“All that really concerns me is speed,” crooned Montgomery Gentry in their hit “Speed” and while it makes for a great country slow dance song, it’s also relevant to vlogs, podcasts, and any other online format where audio/video is necessary. Speed is also a huge factor with search engine optimization (SEO), with algorithms considering the speed a site fully loads as an indicator of quality. There are many things that impact speed, from in-memory database services to your web host, and quite a few of them are within your control.
Remember that just because your site loads quickly and perfectly on your end doesn’t make that so for someone else. Try comparing your site’s speed when using your in-office Wi-Fi, and then check it out at a crowded coffee shop where everyone’s competing for bandwidth. Now imagine just how quickly your site might be loading in rural India where dial-up might be used. Luckily, MakeUseOf has offered free avenues for testing your site speed, but what can you do once you realize you’re the turtle in this mad dash?
1. Clean up your website
Your website probably isn’t as “clean” as it could be, and there might be ghost/invisible text hiding or those images might be unnecessarily big. This is especially true if you had someone else design your site and it’s been years since it was truly upgraded. However, if you use a free platform like WordPress, you can easily see for yourself the size of images and get rid of any white noise that might be slowing things down.
2. Check with your web host
Most people go with the default, recommended web hosting services offered when they register their domain. You might luck out, but chances are you went with a free or cheap option that’s not known for uptime or speed. The vast majority of websites use a “shared server” and the more people who share it, the less the cost but the slower the load times. Shop around and find a web hosting company that prioritizes speed, yet stays within your budget.
3. Consider your Wi-Fi connection
There will always be people, including your customers, with faster and slower internet connections than you. However, you should cater to those with the worst connection. On the other hand, if you’re struggling with a slow load yourself and you have the option to shop around for better Wi-Fi, do so. Time is money when you’re creating podcasts and vlogs, and you shouldn’t be struggling with subpar internet.
4. Ditch the flash and animation
Nothing slows down a site faster than flash, and it’s also a huge search engine optimization faux pas. Sites should be simple and static for the best speed (and mobile readiness).
There’s no time to slow down when your site’s reputation is on the line.
Originally posted on January 10, 2015 @ 4:20 pm