Check your website’s load speed
  • Site speed can be one of those things that you don’t notice until it’s a problem. However, while you may think your site’s loading time is of no concern it is worth making sure, and there are various tools that can help you do this.
  • Xenu or Screaming Frog allow you to crawl your website as Google would and they highlight any issues that search engines may encounter when indexing your site. 
Identify why your site is slow
  • Changes to a site’s design or moving to a new server are two of the most common reasons for decreased site speed. 
  • Even small alterations to the design of a website, such as a new background image or logo design, can weigh heavily on site speed and cause the load times to slow down.
  • The number of variables involved in these makes it hard to isolate and identify the cause of the decrease but not impossible.
  • To get a clearer idea of what is slowing down your site use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. This tool scores your website’s speed out of 100, based on different variables which are clearly listed on the left-hand side of the screen. 
  • Rather than just ranking your site speed out of 100, be careful not to place too much importance on this score as it’s not a definitive guide and leaving you to figure out how to improve the load time, Page Speed Insights actually provides you with suggestions.
  • Alternatively, Google Analytics is useful for examining whether your desktop site is slow due to a high volume of mobile traffic as it allows you to compare site speed and device type side-by-side.
Manage your images
  • By managing image size, you can potentially see huge gains from small changes. Images are the number one suspect for slowing down site speed but there are several tools which can help keep their size to a minimum and as a result hopefully your load time too.
  • Use Image Reduce Tool to compress your image to a better size. 
  • RESPONSIVE WORDPRESS IMAGE EFFECTS TOOL will compress your image to a smaller file size, better optimised for speed, without compromising on quality. 
  • If your site features images which are a consistent element on headers and footers throughout on hundreds, possibly thousands of pages, there is a huge potential for improvement here. This should be your main area of focus when reducing site speed.
CSS Sprites
  • Much like those finance company adverts that promise to consolidate all your debts into one manageable payment, the same sort of logic can be applied to images on your site.
  • So instead of having lots of image files which have to be individually fetched from the server it’s possible to combine these using CSS Sprites into fewer, larger files that don’t have to be fetched from the server as many times, thereby increasing your site speed.
  • The same is true for CSS code, however this has to be done manually. If you are referencing a lot of CSS code then you may be able to increase speed by combining some, if not all, of these together.
Minimise your website’s code
  • By using this handy Minifier you can minimise your website’s HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Simply copy in a section of your website’s code to the Minifier and it will trim off any unrequired excess ‘white space’ thereby speeding up your site. 
  • As with the image compression tools mentioned previously, the HTML Minifier will not compromise the quality of your site.

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