A bad Google website speed score has a large and negative effect on a business. Websites that take 2 – 3 seconds to load have reduced conversion rates and can lose as much as 40% of their customers. With page speed being so critical for success we decided to research the average local agency website speeds for mobile devices (mobile makes up over 50% of traffic to websites). The results are shocking.
At Business Website Leader we take website speed very seriously. Our website loads on mobile in 1.9 seconds and we score 96 or 100 on the Google ranking system. So, how did we make our website so fast? It all comes down to the technology and platform.
Here are the pieces of technologies you need to know about:
- Website Hosting
- Image optimization
- Code optimization
Website hosting and DNS are two core pieces of your platform’s infrastructure.
For DNS we recommend Cloudflare. Cloudflare is one of the fastest DNS providers and their services also include caching, image optimization, and code delivery optimizations. All of our sites use Cloudflare and it is a huge reason our sites are fast.
While there are a number of excellent hosting companies out there we recommend AWS with traditional server setup. AWS will also give you the flexibility you need to grow your website with your business.
Caching is where most of your site’s speed is going to come from. There are new tools like JAMStack out there but caching is the most tried and true method for speed.
There are two types of caching you need to know about. We will call them local caching and remote caching.
Local caching is a way to store your website locally on a customer’s computer so they don’t have to download your code from the internet again and again. They can access your site instantly with local caching. However, local caching can be limited. This is why you also want remote caching too.
Remote caching stores your website on multiple computers around the world instead of just one server. By having your website in multiple locations customers can download it from a server that is physically closer to them.
These types of caching can be implemented by an experienced website developer by using WordPress, AWS, and Cloudflare.
Images make business websites slow because they can have large file sizes and are numerous. Image optimization allows you to reduce the size of the images without losing quality. Many times you can reduce your image size by 50% or even 90% without changing how the image looks.
You can optimize your images in three main ways:
- Only upload images that are sized for computers and phones. Many images are sized for print and can often be 1.5 MBs in size (or 1500 KBs). When an image is sized for computers it can shrink to 10 KBs to 100 KBs… that is 10 times smaller!
- Compression is used to remove the fat an image might have by using algorithms. This can take a 100 KB image file down to 30 KB in some cases.
- Finally, images should use the webp or avif image format. These formats will save you another 25% to 35% in most cases!
Code is where we see most sites fall flat. Code is the magic behind your website that makes it run smoothly. Most sites use WordPress. WordPress is super fast and secure on its own. However, installing lots of WordPress plugins will slow a website down significantly. We have seen sites install as many as 30 plugins and commonly with 10 or more! We normally install no more than 2 or 3 highly tested plugins and our sites and still have all the power other websites have. The plugins we use are:
In the end, code optimization comes down to having senior website developers. There is a lot that goes into making code run fast and still maintain all the power you need to be successful online.