11 Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Website for SEO

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Slow-loading websites reduce SEO scores and cause visitors to leave before the page has finished loading. If your website takes too long to load, then visitors will click the back button and go to the next website. This will increase your bounce rate, which further harms your SEO score.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to improve the speed of your website. First of all, there are free tools such as Google, GTMetrix and Pingdom, which assess your website and give you advice about where you can improve. Use these ideas to ensure that your website is running as fast as possible:

Web Hosting

If your website is running slowly, then the first thing you should consider is your hosting provider. You should choose a web host with a good reputation for quality and speed. Your website should be hosted on fast servers with low server response times.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

If your webpage contains many large files such as high-quality images or video, then you should consider delivering this content through a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN will host your larger files on servers around the world and will reduce page loading times.

Images

Images which haven’t been optimized for the web can take a long time to load. You should ensure that you have fully optimized your images by reducing the file sizes as much as possible.

When saving images, save them in the size you want them to display on your website. Don’t save full HD images and then use HTML to reduce the size of the displayed image. A smaller image will result in a smaller file size.

Reduce the quality of the image to further reduce file sizes. If you don’t need high-quality images on your website, you can save it at the lowest quality required to keep file sizes to a minimum.

You can also use a free compression tool such as TinyPNG to reduce images even further. In some cases, TinyPNG can reduce file sizes by up to 80 percent using lossy compression techniques.

Check Your Code

Ensure that your code doesn’t contain any mistakes. Problems with poor coding can cause pages to load slower as the browser tries to figure out how to display your broken code. Validate your code using a free online validator such as the W3C Markup Validation Service to ensure that everything is correct.

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Leverage Browser Caching

In most cases, when someone visits your website, the browser will store files locally on the user’s computer. If the user comes back to your website, cached content can be loaded locally, reducing the need to download the content again.

By leveraging browser caching, you can set which files can be loaded locally and which ones need to be downloaded every time someone visits your site. Moreover, browser caching will also reduce the number of HTTP requests, which will further speed up your site.

Compression

Gzip compression helps you to create smaller file sizes. Your browser will download the compressed files and then decompress them to show the content. This method reduces page loading times because users only need to download compressed files.

Don’t Use Redirects

In some cases, it may be necessary to use redirects, but you should try to avoid them where possible. If one page redirects to another page, it takes the browser longer to reach its final destination. By avoiding redirects, you can reduce loading times, as the browser can quickly find the correct content.

Minify CSS and JavaScript

There are two ways to minify CSS and JavaScript. Firstly, it’s better to load all your CSS and JavaScript from one source instead of having multiple sources to load. This way, the browser will make fewer HTTP requests and speed up loading times.

Secondly, white spaces in the code can add extra bytes. Webmasters usually add a lot of white spaces to format their code so that it’s easier to read. However, browsers can read code regardless of formatting, so you can safely remove all the white spaces prior to uploading your code. Most HTML editors can perform this task; there are free online websites which can also do this for you.

Use Static HTML Wherever Possible

PHP is great for making dynamic websites which serve content stored in databases. However, if your page requires a number of database requests, it can slow down page loading times. Therefore, it’s best to use static HMTL wherever possible instead of making database requests to display information.

CSS First, JavaScript Last

It’s best to put your CSS at the beginning of your code as browsers can’t render HTML documents until they’ve rendered the CSS code. One the other hand, JavaScript prevents HTML from loading until the JavaScript has parsed. Therefore, JavaScript should be placed toward the end of your code.

Disable Image Hotlinking

Sometimes other websites will display images from your website. In this case, when someone visits their website, the image will be loaded from your server. This is known as hotlinking and can take up valuable bandwidth and cause your website to slow down. To stop this, you will need to add some code to your .htaccess file.

Page loading times are important, as a faster website can improve the visitor’s experience as well as your overall SEO score. If your website takes too long to load, people will hit the back button and find a different website, and your overall SEO score will fall. Therefore, you should do everything you can to ensure that your website loads as quickly as possible.

The best way to improve the speed of your website is to run it through an online speed checker such as GTMetrix, Google PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom. Any of these free tools will provide you with a list of things you can do to help speed up your website.

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Tyler Horvath

Webpreneur, CEO of Tyton Media, investor and efficiency aficionado. With over 13 years experience in SEO, Digital Marketing and Web Design. @tylerbhorvath

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