How to improve your website speed 2020

Increase your website performance

One of the key aspects of how potential customers assess your business, is the quality of your website. The overall speed and ease of use of your website will go a long way to turning visitors into customers. Websites built for cheap, hosted overseas on bloated WordPress themes may have saved you some money initially. But when no one can access your website without pulling out their hair, you may want to consider how to improve your websites performance. 

Google Page Speed insights has been around for many years now, and has been a create tool for web developers to optimize the speed of their websites. Loading times are crucial, you have mere seconds to capture your users attention, before they move on to another site. If your site spends those few seconds loading a blank white screen, you are most likely losing many visitors who come to your site. Many years ago Sites On Fire realized just how important Google was making this, overall page speed is now a ranking factor in Google. So if your website doesn’t meet these guidelines, your ranking will be penalized. So when we developed our CMS, FireStarter we spent a long time, a very long time making sure our code was as lean as possible. Constantly testing out results against Google’s requirements. We are proud to say that our new websites, without us even lifting a finger, generally score 90% and higher.

How do we ensure every website we develop is quick? We’ve employed many different technologies to make sure we meet the 90% and higher requirement to meet Google’s “fast” grading. First is the actual code we run, our entire system is written by Sites On Fire, every line is optimized as much as possible, our database is filled with indexes for faster look ups. Once the code is on the servers, we employ PHP cache so the server doesn’t have to continually work out the same result.

The physical server your website is hosted on is incredibly important. We’ve had clients come to us with existing websites hosted on “cheap” servers, usually this means somewhere overseas. If your client base is overseas that’s fine. But if you run an Australian business, you’ll want your website hosted in Australia. This year we moved to more powerful servers with lightning fast SSD drives, our websites are served over the HTTP 2 protocol which is drastically faster than the older HTTP 1.1.

Images are the lifeblood of your website, good images can make your business look incredibly professional, but this comes at a cost. Those high resolution images we all love, are the biggest payload of any website. To counter this we employ very efficient compression keeping file sizes low, and quality high, plus browser caching as per Google’s recommendations. 

Page speed is crucially important, if you’ve got a slow website, please give us a call before it’s too late. We can get your website scoring in the 90-100% range

How To Get A Website In 2020

Are you trying to get your business online in 2020? In this article we will break down the steps between you, and running a successful website. Starting from baby steps to get your website up with as little work as possible. Then moving to advanced ways to monitor and maintain your website.

What are your goals?

Before you can get a website, you need to plan out what you are trying to do. Websites come in may different shapes and forms based off of their use case. If you are running an e-commerce website, the goal of your website is to make sales. Your website may be 100% lead generation, in that case you want people to sign up, send a form or call you. Your website can used to get physical store visits. Or, your website can be informational, and your only goal is to inform visitors. Whatever it is you want to achieve with a new website design, you need to know before you can start.

Start Simple

Getting your business online can be daunting. We’ve broken the process down into a few basic steps to get you going straight away.

Meet your goals

When you have a design ready to code, you need to ask yourself several questions.

  • Does the design meet your goals?
  • Will this website design make your sales, produce leads etc?
  • Is it visually appealing
  • Is your information clear

If not, you need to rework it before going any further with the website development. Finding problems early on in the process will save you money. Once you’ve ironed out those issues, you can begin coding it.

When you have a website you can test, you then need to check if the usability is good.

Make sure your website ticks off on your business goals

Is that it?

No, getting a website doesn’t have a finish line, it is a continual process.

Refine from user experience

You may think your website is perfect, but users can do unpredictable things. Using tools (we will talk about these further down) you can assess what visitors are doing. For example, they may not see your call to action buttons, your phone number could be too small. Identify what the problems are with your website, and then plan to correct them.

Staying Fresh

From the second your website goes live, it’s starting to get old. Google looks for freshness. This means it cares about how long ago your website was updated. Your industry may have new developments and your website doesn’t cover them. Staying current will help set your website apart from your competitors.

How to grow your website

Add More Content

“Content is king” is a saying in SEO, but it’s also true for enhancing the user experience. Customer’s have lots of questions. If your site can answer them, they are more likely to see you as an authority. Having a well informed customer, will make the sales process easier. When we develop a new website, we tell our clients to write down common questions for their industry. These questions are then used to work out what content to write. Then we create unique pages for each of them. More content, for as many varied topics as you can, will help your SEO, and help visitors.


A great way to grow your site is via blogging. Find a schedule that works for you, but at post at least once a fortnight. Write about potential search terms that customers would Google. Posting photos of ongoing jobs is a great way to show off your skills.


With peoples lack of time, and short attention spans, video is becoming a conversion key. Here are some video consumption stats

  • 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
  • YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users.
  • 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
  • More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day.
  • More video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years.
  • 87% of online marketers use video content.

These stats are taken from here

Websites like Fiverr, allow you to save money producing quality video content. Videos are very effective at explaining complicated topics. When faced with a wall of text, visitors are more likely to watch a video.

You can host videos on your website for free on YouTube

Essential Website Features

In 2020, having a responsive website design is 100% needed. There are countless articles about this. More and more traffic is going mobile. People are shifting from desktops to iPads. You need to account for screen sizes from 4 inches and beyond 27 inches. The only way to do this is to hire a professional website developer who codes responsive websites. Hint: That’s us.

During 2020 Google pushed out an update to favour websites running over HTTPS. This is an added layer of security for your users. Websites without HTTPS are shown with a warning in the address bar.

Tracking Your Website Performance

Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to track visits to your website. Providing detailed information on who visits, and their behaviour. Some important stats are:

  • Time spent on page
  • How they found you
  • Device Used
  • Pages they viewed

Google Analytics Shows You Visitor Actions

Google Search Console

Submitting your website will allow you to see how Google indexes your website. You will get alerts for sitemap errors, structured data parse issues. You can also make sure you don’t have duplicated content by correctly using canonical tags. Setting this up is very simple, all it requires is a record on your domain name.

Full Story

If you want to literally “see” how people are using your website, Full Story is the solution. While this is a paid solution, it is a powerful one. Every time someone visits your website, Full Story records what they are doing. You can, at any time, watch what people are doing. There are many other tools and ways to track your users. Watching users click on what they think are buttons, or scroll looking for a phone number, will help guide your website development.

And that’s it. We’d love to help you get your business online and making money. Give us a call, or send us a message.