There are few things more frustrating to a user than a website with pages that load slowly. People tend to have very short attention spans when browsing the internet, with some spending an average of just 15 seconds on each page. Search engines hate slow loading times, too—Google will even penalize sites that don’t load quickly enough. Luckily, we have tips that will make your legal website run super fast. More on that in a minute.
To that end, it’s important to regularly test the speed of your law firm’s website and do whatever is needed to make sure it is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. In many cases, the biggest issue with slow websites is the hosting service. Choosing the cheapest hosting package will likely lead to your website being hosted on the same server as hundreds of others. A dedicated server is much more likely to give you better loading speeds.
However, dedicated servers can be expensive and an unrealistic option for smaller firms that are just getting started. Aside from changing the hosting service, there are a few steps you can take to boost your site’s speed:
- Optimize all images: Even today, when the clear majority of users have broadband internet, images can still slow down a website significantly. Whenever you are creating images for your website, make sure you use the “save for web” option and compress the file size. You also do not need to always post the full-resolution version of the image. Smaller pixel dimensions will work just fine in most cases.
- Limit the plugins you use: Plugins on platforms like WordPress and Sitefinity are great for easily adding much-needed functionality to a legal website. But the more you add, the more likely it is that they will bog down your site’s speed. Make sure any plugins you add have been created by quality developers. Additionally, there are numerous tools on the web that allow you to test the speed and performance of your plugins, so you know which ones are the cause of your slow website issues.
- Cache your data: Caching plugins allow for the temporary storage of data on your site to allow it to load faster in people’s browsers. This means that the first time a person visits, the website will take a bit of time to load, but upon returning to the site, the website will load almost instantly for the user.
- Choose your ads carefully: Although display ads might be a necessary evil to help generate revenue, you should be very careful about the type of ads (and number of ads) you use. Script-based ads, for example, can seriously inhibit your pages’ loading times, especially for users of mobile devices.
How quickly your website’s pages are loading may be the last thing on your mind as you serve your clients on a day-to-day basis. Check on your site regularly to ensure you’re making the most out of the leads that are visiting your firm online, and speak with a legal web developer if you think your pages are loading too slowly. We hope this article will help your website run super fast, after you implement these strategies.