Speed up your website | Rank better | Compress and optimize

Merry Christmas!

I hope all you guys are having a great Christmas. I wanted to bring up an issue that is very important for SEO and something you can do On Page: Page load speed. Page Load-Speed is something that has become increasingly more important as a ranking factor. Google prefers fast pages and WILL put you in a less favorable ranking spot if your website isn’t  up to speed delivering the end users a quick user friendly website.

In the Google Developers section there is a self testing tool called Google Pagespeed Insights where you can insert your domain and get a Pagespeed score from Google. Is your pageload time <60/100, <70/100? Take a look at your images since there most likely are easy points and actions to take to speed up your website.

google pagespeed insights

Since there are too many factors to put into one single blog post I will speak on site code and image compression today.  By having your code and images compressed and minimized in size, you will normally save a lot in loading time.

  1. Images,  Size and Compression, Cache
  2. Code, Compress and minimize
  3. Cache your website.

IMAGE SIZE: I would say that the most common mistake site-owners do is to keep their images larger and of higher quality than needed (Images on Stock-photo sites are normally large since they are meant to be worked on by the user). Never upload or use an image in a size that is bigger than you need. If you present a image with a max width of 1024 pixels, DON’T UPLOAD AN IMAGE WITH LARGER WIDTH THAN WHAT YOU USE ON THE WEBSITE.

What will happen is that the browser will download the larger image for every page and then scale the image on the fly to fit on the page. This is not just a slow user experience but a unnecessary  bandwidth consuming process. Imagine you have a page with 12 Images in 600×300 pixel size. Then Imagine that this dozen of images actually individually are 2000×1000 pixels big.

To download 12 large images 12 times EVERY time this page is loaded  is a lot of data and will be visible on any browser/speed. A big waste.

Suggestion: If 600×300 pixels is the largest size that you will show these images as. Upload them just as that. In Photoshop there are options to manage quality/size. Quality is often negligible so save in a quality of 60-70% and set the size right.

There are plugins that can be used in WordPress (WP Smoosh, Imagify etc) that I strongly recommend. I also recommend using online tools such as TinyPNG even before you upload images to your website. You can thereafter run a bulk optimization with Imagify before inserting images on your live site.

By doing this you should get the pagespeed up from 5-75 points in Google PageSpeed Insights.

Code Optimization: 

Compress your code output with GZIP to save space and to minimize the amount of data to download before rendering the page. Google writes more about Compression here.

For WordPress there is a plugin to optimize code called GzipCompression. If you tamper with the code, always make sure you have a backup of your website in the case something goes wrong

Cache your website: Caching your website is another easy fix to save space and time. By caching your pages you force-save them on the first load in the user’s browser. This means that the user won’t have to download all of your contents the next time they visit the same page. Set a time on how long you cache a website.

Some tools to help you with WordPress caching that I recommend are WP Super Cache and W3 Cache Optimizer.

Page Speed and Image Optimization is something that we take care of and help you with when we do On-Page Optimization work

Again have a great Christmas and please comment if you have any questions

Thanks

Tobias Gillberg

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