If you’re a people pleaser like me, you know how hard it is to tell people what they’re getting wrong, but that’s how I spent the Easter long weekend. Reviewing websites and trying to tell people—nicely—what’s wrong with their websites.
Some forty-odd reviews and many of them had the same three problems, read on to see what they are and fix them on your site.
No HTTPS (SSL/TLS Certificates)
HTTPS prevent your website from being tampered with as it goes between your server and your users’ browser. It stops intruders from being able to “listen” to the communication between your user and your website (ie when they complete a form on your site or make a purchase).
Google says “You should always protect all of your websites with HTTPS, even if they don’t handle sensitive communications.” To reinforce this, from July 2018 Google’s Chrome browser will start notifying users that the site they are viewing is insecure.
In short, if your site doesn’t have an SSL/TLS certificate, it needs one.
Slow load times
Slow load times are one of the factors that can cause your website to rank lower on Google. Your site viewers like a fast site too, 40% will click away if your site takes too long.
There are a lot of reasons why your website might be loading slow. Some are beyond your control (if your user’s internet connection or computer is slow there’s nothing you can do), but some you can absolutely fix.
Install a caching plugin. A plugin like WP Rocket will compress (minify) any inefficient code running on your site and cache copies of your site so that it doesn’t need to be loaded from scratch each time it’s viewed (among many other things).
Optimise your images. You don’t need images that are 5000px wide, but pixel size isn’t the only thing that will cause a large file. Using an image optimising plugin like EWWW will reduce the file size of your images and speed up load time.
Remove unnecessary plugins. If you don’t need it or aren’t using it, remove it. Each plugin on your site is a piece of code. Each piece of code adds to your sites load time.
Text embedded in images
Search engines can’t read text on images.
This is especially important to remember for anything at the top of your page—if it’s important enough to go at the top of your page, it’s important enough for a search engine to read it.
Many themes let you set an image as the background and add text over the top. This way you can still use pretty fonts while still letting Google read what you’ve written.
So there you go, the three biggest problems holding websites back. Are they affecting your business site?