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Quickly and easily improve your site speed!

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As we noted in our recent article about site speed, it’s becoming vitally important to make sure your website runs as fast as possible. Otherwise your site’s performance, both with users and in the search engines, could be dramatically effected. If you’ve discovered that your website is running slowly, don’t panic! This helpful guide will tell you how to quickly and easily improve your site speed!

Four ways you can quickly and easily improve your site speed!

1. Reduce the amount of JavaScript libraries on your website

JavaScript is the second largest contributor to a website’s weight, sitting just behind images. This not only increases download time but also delays the downloading of other assets on the page, thanks to the browser having to run the script. While it plays a huge role in making a web page or site work, JavaScript can also be the cause of slow loading times if not applied correctly.

Even if the JavaScript libraries aren’t used on the majority of pages, they still have to load on each and every page. This can, obviously, hinder the speed of any site. For example, making excessive calls to a large amount of unnecessary JavaScript and CSS files will slow down the overall page load speed. The main way you can cut this down is by moving all of these code elements towards the end of the code. This would mean that they are called last and therefore reduces the chance of slow loading.

2. Optimise the size of images and graphics

Images and graphics are vitally important factors in delivering the message of your content. Plus, they improve the user experience on a website. However, if they’re too large, they’re going to slow down your web page dramatically. While getting rid of images isn’t at all viable, compressing their file sizes is.

Simply reducing the size of your image files can make a huge difference to the site’s load speed. A lot of the time, clients will send you images to use on their websites without realising just how large they are. One of the best programs to use to compress your site’s images is compressor.io. The main advantage of using a tool like this is that it will maintain the quality of the image while reducing the size of it. It also supports .jpg, .gif, .svg and .png files. It’s completely free and you don’t even need to register for it.

You could also opt to use a Content Delivery Network, such as Cloudflare or Amazon CloudFront. This will optimise not only the speed with which images are accessed by the server, but also improve security and performance. Essentially, the CDN will cache your content across its global network, reducing the average speed of the request dramatically.

3. Make better use of the system fonts

This is one of the least commonly used solutions, but utilising system fonts is a great way of improving page load speed. Essentially, system fonts are the fonts pre-installed on your device. They don’t have to be loaded, making them an ideal option. All you do is simply call the system fonts in your CSS.

It is worth noting, though, that choosing the right system font can be tricky. As every device has them, they’re not particularly unique. Meaning that if typography is important to your brand, it can be difficult to choose the right one. However, if typefaces like Seravek, Helvetica or Garamond are perfectly acceptable, feel free to use them.

4. Consider the use of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

It’s still early days in the age of Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP as they more commonly known. However, it’s becoming a very intriguing and potentially vital way of giving website users a better experience. AMP is an open-source initiative designed to create a better user experience on mobile devices. It is aimed at reducing page size and the related load times. The initiative has proved popular because it allows webmasters to serve their content through a new AMP page that canonicals back to the original. It therefore enables slow and heavy pages to be created without them actually slowing the site down.

If the website you’re hosting or designing commands a lot of traffic, especially on mobile, then AMP pages could be a great way of reducing load times and keeping your customers engaged. In fact, with Google seemingly starting to prioritise AMP pages, it may be worth applying this initiative to your website. That’s regardless of whether you need to speed up your site’s loading times or not!

How to find out your page’s loading times

There are thankfully various programs available to identify how quickly your pages are loading. One of the most reliable and accurate programs is the Google Page Insights tool. Simply enter your website’s URL and it will take care of the rest. It will quickly show you the overall page speed rating (out of 100) for both the mobile and the desktop versions of your website. It will even tell you potential fixes and optimisation solutions too.

Another useful program is the ‘Test My Site‘ tool; also from Google. All you need to do is enter your website’s URL, take a sip of your coffee and await the results. This program will not only tell you how quickly, in seconds, the site takes to load but also how it compares with competitor sites. Like the Page Insights tool, it will also detail potential improvements and fixes. The beauty of both these programs is that they’re both free!

Now you know how to quickly and easily improve your site speed!

These simple tweaks and improvements can make a huge difference to the loading time of any website. Follow them and you should notice improvements in user experience almost straight away!

While these are the most effective ways of improving site speed, please feel free to contact us if you need any more information. At the Smart Domain Group, we have over 17 years’ experience in the design of stunning websites for small and medium sized businesses across Kent and the UK. Our cost effective web design and marketing packages encompass everything from web design and copywriting to search engine optimisation, hosting, e-mail support, branding and much more. Speak to one of our expert team today on 01634 810600.