods as defined by HubSpot.
That’s to say you can only say your website is performing well when it can load fast enough to retain traffic. So if your website is not fast enough for your customers you will need to make some tweaks to increase its speed.
And even if the website is fast there are still things you can put in place to make it faster.
How to optimise your website performance
1. Hosting provider and plan
Having a good hosting provider enhances your website performance because the servers your website is hosting on have a lot to do with your website speed.
There are website hosting companies in Nigeria and abroad that you can use to host your websites, but you need to be careful when making that decision because it can make or mar your website performance.
Make sure you research the hosting companies before finally buying a hosting plan. There are different kinds of hosting plans you can select from; the plan you choose should be based on the size of the website you want to design.
There are generally four hosting plans.
1. Shared hosting plan
The shared hosting plan is the most affordable of all the hosting plans, in this hosting plan, you are sharing space with other websites on the same server.
The plan is most times divided into sub-plans so you pick the amount of space you need and the features that suit your business needs. This plan is for small businesses and bloggers.
2. Managed WordPress hosting plan
This plan is for users that are using WordPress content management system ( CMS ) to design their website. WordPress makes it pretty easy to design a website with its themes and plugins.
Since many businesses and bloggers use WordPress to design them, many hosting companies have a plan that is dedicated to WordPress with customization. In addition, this hosting plan provides automatic updates of your plugins and themes.
3. VPS hosting plan
VPS ( Virtual Private Server ) is a hosting plan that gives you more features and flexibility than a shared hosting plan. With a VPS plan, you are still sharing a server with other websites but your website has more features and space.
If your website traffic has grown over time then you need to consider upgrading to VPS hosting if you are using a shared hosting plan. Doing this will give your website more wings to soar higher.
4. Dedicated hosting plan.
Finally, the dedicated hosting plan is the most expensive and the best out of all the hosting plans. This plan gives you access to your server.
You will be in charge of all the resources on the server.
With this plan, you won’t be afraid of having too much traffic or anything of the sort because you have full control over all the resources available.
How hosting provider and hosting plan affects website performance
If your hosting provider’s services are good, you are at risk of having a slow website since they may need more technology and resources to make your website function effectively.
Secondly, you need to consider the hosting plan because it affects the performance of your website since the hosting plan you choose determines the resources that will be available for your website to use.
There are a lot of hosting plans you can select from but we recommend Truehost cloud because they provide quality services at affordable prices in Nigeria and beyond.
Read also: How to Choose a Web Hosting Provider.
2 Website theme
The website theme you or your website designer used to design your website has a great effect on the website performance because some themes come with heavy codings that can slow it.
Some themes even have page builders which sounds awesome but the downside is that this feature can slow down your website. Therefore, you need to be careful when choosing a theme.
It’s not absolute that any theme with a page builder will be slow, No, the point is that you need to use a theme that is fast. You can perform a speed test for the theme or check the theme reviews to get information before making your choice.
3. Website plugins
The plugin you use on your website can also affect its performance. In case you don’t know what a plugin is, here’s the definition; plugins are software that adds functionality to a website.
For example, if you want to add a form to a website, you can use a plugin to do that. Sometimes you may install a theme and later realise you don’t need it.
It’s important that you remove plugins that are not useful to your website because they can slow down your website.
Because of the effect of the WordPress plugin on the website, some WordPress hosting companies like Wpengine have restricted some plugins on their platform. If you decide to use their hosting, there are plugins you won’t be able to install on your website.
So you should be careful of the plugins you install on your website.
4. Website images
It’s a known fact that images make your website more friendly and SEO optimized if you use the alt tag. However, having heavy images on your website can slow it down.
When you use high-resolution images on your website, it can slow down the website since the images are big and it will take a higher time to make them available to users. But if you use a small size image it will be easy for it to load.
What to do to solve this problem is for you to compress the images. By so doing, your image size will be reduced without the quality being affected much.
Which means you are getting everything you want. Some plugins that you can use to optimise your site are tinyPNG, Ewww image optimiser, imagify, and imageRecycle.
Read also: How to Make the Most of Your Website SEO Efforts.
5. Page weight
The size of your page is something you should also put into consideration because having a heavy page means a higher loading time. Therefore try to reduce your page size.
You can reduce your page size or weight by compressing your images, using less customized fonts, using CSS spites etc.
Why you should consider optimising your page weight is that users that have time to waste waiting for your website to load when they can go elsewhere and get what you are offering. Research by Pingdom shows that you lose 24% of traffic if your website loads for more than 4 secs.
Therefore, you need to do everything possible to make your website load in 3 secs or less.
6. Fix broken links
Check for broken links on your website and replace them, it could be that you have deleted the page or transferred it, whatever the case, try to update it.
Because if you don’t you are at risk of losing traffic.
When you have redirects on your website, it makes users be directed to other pages different from the one they clicked on. It’s a good way to send traffic to important pages on your website or direct users from a high-traffic page to a low-traffic or new page.
What you should know is that when your website has lots of redirects it puts much pressure on the server which could lower the speed of your website.
Therefore, reduce the number of redirects on your website and create fresh and evergreen content so you don’t have to redirect the users again.
It’s important to always find a way to compress your website files so your website size will be as small as possible. Doing that will make your website load fast because it takes less time to load a small-size page than a big-size page.
Find a way to compress it with the tools available to you.
9. Website Scripts
More scripts usually mean worse performance because browsers have to download each script requested in the order they have been declared in your user’s pages HTML.
You can use available plugins to optimise your website scripts so as to improve their performance.
10. HTTP request
When your website is making HTTP requests for images, scripts, fonts and style sheets frequently it can reduce your website speed over time.
Furthermore, you can look for software that can help you achieve that.
CDN, which means content delivery network, are clusters of servers around the world that store copies of websites or a geographically distributed group of servers that work together to provide fast delivery of internet content.
If you are using a CDN on your website, your website content will be delivered to your users from the servers closest to them. For example, if you are in Nigeria, and you buy an international hosting plan with servers in America, it will take your website a slower time compared to websites hosted on servers in Nigeria.
But if the website hosting providers provide CDN services, your website will be given to users from the servers closest to the location of the users. When this happens it will increase your website speed and performance.
13. Mobile friendly
A mobile-friendly website makes your website appealing to users since a large percentage of users now use mobile phones to surf the internet.
Therefore, making your website mobile-friendly will attract users to it since it will be displayed to them in a mobile version without them having to do anything. Because the website will automatically adjust to the screen of the users.
14. Browser caching
Browser caching is the process of saving a version of your files in a temporary storage location that can be accessed faster. By doing so your users won’t have to request the website again since it’s already saved as a cache on their devices.
Caching is important because when many users want to access your website at the same time it can slow it down but if they have visited it before and want to access it again, it will be rendered to them easily since it’s been saved on their devices already.
You can use plugins like W3 Total cache if you are using WordPress to activate caching on your website.
15. Optimize with plugins
There are plugins available that you can use to improve your website performance, these plugins have features that help to improve your website speed by performing some tasks automatically.
However, you need to be careful when using them because some of them can complicate things even further and end up making your website instead.
These are some of the ways you can use to improve your website performance to make it perform better so you can get more traffic and retain more visitors.
Therefore, take the time to put them into practice, you mustn’t apply all but make an attempt to improve on what your website needs.
If you don’t have a website yet or maybe you are looking for a good website hosting company to host your website you can use the services of Truehost Nigeria today to get reliable and affordable services.