In today’s ADHD world (I can make jokes about it since I have it, right?), speed is actually becoming more important than design. More important, but not of sole importance, otherwise we would all have plain-text websites, right? So, we assume you already rocked the design on your site (probably because you used us), now let’s show you how you can make it faster so you don’t lose folks.
Why Speed up Your Website?
Well, the ADHD version is because you lose readers if you don’t.
You have roughly 5-10 seconds to fully load your page and give someone SOMETHING that catches their interest right away. If your page is still trying to load at the 10 second mark, you have almost assured yourself of a “back button”. Repeat after me – website loading speed is important!
One of the BEST, and many times easiest ways to speed up your website page loading speed is to properly optimize your images. With DSLR cameras and every phone taking 5-10 megapixel photos, it doesn’t take much to bog down the page load.
Let’s Look at Those Numbers
If we go towards the lower end of what most people shoot on their phones, and use a 5 megapixel image, here are the stats:
- Almost 8 megabyte file size for lossless JPEG
- 2560 x 1920 pixels resolution
But what does that mean?
Well, to put that in perspective, let’s see what some common viewing sizes for images on websites are:
- Resolution of average monitor (1024 x 768 or 1366 x 768). At 1024 x 768, that makes a 5 megapixel image 6¼ times larger than the average computer monitor resolution.
- Typical “Hero” (big header) image is 1080 x 360 which is more than 12½ times smaller than a 5 megapixel photo
- Typical “post” image is about 320 x 240 which is 64 times smaller than a 5 megapixel image.
So why would you want to use several 5 megapixel images and scale them down to fit in your content when it is much better to make them smaller and speed up the load time?
Well, some people believe that it is too difficult or that it doesn’t make a difference. Others are just lazy. But YOU don’t have to be. It is super-easy to optimize your images. If we built your website, your site already has image optimization on. If not, you can look on the WordPress plugin repository and find any number of image optimization plugins that will go through your images and reduce the sizes. If you are still running an old-fashioned website, you are going to have to run software on the folder to reduce or do it manually in a photo editing software (just make sure you save new and don’t overwrite your big files, because you may want them big one day for printing).
Lazy Load Comments
If you have a very active blog with lots of comments, don’t load them all on the page load. It takes forever. Instead, use a plugin to “Lazy load” the comments and they will load a little at a time as you scroll through them which gives you a great boost at the initial load.
Yep, that is it for this section. Nothing really more to add. Just a quick fix to speed up your site.
Use a Caching Plugin
Using any wort of dynamic page generation where you have to query a database takes resources. Using a framework like WordPress, your entire website is technically just a database of text with a few image folders and everything is generated on the page load.
Well, this process is resource intensive because it is querying the database, pulling “include” files from several locations at once utilizing the PHP engine, and several other things going on in the background. You can use a WP Caching plugin to generate “cached copies” of all your pages. What this effectively does is creates a page mockup on the server that does not have to use as much resources to load the page. This significantly increases the speed on a busy server. And if you change your pages up, just run the cache program again and it will remake those pages.
Yep, that easy.
Hope you enjoyed this. Be sure to share it or show us some love on Facebook. Of course, we’d also love to discuss your web project if you don’t feel like you can tackle it yourself.