How to Build a Warp Speed Website
Perhaps you’ve already built your website, or maybe you’re just setting out to learn as much as you can before you hire a web design expert or marketing firm to build it for you. Either way, considering the investment of time and money you’ll put into your site, you want to make sure that it converts your visitors. You want those leads and prospects to visit your site, engage with your content, and become your new customers, but there’s one issue: your site loads way too slowly.
Why do I need a warp speed website?
According to Google Speed Insights industry benchmarks report, as page load times increases, the chance of someone leaving your site increases substantially:
If visitors bounce from your site – meaning they do not interact with any element on your website and “press back” or close the tab – there is a slim chance they will return. That site bounce translates into lost business for you.
In order to prevent those visitors from bouncing, your website needs to load fast. In essence, you need to build a warp speed website, which is no easy task. Slow site speed could be due to a number of variables including clunky code, unoptimized images, or oversized page elements and plugins. To narrow down the culprits, you’ll want to use a site like Google’s TestMySite tool to diagnose what’s going on under the hood.
Using the Google TestMySite Tool
The TestMySite tool is easy to use gives you a great deal of helpful information and suggestions to improve your site speed. You start by typing in your website URL, and the tool analyzes your site, running a series of speed tests to explore your website performance across mobile network speeds like 3G. Take a look at the suggestions and click on each to see what they mean:
- Avoid Landing Page Redirects
- Leverage browser caching
- Prioritize visible content
- Reduce server response time
- Enable compression
- Minify resources
- Optimize images
Depending on how your site was built and on what platform, you’ll see some of these suggestions in your report. If you hire a web designer, then be sure to send them the report to investigate and explore on your behalf. If you still have questions, Google also offers an FAQ page to answer some of the common questions received by website owners.
How can I build a warp speed website?
So you’ve watched the video, clicked on the links above, but you’re still somewhat perplexed as to how you can build a warp speed website. Have no fear, here are some best practices to help you:
Optimize your images
Use a free tool like Optimizilla to compress your images and reduce their file size. By compressing your image files, you’ll decrease the overall weight of your website, decreasing your load time.
Reduce clutter on your site
You may feel compelled to include a slew of images and tons of written content on your website, but that’s not necessarily going to help you. Instead keep your website copy and images on point. Think about your buyer persona – what do they want to know in order to make a buying decision? Is that content easy to find?
By minifying, you remove redundant data without affecting how the browser processes the different resources on your site:
Test, Test, Test
All the tools in the world can’t replace an actual consumer. Choose a small group of friends, family, and valued customers to test your site. Ask them to take notes on the experience and let you know what works and what doesn’t. You may just find that you have sections or resources on the site that you don’t need – which means dead weight you can remove.
Putting it together
At the end of the day, you build a website because you want to attract, engage, and convert customers. If your site loads too slowly, you’ll miss the mark and lose valuable visitors. Building a warp speed website can be overwhelming, but follow the tips and tricks above to strive for a speedy site that plays to potential customers on both desktop and mobile devices.
Bryan Caplan helps businesses elevate their digital presence. A national speaker for Google’s Get Your Business Online program and award-winning CEO of Bryan Caplan Marketing, Bryan travels the country, presenting on a wide range of digital marketing topics to help small businesses grow and succeed.
Bryan has provided digital marketing strategy to well over 1,000 businesses since 2010 and is a guest lecturer at Suffolk University School of Business. He is also a contributing columnist to several publications including Constant Contact, Domain.com, Hostgator, BusinessTown, and the Boston Business Journal.