What Should you Know about Page Speed?
Most people think of page speed as an issue with the ISP or Internet Service Provider, not an internal website issue. Download and upload speeds are connected to the ISP, but page speeds actually come from many other factors. How quickly your website content loads isn’t tied in to the ISP of an individual user.
Google started to use page speed as an important ranking factor in 2010. They believe it’s vital to the experience of the visitor to your website, and therefor use it as a part of the ranking algorithm.
About 50% of consumers on the internet today expect your website to load within 2 seconds. Google, on the other hand, believes a well optimized website will actually load in a half a second. Their top ranking pages usually load in less than one second.
How is Page Speed Determined?
Many factors go into determining how fast or slow your website loads. Some of the major factors include:
- Your Web Hosting Company – The hosting company you choose will make a big different. Choose a cheap shared provider and you cannot expect to have nearly as fast of load times as a solid VPS or dedicated hosting provider.
- Multiple Ads – If you put too many ads on your website it could slow it down.
- Videos – If you have embedded videos on your website, this could slow your site down. Using smaller videos with a smaller frame size can help keep this to a minimum.
- Code – The code of your website can really speed it up or slow it down. Using CSS or HTML that is too heavy will decrease your load times.
- Large Image Files – Images can take forever to load, especially if they are rather large. Using smaller image files and compressing them will help keep your load times fast.
- Widgets – Too many widgets or widgets with dense code can increase your page load speeds.
- The Theme – If you choose a heavy theme on WordPress, it may be the issue. With too much complex coding, you may end up with slow load times.
Understanding how page load speeds are determined can go a long way to speeding up your website.
How to Figure out Your Page Load Speeds
The best way to figure out how fast your website loads is to use the PageSpeed Insights tool from Google. Not only will you get both a mobile and a desktop score, but you will also see what should be fixed and what you may consider fixing on your site. The list will give you a few instructions and the more you can fix, the better your page load speeds will be.
For most websites, if you use WordPress, you can use plugins to solve your page load speed issues. The right plugins will help you optimize images, use browser caching, reduce redirects and even enable compression. By adding a few plugins to your WordPress website, you can reduce your page load speeds and make Google happier with your website.
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