How to Best Achieve an Optimized Website

In order to provide your visitors the best user experience and grow your audience, you will need to optimize your website in a few ways. Making sure your website’s SEO and indexing features are optimized will get your site shown in search result listings and bring more traffic to your web content. Optimizing your site for speed and efficiency will ensure you have fast loading times, and that you’re making the most of your site’s server and software. Follow these simple steps to achieve an optimized websites and improve your site’s traffic and usability.

Optimized Hosting

The first thing to do to achieve an optimized website is to select hosting that fits your specific needs. Not all web hosts are created equal, and even some of the best, most reputable hosts may lack optimization for your chosen CMS or website platform. Don’t settle for “Compatible,” instead look for hosts that mention your particular Content Management System in their marketing, be it WordPress, Joomla, or other.

Hosts can optimize your site further by offering virtual servers and dynamic processing methods. Great web hosts will direct resources where they are needed throughout the day o make sure you never have down time. Check to see if your hosts offers dynamic plans to prevent downtime or lags before signing up.

Load Times

Make sure your website loads with optimal speed by installing quick-loading themes, and avoiding sluggish plugins or code. You can test your site’s load speed with online tools like Pingdom and Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

If your site is running a little slow, and takes more than 2 seconds to load on any particular browser, consider installing a faster theme. If your theme is already lightweight and optimized for speed, it’s time to suspect media and hosting. Images should be compressed to the smallest size possible without losing quality. Video can be embedded to save you bandwidth, and most of the other content on your site can be cached in the users browser. Download a cache plugin for WordPress, or setup caching in your site’s back end to make use of this speed-enhancing feature. If your site is loading slowly despite your best efforts you may want to learn how to transfer a website to a faster host or platform.

SEO and Indexing

To best optimize your website for SEO purposes and gain a larger user-base you will need to use some common SEO tactics. These include having quality content that is free of errors and inefficiencies. Make sure you allow robots to crawl the parts of your site you want to be made public using the robots.txt file on your server. Direct search engines away from displaying any filler-data such as pages under construction or pages containing “Lorem Ipsum” demonstration text.

Make use of meta tags, photo descriptions and other SEO-targeted indexing techniques wherever you can. This includes every page and internal frame where HTML is to be displayed. By having hover-over descriptions, your site will be optimized for text to voice software and web transcription services as well.

User Interface

Optimize your website’s user interface for ease of use and readability. Visitors don’t want to strain their eyes reading poorly contrasted text or looking at blurry media. Try using retina-ready, responsive themes for your chosen CMS to make sure your site displays well on every device. You can always transfer a website to another CMS if you can’t find an optimal theme for your website. This simply involves downloading your content like text posts and media, and uploading them to a new CMS with a new theme.

Navigation buttons and menu options should be simple and intuitive. Creativity needn’t suffer, but users should be able to figure out how to navigate your site in seconds, without instruction. Steep learning curves for site navigation may annoy impatient web users and make your page views decrease.

Use white space and images to separate long blocks of text for a better user experience. This will help people who only wish to skim your content to do so quickly, and it will give your more meticulous readers a break from tiring walls of text. A general rule to follow is that you should have a new paragraph for every 4 or 5 sentences.

Optimization Plugins

Another way to make sure your website is providing users the best experience possible is to check or improve your site using an optimization plugin. Plugins like Autoptimize and WP-Optimize can help you check for any bottlenecks in speed and bugs in your coding. These plugins can also make sure you’re using caching to your advantage, which can be a tricky task without a tool or plugin.

Putting these techniques to use will improve your site’s analytics in both overall traffic and pages visited per user. Everything from optimized web hosting to efficient and properly coded themes and layouts can make the difference for your site’s optimization. Make sure to install a traffic counter or other site tracking software so you can measure the improvement with each optimization method you implement.