Website speed is a key part of your website performance, a component of SEO, also, an important search engine ranking factor. Infact, site speed is important to Google such that only fast sites get to rank for keywords and show up in search results. Google recently added what it calls a metric for evaluating a website’s performance, and website speed is one of them. These are three benchmarks that show how well your website is optimised and performing and are called Core Web Vitals– Largest Contentful Paint, Total blocking Time/ First input Delay and Cumulative Layout Shift. Google uses these metrics to determine whether your visitors have the best experience on your website.
So what’s website speed and what’s it all about?
Website size greatly affects your site speed because heavy or large websites of greater than 3.49 mb takes an average 486% longer time to load than smaller websites, on both mobile and desktop.
Cheap shared hosting means you have one point off on your website speed journey.
WordPress, which powers 30% of websites does really bad when it comes to site speed. It sits below other CMS like Weebly and Squarespace have the best overall site speed, both on mobile and desktop.
How does website speed affect SEO.
Websites with faster load times rank top on SERPs search engine results page. Google rewards faster websites with top positions on search results than slow websites. Google has also added performance to SERP ranking factor– websites with overall best user experience.
How does website speed affect your business?
Nobody likes a slow website. If your website takes forever to load, visitors will likely leave. Imagine if you have an e-commerce website and your website speed is slow, vistors will leave your site and look for another site, hence, they don’t make any purchase because they couldn’t even open your site. Even when you’re a blogger or news website, your visitors will not sit around on a chair waiting for your page to load before they can read a post or news.
When more visitors leave your site on click without actually opening it due to slow loading time, this translates to high bounce rate. This means your website is not converting.
How to improve your website speed
Improving website speed includes some speed optimization and performance steps to take in order ensure your users have the best “delightful” experience.
Reduce page size
Page size greatly affects your page load time, as we have earlier said. Page size depends solely on your theme. Some themes are lightweight in just 400kb in size. While some can get as large as 5mb. Try using lightweight themes that are optimized for SEO and your site will have the best experience.
Use a cache plugin
Cache plugins come in handy when looking to optimize your website for speed. Some of the best plugins you can install from your plugin directory are LiteSpeed Cache LC, Hummingbird, Wp Optimize. These plugins have efficient caching settings to increase your page load time such as static and html caching, page caching, browser caching, object caching, image optimization and compression, database clean up, gzip compression and lots more. LiteSpeed has better caching powers because it is the caching plugin of Litespeed web server, the server of most hosting providers. So it provides efficient server side caching.
Content Delivery Networks, CDN is another great way of improving pagespeed. A CDN is a group of geographically distributed servers which work together to deliver internet content fast. While CDN is not a web hosting and shouldn’t be confused as one, it improves website performance by caching at the network edge. It also improves security, reduces bandwidth and helps prevent network interruptions. Some of the best CDN out there are Cloudflare and Quic. cloud. Stanoz Designs uses Cloudflare. Cloudflare has a free forever plan you can use and you enjoy security of your website and speed as well.
Cheap shared hosting is a website killer. While your website may still be slow is largely attributed to your hosting. A good web hosting should have a speed of 500 ms. Now might be a good time to change your hosting company. Some of the best hosting companies with the fastest service are Hostinger, Bluehost, Namecheap, SiteGround.
Testing your website speed