Slowly but surely, Google is working at making us build better, faster, more secure and more effective websites. It started with the push to move us all from HTTP to HTTPS. But now it looks like they’re going a big step further.
Some time ago Google announced that they were starting to reward sites with better rankings if they had an SSL certificate – you know, that HTTPS thing that shows up before your website address. Now it’s almost standard for every site to have that.
Then we were told that if our site didn’t load fast and clean on mobile phones, that our site might not even be listed on Google when people searched for it from a mobile phone. So we cleaned up our websites and made mobile layouts work better.
Now Google is planning to slow-shame websites that take too long to load. Which could mean that big news sites smothered in ads and tracking code could be the first to be given a red badge on the Chrome browser for being so slow to load. And not only that; these sites are also going to be penalised for it in their search rankings.
So what are some quick things we can do to speed up our sites?
First, get those image sizes down. This is one of the worst offenders for slow site loading. Big picture mean big files. And big files mean slow loading. The same goes for videos. If you’re loading a big video every time your site is being loaded, you’re risking the same red badge.
Another thing you can do it stick your website on a better web host. If you’re paying someone like Crazy Domains or NetRegistry or even some $4 a month offshore host, you’re not getting the best speeds. Local hosts like Digital Pacific & Ventra IP are very good. If you’re headed offshore and have mostly Australian customers, then hosts in Singapore like Siteground are very well regarded. In America, Bluehost is a decent option, but you won’t get the best speeds on their entry level plans.
Another simple thing you can do is break up your single page, infinite scrolling website into multiple pages. Google likes you having more than one page with links between them all, and each of those pages is going to load a lot faster than one big long page full of content, photos and graphics.