It is no secret that church website load time has always been important, but it is becoming increasingly vital to ensure that your site loads quickly. In a recent update, Google has put increased weight on website load times as an indicator of how your site ranks in Google. While it is unclear how much focus is given to page load speed right now, it is undoubtedly going to be of increased importance going forward, so now is the time to get your church website load time in check. You can check for yourself how your site is performing by using Google’s Pagespeed Insights Tool.
Another reason why church website load speed is important is simply that people hate waiting for pages to load. Having a site that loads quickly gives visitors improved user experience, thus increasing the likelihood of repeat visits. It is a fact that if your site doesn’t load within 3 seconds, people start to leave the page. After 4 seconds over 25% of visitors will have left, so improving your church website load time is vital.
This tool scans your church homepage and reports on general SEO best practices in addition to how well your church homepage is optimized for a single keyword. Using this report can help you easily identify some of the most major SEO deficiencies that may be impacting your church homepage and the associated opportunities for improvement.
How to Improve Church Website Load Time
There are a number of indicators that impact your church website load time that our team can assist you with. Here is a list of some of the improvements you should apply to your website to ensure it is loading lightening fast. As a result, your website will rise up the ranks in the search engines.
This is usually the main factor in websites that are loading slowly. Many people upload images to their websites that are far too large. When the webpage loads, it first has to load your large image, and then resize it to the size that is actually needed, which eats up valuable loading time. This can be improved by ensuring that all images are optimized to the resolution that they are being used. Also, compressing them as much as possible without affecting image quality improves load times.
This is another huge factor in the load speed of your site. If you enable your site to handle browser caching, it speeds up your load times by saving commonly visited parts of your site on your visitors browsers the first time they visit, so that the pages load much faster in subsequent visits.
Caching can also be applied to databases, code files, and search results to ensure quicker loading times all round.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network is a useful tool for improving church website load time. It works by storing a cached version of your large files, such as images and videos, in multiple geographical locations.
For example, without a CDN, if you are based in New York and someone in California opens your site, there will be a slight delay in load time due to the geographical distance. However, after you implement a CDN, your images will be loaded from California for users there, which dramatically increases church website load time.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Google indicated that they are going to put increased importance on how fast your site loads on mobile going forward. Because of this, it is absolutely essential that your website loads quickly on mobile devices. It is even thought that Google will begin to place mobile load time higher up on their list of ranking indicators than desktop load time. Accelerated Mobile Pages allow your site to be viewed very quickly on mobile devices by removing unnecessary objects from the page.
Try our new Free Church Website SEO Audit tool to analyse your website, and also to get improvement suggestions.
Cornerstone Case Study
When it comes to improving site load times our results speak for themselves, as you can see from this recent case study on the Cornerstone Church website. As you can see from the image below, their site was performing very poorly, and it was hurting their ability to rank well in Google and other search engines.
As you can see, they scored an F Grade on their Google Pagespeed, with a load time of almost 20 seconds. Can you imagine having to wait 20 seconds for a webpage to open? With a page speed like that, they were losing up to 75% of their traffic.
However, after we applied the above methods to improve their load time, you can see what effect it had on the site. After the changes, the Cornerstone website scored an A Grade, and attained a blisteringly fast load speed of 2.2 seconds.
To Get Started on Increasing your Site’s Load Time
Missional Marketing is a dedicated Christian communications firm working with Christian Churches and Organizations across the country, and we are also a Top 5% Certified Google Partner. So get in touch today, and we can get started on improving your Church Website Load Time.