In today’s podcast episode, Rebecca takes a deep dive into the steps you can take to optimize your website performance. She is joined by AJ Morris and together they navigate the world of website optimization, performance, and speed.
The SEO Backstory
Google has indicated that site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. With the move to mobile first indexing in 2018, the need for fast websites is becoming even more important.
Page speed is also important to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions.
Thus, optimizing your website performance is good for both SEO and the human visitor.
Website performance and optimization is a generally a factor of three elements:
- Server – Things like PHP and SQL databases.
- CMS Applications – Things like themes, page templates, and plugins used.
- End Users – Things like image sizes and compression utilization.
Website owners should consider the following items when purchasing website hosting:
- Site speed and performance
- Support access
- Service level agreements
- Level of managed hosting
- CMS experience
- Feature and function list
- Staging area support
- SSL certificates
When you’re considering migrating to a new host, AJ suggested the following steps:
- Talk to freelancers or developers to get recommendations
- Look for coupons for free trials
- Set up a staging area to test performance before you actually move your site over and update your DNS
If your website is large and your codebase a bit of a beast:
- A code audit can do wonders for improving both the health and performance of a website.
- Code audits and subsequent code refracturing can truly only be done by higher end agencies with deep technical expertise.
- Rebecca and AJ both share a client that recently utilized Crowd Favorite for such an activity.
When asked about website hosting in 2018, AJ offered the following observations:
- SSL certificates and HTTPS websites will become even more critical.
- More managed applications for popular applications like WooCommerce, Drupal, and Magento.
- More full-featured solutions that incorporate options like Facebook ad integration and more integrated solutions for cache.
- Greater hosting support for mobile website optimization.
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