6 Ways to Improve Your Site’s Loading Time
Image via Flickr.
Have you noticed that web pages in general are loading slower?
If so, you’re right. And, you may have noticed that with your Wix website too.
According to this article from CNN there are several driving factors behind this lag in loading. These factors include the increased use of video and images, along with the proliferation of data tracking and analysis tools. A quote from Greg Adams brings up yet another contributing factor, “The shift from desktop to mobile requests and consumption have had the biggest impact on website performance.”
While I could go on to talk about encryption, network congestion and a whole slew of other reasons, the bottom line is that a slow website is bad for business. Shaving off a few seconds — even milliseconds — can encourage your visitors to stay and engage with your content, instead of clicking away to the competition.
Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to improve your site’s loading time. Keep in mind that often, there’s a trade off. Many of the things we’re about to discuss can also boost your site’s appeal and your visitor’s experience — it’s all about balance and moderation.
Time to dive in…
6 Ways to Improve the Loading Time of Your Wix Website
Divide and conquer! – Keep in mind that Wix loads your website page by page. If the majority of your site’s content is on your homepage, it’s a good idea to spread it out over multiple pages instead.
Lighten up your images – Uploading your files in JPEG format means they’re compressed, but still decent in quality. On the other hand, PNG images are higher in quality, but also heavier in format. To improve your site’s loading time, keep PNG files to a minimum.
Be audio/video savvy – Multiple videos take longer to load so again, edit what you don’t need and use the manual play setting instead of autoplay. Same goes for video files. Choose manual play when possible and try uploading audio files with a bit rate of 128 kbps to gain the edge on loading times.
*Tip: To check your audio file’s bit rate (before uploading it) you can right click the file, choose Properties then Details and the bit rate will display under the Audio section. An audio editor or online service can be used to modify your file’s bit rate if needed.
Reign in those fancy fonts – With so many beautiful fonts to choose from, it can be hard to choose just one, or two or… The truth is, font style and formatting can affect your loading time since some fonts are heavier than others. Overall, you should only use 2 or 3 fonts on your website and heavier fonts are best used in titles and subtitles as opposed to long paragraphs.
Use special effects sparingly – Again, I’m not saying not to use them just do so with a light hand. Things like animations, slideshows and other effects can slow down your loading time especially if they are set to autoplay. Decide which elements provide the most value to your visitors’ and consider removing or reducing the rest.
Upgrade your plan – If you’re a free or premium user, upgrading your plan means you can tap into more bandwidth which in effect means that more information can get to and from your computer faster. This allows your data to download smoothly, keeping your site visitors’ happy. Get in touch if you’d like more information on upgrading your Wix plan.
How to Perform a Speed Test of your Wix Website
If you’ve done all you can and still feel your site is loading slowly you can use an online service to analyze your site’s speed. One of these services is called Pingdom.
Once you’re on the Pingdom site you’ll enter your URL(the web address of your site) and select a location to test from.
After a few minutes the test will be complete and a comprehensive summary will display including statistics and suggestions for optimizing your site’s performance. The results should give you a good idea of your site’s loading time as a real visitor would experience it.
To be sure, there are multiple factors to consider when it comes to slow loading times. This is likely something you’ll need to keep checking and tweaking overtime as you build your Wix website. For now, focus on the 6 things we’ve discussed in this article and you should see some good improvement.
As always, reach out if you need more help with this.