Site speed is one of the new measurements Google uses to rank pages. How do we as photographers leverage site speed, importance of SEO and still deliver high quality imagery?
Hi Alen, Bear in mind, it's one of the factors. And it's a small one at that. They began using this as a factor about 2 years ago, and the reason behind it was to ensure that webmasters were keeping their sites at a level of quality that Google will be comfortable suggesting as an answer to the search request. Google's main objective with Search is to offer the best solution for its users. So when someone types in "Boston Wedding Photographers" it is going to use all the factors it uses to return the absolute best solution. If they return poor results, then people stop using Google, and they really don't want that. The reason to increase the speed on your site, isn't necessarily to get in better with Google, but to improve the experience of your visitors and potential customers. It doesn't matter where your visitors come from. If your site is slow, they'll leave. So now that there's a little context, here are some ways to increase the speed in your site:
- Display less photos. It sounds crazy, but I think it's crazy to have 100 images in a blog post. Show less, and say more.
- Use a Lazy Loader plugin to delay the loading of images until the viewer scrolls a certain distance.
- Use a caching plugin WP-Super Cache is a good one with an easy setup process. It only speeds up pages and content (images can't be cached on the server side), but when optimizing for speed, everything helps.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is a worldwide network that delivers different types of content. It's essentially a mirror of your site that aids in the delivery of the files and content on your site. You'll have two or more servers serving up your files. Because most web browsers can use multiple channels of delivery, the content has more pipes to travel to and can be fed in at the same time. Considering that most web hosting is pretty cheap, paying a little extra for a better user experience is well worth it.