How to speed up your site

Nobody likes waiting, whether it’s in traffic or on the phone with customer service. The web is no different, and site speed can drastically affect user experience.

If your page is loading slowly, users are likely to go elsewhere; and even if they do wait for the page to load, they’re less likely to return. They’re also much less likely to reach your contact page, where you can actually convert your visitor into your clients.

In addition, slow load speeds can affect your Google rankings. However, speed is not a heavily weighted factor and only influences a small percentage of search queries. So while you should probably not obsess over it, it’s still important to do all of the small things that might get you ahead of your competitors. If you’re in a competitive market, these “unimportant” ranking factors add up to be potential difference makers.

Here are ways to make your website faster:

  • Resize Your Image Dimensions – There is absolutely no need to upload full-size images to your blog or website. Keep your dimensions down to the actual width of your web page, which is different for every website but typically no larger than 1000px. We cover this is detail in our Lightroom Workshop Collection.
  • Use Web Sized Images – Use web resolution images (72dpi to 96dpi) rather than print resolution images (300dpi or higher) for your website. The additional dpi is not noticeable on screens and only leads to larger file sizes and slower load times.
  • Decrease Your Image Quality – As a general  rule, when you are exporting your web images, export them at 70-90% quality. Of course, if you notice a difference with a particular image, bump it back up to 100%. But with most images there will be no noticeable difference and the smaller file sizes will help your pages load faster.
  • Use a theme with clean code – If your theme is using scripts that are bulky, outdated, or unclosed your site can suffer. Choose your theme carefully, factoring in the reputation of the developer.
  • Use plugins with clean code – Many content management systems allow you to install plugins. When you use plugins, be sure to choose only the plugins you absolutely need; and carefully read the reviews. Also, completely uninstall those that you do not need (rather than simply making them inactive).
  • Use a caching plugin (WordPress users only) – We will cover this in our WordPress chapter in the bonus.
  • Follow the Advice of the Google PageSpeed Insights – If you’re not familiar with programming, many of these suggestions will be difficult to comprehend. however, this will give you some ideas to either research or pass on to your programmers.
  • Other Advanced Topics – For the rest of these topics, we will simply give you terms to research further if you are looking to go the extra mile. For the purposes of this book, we are going to skip over them to continue pressing forward. Here are some search terms to research: 1) “Optimize Your Database” and 2) Amazon CDN.” The average photography studio doesn’t need to worry about these two concepts, but if you find yourself obsessed with site speed, they are two things to consider.

CHAPTER 1.01 – INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 2: 1.02 – SEO BASICS & KEYWORD STRATEGY

CHAPTER 3 1.03 – CREATING CONTENT

CHAPTER 4: 1.04 – SITE STRUCTURE

Chapter 5: 1.05 – ACCESSIBILITY, SPEED, AND DUPLICATE CONTENT

Chapter 6: 2.01 – LINK BASICS

Chapter 7: 2.02 – LINK VALUE FACTORS

Chapter 8: 2.03 – NOFOLLOW, RELATED LINKS, & ANCHOR TEXT

Chapter 9: 2.04 – LINK BUILDING STRATEGIES

Chapter 10: 3.01 – THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Chapter 11: 3.02 – MAXIMIZING SPECIFIC SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS

Chapter 12: 3.03 – MASTER LOCAL SEARCH

Chapter 13: 4.01 – Initial Decisions

Chapter 14: 4.02 – WORDPRESS AND SQUARESPACE

Chapter 15: 4.03 – GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Chapter 16: PAID DIRECTORIES

ACCESS TO INDUSTRY-LEADING EDUCATION

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