By Kevin Tjoe — 25 Nov 2015
Three seconds is all it takes for someone to abandon ship — and by abandon ship, I mean exit out of your website if it isn’t loading fast enough.
Well yes, and this statistic is actually from 2009! That means all of those impatient busybodies perusing around the interwebs are probably expecting an even faster loading time. If you don’t meet their expectations, your website and tourism business will go down faster than you can say Titanic.
If you don’t want to meet this demise — and play Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ on repeat as you cry your eyes out — check out (and memorize and implement) our tips below:
While getting your page to load in less than three seconds might seem frightening, there’s good news — it can be done! And there’s even better news — Google makes your life ridiculously easy by telling you exactly what you need to do to make your website faster!
Because Google is smarter than most of us, they have introduced a tool that can analyze your website and give you a score based on its speed. All you need to do is enter your website URL on the Google PageSpeed Insights site and voila! You’ll (almost) instantaneously get a score between 0-100. And just like in school, the higher score, the better.
While it’s very difficult to get 100/100, a score of 80/100 will have you and your website sitting pretty. The trick here is, they not only test how fast your website runs on desktop, but they test it on mobile too!
Pro-tip: To identify exactly where those pesky bottlenecks are occurring on your website, we recommend installing this highly intuitive Google PageSpeed Insights plugin.
Beautiful, professional pictures are key to great tourism websites — the only catch is that large image files can seriously slow down your site.
So, after you’ve compiled all those Facebook profile worthy pictures, make sure that they are optimized for your site.
A great rule of thumb is to keep the images in JPEG format, and ensure that they are as small as possible without sacrificing quality. While this can sometimes be a fickle process, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, you actually need to put very little thought and effort into optimizing all those images because…
Your new BFF, Google PageSpeed Insights, saves the day again. After they have presented you with a score, they will present you with a litany of recommended fixes and they go one step further — they actually optimize your images for you (as shown below):
If you want your site running quickly, don’t jam it up with large files. This practice will almost guarantee that your website will be kickin’ it with the tortoise in the race to website speed victory.
To keep up with the hare (and all the viewers that are expecting your page to load in two seconds or less), use GZIP compression. All you need to do is add a tiny bit of code to a file called .htaccess and the rest of your website’s files will shrink to around fifty to seventy percent of their original size.And if you want to check if your website is already GZIP compressed, this website will tell you in seconds!
Start with your widgets. Now, you might have a great social media presence — maybe you have thousands upon thousands of people liking your Facebook page. If you do, then it’s probably worth including a Facebook widget on your page (as it will seriously help build some social proof for your tourism business). If you don’t, the addition of social media widgets will merely bloat your site with unnecessary data.
Same goes for plugins. If a plugin isn’t adding any value to your site, there’s absolutely no reason that it still needs to hang about. And if it does add value, maybe there’s a better one out there that can do the same job faster.
If you’ve done all of the above and you’re still racking your brain for more ways to speed your website up, consider investing in a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Basically, they spread files of your website to different servers across the globe — so when someone accesses your site, the CDN finds a server closest to the viewer’s geographical location. Which is fantastic news, because the closer the user is to the server, the faster your website will load.
If you are interested in this option, Amazon Cloudfront is a popular and reputable option.
Now that your tourism website is winning the test of time, make sure that it’s raking in some serious sales with a great design integrated with Rezdy’s booking software.