“Speed. I am Speed.” – Lighting McQueen
If you don’t think that how long your page takes to load is an issue, think again. Google has admitted that page speed is a part of their SEO algorithm (see my post on SEO if you don’t know what that means).
What does that mean for you?
It’s time to start analyzing how fast your page loads for a first-time user. There are plenty of free speed test websites out there, like tools.pingdom.com or gtmetrix.com which can give you a grade on how fast your speed loads, and then you can see the issues and improve it from there.
There are going to be a few things that small businesses likely can’t fix right away which will have to do with the server their website is hosted on, especially if you are using shared hosting. There are going to be necessary redirects (such as going from http to https and so on) so I’m going to take this time to focus on something you can fix, which is image disk size. Trust me, this is one of those do-as-I-say and not-as-I-do moments because sometimes, I’m lazy. But I know deep down these tips would make my page load faster, which is now a considerable measure when search engines crawl your site for SEO purposes.
Compress your Images.
You can find programs to easily optimize your images os they don’t lose the quality they need (this is for you if you have a heavy image-based site!) because even shrinking an image that has a disk size of 200KB to 150KB is significant enough to help increase your site’s speed and is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Make sure you are using the correct size image for the placeholder.
This is one I think a lot of people make the mistake of doing right away, which I am also privy to. If you are using an image that is 1000×1000 pixels but the placeholder on your site is set for a 300×300 pixel image, you can update that and help save on load speed!