When it comes to website optimization, site load time is an important factor to consider. Site load time is the average length of time between clicking a link or typing in a web address and displaying the entire content from the web page on the requesting browser.

Although it may not seem significant initially, slow site load times can actually impact your website performance greatly. 47% of users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less and if that number jumps to 4 seconds, 40% of users will abandon the webpage. On top of this, slow site load time can also affect your search engine rankings.

So how exactly are you supposed to improve your website’s load time? There are numerous ways to go about it, but we have nailed down the top 3 that will make the most difference.

1. Optimize Images and Video

Most websites, especially dealer sites, are filled with visual content that can slow download time significantly. Two distinct factors of why these visuals slow down your website are the size of each asset and the total number of assets on each page.

Reduce File Size of Visual Assets

  • Size Your Images Appropriately – Ensure photos are sized within the parameters of your design
  • Use JPG When Possible – JPG maintains the quality of the image, without wasting space
  • Compress Your Videos – Videos are notorious speed hogs, compress each video using a video compression tool
  • Use a 3rd Party Hosting Platform to Embed Videos – Using a 3rd Party hosting platform reduces the impact on your server’s bandwidth

Limit the Number of Total Assets

  • Reduce the Number of Website Features – Sliders, background videos, large images, background texture, etc. increase page load speed.
  • Find a Healthy Balance – Ensure that your site is visually aesthetic, but also provides a positive user experience.

2. Leverage Browser Caching

A browser cache is a temporary storage area on a users computer for files downloaded by a browser to display a website. The types of files that are stored on a browser cache are things such as images, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These are items that do not change on a website from visit to visit, which is why they’re also known as “static assets.”

When it comes to what and for how long something is stored on the cache, that is up to the website. Meaning that to decrease site load time for your website, you can set up static assets to store in users’ browser cache. So when a person visits your website multiple times within a week some of the content on your site is already stored on their computer from their first visit and won’t need to redownload.

3. Minify, Minify, Minify!

Minification is the process of removing all unnecessary data from source code without changing its functionality. By minifying source code, it reduces the amount of data that needs to be transferred when loading a website page, and in turn, reduces the load time.

Think of it this way: You go to the grocery store and at the check out you ask the cashier not to bag any of your groceries. Now, when you get home you have to unload all of the groceries one by one from the car to the house. If you implement minification, that would be like having all of your groceries put into one or two bags and being able to make only one trip from the car to the house. The process becomes much more simple and less time-consuming.

By implementing these 3 solutions, your dealership’s website load time will decrease and your site visitors’ satisfaction will increase. If you are looking to optimize your website or improve your website’s load time, contact us at credmond@dom360.com.