6 Ways to Speed Up Your Business Website
Slow websites will always be a chief complaint from customers and consumers. Abandonment rates for slow websites are faster than ever with more than 40 percent of consumers leaving a website that takes longer than three seconds to load. Patience for web page loading is getting even worse, with three percent of consumers saying that they’ll abandon a page if it takes more than one second to load.
If you’re losing customers because your website can’t keep up, here are some tips to speed things up.
- Update Your Mobile VPN
A mobile virtual private network (mobile VPN) lets consumers access your content even if the point of network attachment, physical connectivity, or IP address changes. A good mobile VPN will allow a rapid refresh when connectivity is re-established, but legacy mobile VPN structures simply don’t cut it anymore.
“Application performance for roaming users often suffers with legacy mobile VPN clients,” explains Dave Greenfield, secure networking evangelist at Cato Networks. “Traditional VPN architectures add latency backhauling traffic across the public internet with its convoluted global routing and high packet loss to a company premises.”
For the same reason, Greenfield points out, they present problems when used with cloud datacenter services, such as Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, and cloud applications, such as Office 365.
“Companies will often have consolidated Internet access in or two locations. Traffic cloud performance suffers as all traffic is forced through a physical chokepoint.”
Updating to a smarter, faster mobile VPN will eliminate connectivity issues for your organization.
- Minimize and Optimize Image Files
When you upload images onto your site, you’ll have the option to either resize your images or upload the original. Resizing your image using the website’s backend is convenient, but all the extra steps and storage will slow down your site.
Instead, use an image editing tool like Pixlr to resize your images before you upload them. This will reduce the steps your browser has to take and will significantly speed up your site.
- Enable GZIP Compression
“All modern browsers support and automatically negotiate gzip compression for all HTTP requests,” reads a Google help site. “Enabling gzip compression can reduce the size of the transferred response by up to 90%, which can significantly reduce the amount of time to download the resource, reduce data usage for the client, and improve the time to first render of your pages.”
You can research the necessary configuration for each file compression depending on your server type.
- Use HTML5 to Eliminate Unnecessary Plugins
If you haven’t updated to HTML5, your website will likely be slower than necessary because you’re using third-party plugins like Silverlight, Java, or Flash to run audio and visual files. About 80 percent of a webpage’s loading time is spent downloading the different parts of a page, and plugins that aren’t native to your browser can increase session wait time or cause session crashes.
What’s more, mobile browsers don’t support many of these third-party plugins, so your responsive design will be useless for your audio and video files. With the average user refusing to wait more than three seconds on their mobile devices for a page to load, you can’t afford to let your outdated system impede your website.
- Switch to a Web Host Service That Can Handle More Visitors
Who doesn’t want a spike in customers, whether from natural growth or from a piece of viral content? But your website hosting package might not be equipped to handle the sudden influx of visitors. You can experience crashes and significantly slower loading times.
The simple solution is to swap your web hosting package for one that’s designed to accommodate more customers. Upgrading your server and allowing more visitors on your page will make your website faster than before and will grow with your expanding business.
- Use a Content Delivery Network
Sometimes, the best solution for a website struggling with hefty file uploads and an influx of traffic is a content delivery network, or CDN.
“Rather than starting with the difficult task of redesigning your application architecture, it’s better to first disperse your static content. This not only achieves a bigger reduction in response times, but it’s easier thanks to content delivery networks,” says a Yahoo help article. “A content delivery network (CDN) is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations to deliver content more efficiently to users. The server selected for delivering content to a specific user is typically based on a measure of network proximity. For example, the server with the fewest network hops or the server with the quickest response time is chosen.”
From the user’s perspective, a CDN will make the download much faster because it displays the items on the page before it finishes downloading everything.