You’re following all the expert advice out there on how to setup a website that books your services, but no one’s biting. It feels like you’re doing everything right: you’re writing posts that attract your ideal client, you’ve included calls to action across your site, and you’ve outlined exactly what you do and how you can help. But something’s broken somewhere and you can’t figure it out.
It’s quite possible that your slow website is to blame.
A slow website and a lack of clients? Doesn’t sound like they’re related, does it? But think about it. What happens when you land on a site that takes forever to load?
You leave. And so does everyone else. In fact, 40% of people will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
So regardless of how awesome your content is or how much of a perfect fit your services are, if your site doesn’t load quickly, it’s likely that potential clients won’t even stick around long enough to see it.
And that’s a shame, especially if you’re putting tons of time and energy into getting people to click over to your site.
So what can you do to ensure that your site loads quickly enough for people to stick around?
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Use a quality host
All web hosts are not created equal. Choose the wrong one and no matter what you do, your site will only load so quickly. If you can only invest in one thing for your website, make it your hosting.
Remember, you get what you pay for. But that doesn’t mean you have to splurge and pay hundreds each month. My personal favorite host is SiteGround. Plans start at $4 a month (for the first year). But if you go for their middle or top tier plan ($6 or $12 per month for the first year), you get their SuperCacher. Definitely worth it!
And please, no matter what you do, avoid GoDaddy at all costs. Unless you want a slow site, then by all means, go for it. I’ve worked on countless GoDaddy sites and let’s just say they’ve all been incredibly slow.
Cache your site
Just because you’re using a speedy host, it doesn’t mean you’re done. After all, your host can only do so much. If you’re loading all sorts of content your server can only help you so much. This is where caching comes in.
Caching is essentially making a copy of your pages that are stored for easier access. This means that when someone lands on your site, there’s a copy already saved and ready to be loaded, which saves time.
Depending on your host, how you go about caching your site will vary. Some WordPress hosts handle the caching on their end so you don’t have to do a thing.
Then are hosts like SiteGround that have their own caching service which would can choose to use. Remember how I mentioned SuperCacher? Well their GrowBig and GoGeek plans include this great feature that allows caching from the server not just via WordPress. In other words, it just works better. And that’s part of the reason why I recommend SiteGround.
If your host doesn’t include any caching options, there are always caching plugins which work on the WordPress side of things. I personally like WP Fastest Cache as I find it is the easiest to use and gets the best results. If you’re looking for an easier to setup caching plugin, I’ve heard great things about WP Rocket, which is a premium plugin.
Optimize your images
We’ve discussed hosting and caching, now let’s talk about images. Loading multiple images are a big cause of slow loading times. After all, images can be huge in terms of file size. And when you have multiple to load, that time can add up quickly.
In order to speed up the process, you need to optimize your images. To do so, save any images in the maximum size needed. So if your blog post area is 1000px wide, your images should be 1000px wide at maximum. Similarly, the images on your sidebar need to only be 300px wide (or however wide your sidebar is).
After saving your images to the proper dimensions, you can further reduce the file size by compressing them. Compressing your images removes added image data and reduces the number of colors used in an image.
Now I know what you’re thinking: why would I want to remove colors from my image? Wouldn’t that make it look horrible?
Yes, it can. But if you’re compressing your images via lossless compression, the changes will barely be noticeable to the naked eye. And the results will be worth it.
There are a bunch of tools out there for compressing your images, but my favorite is Imagify. You can compress your images via their site or you can install a plugin that will automatically compress your images upon upload.
By switching to a quality host, enabling caching, and using properly sized images, your site will load faster. And a faster site means people will stick around longer, which means you can win them over with your awesomeness and get them to book your services. It’s a win-win!
So don’t overlook your site’s speed. Beyond just being annoying, it can really have a negative impact on your business.Don’t overlook your site’s speed. It can have a negative impact on your biz and cost you clientsClick To Tweet