Improving your website load time
A major part of any webmaster’s online strategy and search engine optimisation (SEO) is to ensure that once visitors have reached the website, they need to have a reason to return. One important factor that is often overlooked is the loading time of your website and the effect that this has upon the user.
The amount of time that it takes to load your website on a users browser is one of the main reasons for a user to initially decide to stay on your website. A study that was carried out in 2006 by Akamai found that 75% of users said that they would not return to a website that took longer than 4 seconds to load. It is vital that you pay attention to the load times of your website and this can be checked for free using services such as Google’s webmaster tools.
So your probably thinking ‘how do I speed up my loading times if my site is running slow?’. Well, there are a number of ways that this can be done; one way is to make sure that on your landing page there isn’t too much rich content (i.e, video, flash, large images, etc) as this will have a huge effect on your loading time. If you feel like you can’t just remove the images and video then try to compress them as much as possible. Any image that is on your website shouldn’t be more than 150kb in size and 75dpi in resolution. If you do want to display high resolution images that have a large file size then the best way to do this is show a low resolution image that can be clicked to display a high quality image on a separate page. This will stop your browser from having to load all of the high quality images on one page and speed up your website’s loading time.
With video on your website, one of the most effective and easy ways to compress the files is t simply use services such as YouTube or Vimeo that will compress and host your video then give you a link to embed the file into your webpage. This will dramatically increase load times and save up space on the server in the process.
One last tip for when it comes to images, videos and flash on your website is to make sure that instead of resizing the items within your HTML code, try to resize the original files as this will speed up the process again because the files will be smaller and it gives the website one less thing to do upon loading.
Hopefully these quick tips can help you keep visitors to your site happy and I’m sure you’ll be surprised what a difference some of these tasks can really make.