INSIGHTS - February 2019

CONNECT KND ep.10: How to speed up your website

Full Transcription:

Everybody hates a slow loading web site! It just takes all the fun out of the internet! But what’s really important for business is, speed encourages trust, a user that can move through the site in a really efficient way will start to like your business a lot more and not get frustrated.

So it’s also about “ad performance” in Google, so if you’re running Google ads or Facebook ads it’s really important to use site loads fast, otherwise you can get penalized with your Quality Score your page and pay more for your ads. But it’s really about in my mind it’s about user experience just giving users a nice smooth flow around your website. So there’s lots of conflicting reporting tools out there on the net at the moment that the analyze your site around speed.

One is the Google PageSpeed Insights, GT Metrix and WebPageTest.org. Google is at the moment really really chrome centric, it’s got some rules around you can get a really really bad score even though your site loads fast, and that’s that’s we’re getting a lot of phone calls the moment about that…a frustrated business owners as to why their site is loading slowly, but it’s actually not it’s just because the report is giving you really shit results, which is frustrating!

So I’ll just go into a few points about how we can work on that and really get your speed up. For those that don’t know, your website loads like a fountain a tree so it just works its way all all through the files in a time line approach some files might be larger than others and then it goes to some smaller tasks here, and then some really long ones, and there might be a spread out, let’s say this is a time line and it steps through this process in a in a tree like structure. What it does in this process is look at a few things the first one is your domain name. So if there’s too many redirects in your domain what are you doing with your security certificate… and how let’s set up that can slow the site down. The next one is the server.

So what’s your web hosting doing if you’re using a cheap and nasty big shared web server it doesn’t even give you a website a chance! It’s going to be slow no matter. The next one is your website code… so I’m gonna say website code here. So a lot of websites are built on WordPress, Drupal or Joomla these open source tools. They are effectively quite efficient at delivering sites quite quickly but it’s all the add-ons that starts to slow stuff down.

We had a client to use this particular editing content tool inside WordPress and it added at least seven seconds to their load time and there’s not a thing they could do about it, they came to us going “hey we really want to speed up this site” and we’re like “well you’re using this tool, you need to switch it off” and they’re like well “we can’t” so “you’re just going to live with with that pain until you’re doing a redevelopment” so, yeah web site code it’s important that you the build process that you think about that and really compact don’t load the site up with fifty-seven plugins, keep it really light!

The next is is content, so content is your images, your video, all the text on the page, your animations all that stuff in a site that’s yours. It’s really critical you keep that tiny to load quickly and really optimize that down. The last one is “external”. external links so external links might be references to your tracking codes your ad tracking performance stats so adding Google Analytics as a base example, so “ad trackers”. That can add an enormous amount of time load down down through the site so you’re going to be really conscious making sure that’s optimized. As the site moves through this process, the site might render here. So it might just way to the page here which is, you know within two to five seconds you really want and hopefully smaller, and you really want that to be displaying the page. You do not want to be waiting out here say at the 15-second mark, or the 10-second mark, that’s just a really frustrating experience! You’ve got to do everything you can to make make it load fast, so get the server sorted, get your domain sorted, the two components we can have the biggest impact is “caching and compression”.

So caching, once this is rendered, it gives it to the user to display instead of using all the server infrastructure to display. There are different methods that, I won’t get too geeky in this conversation, but talk to your web guy about that.

The other is compression, so making sure your content is delivered really smoothly, how how is that done, make it small, minimize it, optimize it, don’t load a image straight from your iPhone up to the web it’s going to be too big you need to get those images down small so that they load really quickly! Get, shit, down to a tiny size.

So images don’t need to be two megabytes to load, they could be 10KB to load instead, so you have some massive gains there. So that’s the story of speed. There’s some frustration around reporting tools at the moment but I think that will balance out over time we’ll just keep an eye on it, but there’s plenty to work on some of it can be extremely technical to get maybe a seconds change but you can make some massive gains in some other areas of site you just have to be focused on it, look at your reporting tools and work with your tech team or give us a call! 07 3367 0600!