Site Speed and Page Speed Optimisation
It is intuitively obvious to most people that faster loading websites are a clear preference of users and web admins alike. For a number of reasons, each of which will be outlined below, the faster your pages load, the more likely your website is to rank well with Google and turn more of that web traffic into solid inbound leads.
There are so many factors that contribute to a website’s overall speed from image compression, minifying scripts and stylesheets, reducing redundant overheads, using a CDN and of course, not to forget, your hosting package and that all important web server. Fortunately, we have a freebie for you, which can address at least some of these factors at the click of a button. Read on and learn why we feel the need, the need for speed!
The Difference Between Page Speed and Site Speed
While Page Speed very definitely refers to the speed of a single web page, Site Speed is a tougher ask in that it implies a broad sample of the pages on a website are loading without any significant delays.
We tend to measure page speed in one of two ways: page load time, where we measure the length of time it takes for the entire page and all of its elements and contents to fully load, or time to first byte, where we are only interested in how long it takes for literally the first byte of the web page to reach the user’s browser.
Why Page Speed Matters
For anyone who has had their website gain speed through optimisation techniques, it will be self-evidently true that speed matters. Why? Firstly, because Google take this aspect of SEO quite seriously and so it will impact directly on your ranking.
However, there indirect effects also, which also impact on your SEO and page ranking. These become especially problematic over time. Aside from Google’s own preoccupation with the time to first byte two other issues are:
Page Speed and Your Crawl Budget
When search engines crawl your website for indexing purposes, they do so against the clock! The total time allocated to crawling your website is known as your crawl budget. Put simply, if your site speed is too slow, you will consume all of your crawl budget before the indexing is complete and some pages may not get crawled at all. This is clearly bad for your SEO.
Negative UX and Bounce Rate
Slower websites are naturally considered to be negative for User Experience (UX). Users don’t like waiting for pages to load and this is especially true for those accessing your website over 3G, 4G or other cellular networks. Typically a user who has to wait more than a few seconds will abort the page and may even exit your site completely. This increases your bounce rate, a factor Google considers strongly towards reckoning your overall SEO. In the case of bounce, a higher score is bad news!
Increasing Your Site Speed
It’s beyond the scope of this article to expound every aspect of speed optimisation, but as explained in the introduction, there are many factors and. therefore, many separate battles to be won before you can win the war on speed. However, we have a freebie available for WordPress users running on Linux hosting packages (and, let’s face it, if you’re running WordPress on a Windows server then something is amiss).
Just hit the download button below and save the Whitespider Speedo plugin. Then simply log into your WordPress backend and install it like any other WordPress plugin. If you aren’t familiar with installing WordPress plugins then here is a great resource showing you how it’s done. It is incredibly simple!
Once Speedo is installed, simply visit the settings page and activate it. If your server and hosting environment is suitable then Speedo will make some rather benign, but effective changes to your website speed by deploying GZIP and Deflate techniques. If you remove the Speedo plugin or deactivate it, then these changes are also removed and your website will revert to whatever speed it was prior to Speedo being installed & activated. Don’t forget to measure your site speed before and after activating Speedo to determine the positive site speed benefits Speedo provides!
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