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17 Easy (Less Techie) Ways to Improve Your Site Speed

Easy Ways to Improve Site Speed

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. i.e., if you sign up for their paid programs, I will get a commission, at no cost to you. Please rest assured that I only recommend software/ products I genuinely believe in, and trust to be good for you.

The speed of your website isn’t just a nice perk—it’s essential for your success, especially regarding SEO.

As search engines like Google continue to update their algorithms, they’re putting a bigger spotlight on user experience, with website speed playing a critical role in how your site ranks.

In this blog post, we’ll explore why site speed is crucial for SEO web design and easy ways to improve site speed.

So, even if you are not a developer or tech person, you can still implement these steps to make your website faster and more efficient.

Why site speed impacts SEO

Site speed is not just a technical performance indicator; it’s a fundamental part of providing a good user experience and deeply integrates into Google’s search ranking factors.

By improving site speed, you effectively enhance both the usability of your site and its SEO performance, leading to more traffic, better engagement, and potentially increased revenue

1. User experience

If your website loads quickly, your visitors enjoy a better experience. They’re less likely to leave out of frustration and more likely to browse more pages and engage with your content.

Search engines prioritize websites that offer the best user experience.

Google uses signals like bounce rate and page dwell time to gauge how users interact with a site. A positive user interaction (lower bounce rates, higher engagement) signals to search engines that the site is of high quality and relevance, potentially boosting its rankings.

2. Higher engagement and conversion rates

Speed also affects how visitors engage with your site. Faster sites can hold visitors’ attention longer and convert them into action-takers through sales, sign-ups, or other targeted actions.

Increased engagement and conversions can lead to more return visits, shared links, and mentions on social media — all of which are positive signals to search engines and can lead to higher rankings.

3. Indexing efficiency

A fast site allows search engine spiders to crawl more pages using fewer resources.

If a site is slow, a search engine’s crawler might be unable to index all pages within the crawl budget (the number of pages Google decides to crawl on each visit), potentially leaving out important pages.

More efficient crawling means more (or all) of your site’s pages are indexed, improving your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

4. Mobile optimization

Mobile users often face less reliable internet connections, so a fast-loading site is essential for a good experience.

Google’s shift to mobile-first indexing means the mobile version of your site determines your rankings. Fast-loading mobile sites are thus crucial for maintaining and improving search engine rankings.

5. Core Web Vitals

Google has emphasized page experience in its ranking algorithms through metrics known as Core Web Vitals.

These metrics measure real-world user experience focused on loading performance (Largest Contentful Paint), interactivity (First Input Delay), and visual stability (Cumulative Layout Shift).

Sites that perform well on these metrics provide a superior user experience and are therefore favored in search rankings.

6. Competitive Advantage

Speed can set you apart, especially in competitive niches. A faster site can outrank competitors in SERPs, pulling more organic traffic your way.

This edge in speed can directly boost your SEO rankings, helping you draw more traffic from competitors and improve your overall online presence.

Gaining an edge in speed can directly influence your SEO rankings, helping to attract more organic traffic away from competitors and improve your overall online presence.

19 Easy ways to improve your site speed

1. Compress images before uploading

Keep your image sizes as low as possible before uploading them to your website.

Smaller image files load faster, improving page load times and reducing bandwidth consumption.

An easy way to reduce image size is using a free online tool like TinyPNG or ImageOptim. They can reduce your image size by up to 50% without significantly compromising quality.

Pro Tip: Try to keep your image sizes less than 100 kb each.

2. Use simple themes and templates

Choose website themes and templates that are streamlined and free from excessive functionalities.

Simpler themes are not just about aesthetics—they load much faster because they contain less complex code and fewer components.

When selecting a theme, look for options marketed as “lightweight.” These are specifically designed to improve speed and efficiency

3. Limit the use of plugins

While plugins can add valuable functionality to your website, using too many can negatively impact your site’s performance.

Each plugin you install introduces additional resources that your site must load, which can slow down overall performance.

To optimize your website speed, use as few plugins as possible. Also, regularly review your installed plugins to check if they are still necessary for your site.

Remove those that aren’t essential, and this also reduces potential security vulnerabilities associated with outdated or unused plugins.

4. Enable browser caching

Enabling browser caching means allowing visitors’ browsers to save specific elements of your website, like images and HTML files, during their first visit.

This way, when they return to your site, their browser can load these elements locally instead of fetching them from the server again.

The benefit is a much faster loading time for repeat visits, as the browser does not need to redownload every component.

To implement this, you can use plugins like WP Super Cache for WordPress websites, which simplify the process by managing caching for you.

If you are comfortable with manual configurations, you can also edit your .htaccess file to set specific caching policies, which dictate how long browsers should store your website data.

5. Use a content delivery network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) uses a network of servers worldwide to store parts of your website, like images and stylesheets.

When someone visits your site, the CDN delivers this content from the server closest to them. This means the information has less distance to travel, making your website load faster for visitors, no matter where they are.

Most good website hosts offer a CDN like Cloudflare, which is included in the subscription. All you have to do is enable it.

If your website host doesn’t offer one for free, sign up with Cloudflare directly.

They’ll guide you on how to set it up, which usually includes changing some settings to direct your website’s traffic through their servers. This helps speed up how quickly your website delivers content to your visitors.

6. Optimize CSS and JavaScript

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used to style the visual presentation of your web pages, while JavaScript is a scripting language that enables dynamic content and interactive features.

Optimizing your CSS and JavaScript means making these files smaller and arranging how they load on your website to avoid delays.

When you reduce the size of these files and manage the order they load in, your website can become interactive more quickly.

You can use tools like Autoptimize that simplify this process by automatically reducing the size of these files and removing any unnecessary parts without changing how they work. This tool can also help you load less important scripts later so they don’t slow down the loading of the main content on your site. This way, your website can run faster and smoother for anyone visiting it.

7. Regularly update your software

Keeping your CMS, themes, and plugins up-to-date is crucial for security and performance.

Developers regularly release updates that provide new features, security fixes, and performance improvements that can make your website run more smoothly and load faster.

Ensure you regularly check your CMS dashboard for updates and apply them promptly.

8. Choose fast web hosting

The speed of your web hosting service greatly impacts how quickly your website loads. Choosing a web hosting provider that’s known for being fast and reliable can help speed up how your website responds to visitors.

It’s smart to pick providers that use SSD (solid-state drive) storage because it’s much quicker than the older hard disk drives. Also, check that they offer good uptime guarantees, which means your website is guaranteed to be up and running smoothly a high percentage of the time.

You should also consider where their data centers are located compared to where most of your audience is.

The closer the data center is to your users, the faster your site will load for them. Plus, ensure the provider has good customer support so any problems can be fixed quickly, keeping your site speedy and efficient.

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10. Optimize mobile performance

A responsive website changes its layout to fit any screen size perfectly, making it easier for people to use, which we know improves SEO.

To see how your website does on mobile, try using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

This tool will tell you how well your site works on mobile devices and highlight what you can improve.

To make your website better for mobile users, make sure it adjusts to fit different screens, loads the important stuff quickly, and consider adding features like easy-to-tap buttons.

Making these changes can help give your visitors a better experience and improve where your site appears in search results.

11. Implement lazy loading

Lazy loading means that images or videos load only when they enter the browser’s viewport (the visible area of the web page).

This means they only load when someone scrolls down to see them.

This helps your website load faster at the start because it doesn’t have to load all the images and videos immediately. It also saves data, especially for users with slower internet connections.

You can use a plugin or some simple HTML code to add lazy loading to your site.

If you are using WordPress, you can install a plugin like Lazy Load by WP Rocket. This plugin will automatically load your images and videos only when needed. You can add a few lines of code to your HTML for other website platforms to achieve the same effect.

12. Use limited redirect chains

Try to limit the number of redirects on your site. A redirect is when a link takes you from one URL to another before reaching the final destination.

Each redirect makes your page take longer to load. This can slow down your website and frustrate visitors.

Regularly check for and remove any unnecessary redirects to make your site faster. You can use a tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider to find these redirects. This tool helps you see which links are causing delays so you can fix them.

Besides, when you reduce redirects, you ensure that users get to their destination faster. This improves their experience and makes your website more efficient.

13. Opt for a simple navigation structure

Design a straightforward, easy-to-use navigation menu for your website.

Simplified navigation loads faster because it requires fewer resources and reduces server requests.

To do this, review your site’s navigation and streamline it. Include only the essential links that help users find what they need quickly. This not only improves site speed but also makes your site more user-friendly.

14. Host videos externally

Use video hosting services like YouTube or Vimeo instead of storing videos directly on your server.

Hosting videos externally saves your server’s resources and bandwidth, which improves your site’s overall performance.

Upload your videos to a hosting service and embed them on your site. This makes your website faster and more efficient without compromising on content.

15. Reduce the use of web fonts

Limit the number of custom fonts you use on your website.

Fewer fonts mean fewer resources are needed to load, which speeds up your site.

Stick to one or two font families and avoid using multiple font weights unless absolutely necessary. This keeps your site looking good and running fast.

16. Prioritize above-the-fold content

Ensure that the content visible when the page first loads (above the fold) appears quickly.

Loading the most important content first makes your site feel faster to users.

Use CSS and JavaScript to control the loading order, prioritizing above-the-fold content.

To do this in WordPress, you can use simple tools and plugins like Autoptimize, as discussed above.

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17. Regularly clean up your database

Remove outdated and unnecessary data from your website’s database regularly.

A cleaner database retrieves data faster, which improves your site’s performance.

Use database optimization plugins like WP-Optimize for WordPress to clean and maintain your database. This keeps your site running smoothly and quickly, ensuring a better experience for your users.

How to measure site speed

1. There are several online tools available you can use to check your website’s loading speed:

Google PageSpeed Insights

This tool reviews your webpage and gives you tips on speeding it up, offering separate scores for how it performs on mobile devices and desktop computers.

2. GTmetrix

GTmetrix uses Google Page Speed and YSlow to evaluatesyour site’s performance and gives you practical advice on how to improve it.

3. Pingdom

This service performs a range of tests, such as page speed analysis and uptime monitoring.

It shows you how long it takes for each file to load and suggests ways to make things faster.

Conclusion

Reducing your site loading time is not just a one-time thing.

As you add more content and functionalities, your website will become heavier. So, you need a website maintenance plan to keep your site speed in check.

How have you tried to optimize your site speed? Any easy way I am missing? Let me know in the comments!

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