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How to Make Sure Your Website’s Load Time Doesn’t Affect Your Small Business

AUTHOR: Sogol Sabbar

When it comes to building or re-launching your website one aspect many business owners forget about is making sure they optimize for a fast speed time. Now what does that mean? We aren’t talking about internet speed here, what we are talking about is the load time of your website. The time it takes for someone to click “go” after they’ve typed your website URL in their browser, to the time your whole site completely loads. Your load time could be affecting the way your customers interact with your business online and potentially costing you money. But don’t stress, there are many simple things you can do to speed things up.

Optimize every image

This is one of the most important changes you can make to improve download speeds. Optimize in the digital world means to ‘save for the web’ or to reduce the sizes of your images without losing any resolution. You should always save photographs as JPG file formats and images with large blocks of flat color as GIF file formats.

Use external CCS (Code) to load background images

Your images on your site are important because they tell the visual story of your business. But the content on your website is more important. So by presenting your images as part of the background using external CSS stylesheets will help the text on your site load faster allowing for your customers to start reading your content while waiting for your images to load. This will keep them engaged and on your website longer. You can easily add this technique to your site by adding the ‘link’ to the Head Section, i.e. anywhere between the <head> and the </head>, add this code:
<link [KV2] rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/CSS” href=”your-CSS.CSS”>.
If you have a web developer, just give them this script and they will know what it means.

Lessen white space, line returns, and comment tags

In HTML code every single letter or space takes up one byte. If you have many line returns or white spaces and comment tags, those could easily add up to many unnecessary bytes. By making these changes, you could cut about 10% of your file size, speeding up your load time.

Refrain from using unnecessary META tags and META content

The only tags you need on each of your pages are for search engine optimization. Refrain from going overboard and filling up on lengthy META tags and META content. This won’t help your SEO and will increase the size of your pages. Try to keep the content for each of your tags under 200 characters.

Remove unnecessary JavaScript and other client-side scripting

If you have a web developer you work with, they may have added some unnecessary client-side elements that you may not know of. Make sure you or they remove any of these elements and any JavaScripts that are not entirely necessary. These useless scripts and elements may be slowing your page down.

Test Your Speed every time you update

Once you’ve taken all of these facts into consideration you can test the load time of your site to make sure you rank well with Google by going to Google’s PageSpeed Tools. It will identify the areas you need to improve on, whether on desktop or mobile and will guide you on how you can fix it. It is a good idea to have this page bookmarked, so you can check your website’s speed every time you make changes or updates.

With speed playing a major factor in Google’s ranking of your website, always remember patience in the digital world went out the window a long time ago. As a business owner you know that time is money, so when building or updating your business’ website, remember, the time it takes for your site to load, could mean money.

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