Facebook’s algorithm will estimate how long it takes a page to load from its mobile app and use that information when ranking people’s feeds.
Digital marketing is a constant race for dominance for users’ attention, and in this race, speed matters. It’s more common than ever for search engines and social networks to penalize websites with slow load times, and Facebook is the most recent player to join the effort.
According to a recently leaked blog post, Facebook is starting to estimate how long it takes for a web page to load from its mobile app, and, in turn, will rank how high (or low) it will appear on news feeds.
“Factors such as the person’s current network connection and the general speed of the corresponding web page will be considered,” Facebook engineers Jiayi Wen and Shengbo Guo wrote in the company blog post. “If signals indicate the web page will load quickly, the link to that web page might appear higher in your feed.”
With this huge change expected to roll out in the coming months, there are numerous steps you can take in the meantime to ensure your site maintains in good standings with Facebook.
Improve your hosting
Perhaps the simplest way to immediately improve your website speed is to take a good hard look at your server. As sites grow and change, so too do hosting needs. If you’re currently using shared hosting consider a switch to a VPS or dedicated option to improve speed.
Make images mobile friendly
Image size makes a huge difference with your site speed. It’s not very difficult to understand that larger images yield slower load times. Combat the issue by playing with image resolutions, compressing photos, and cropping what you don’t absolutely need.
Going overboard with plugins can slow your site loading time down to a crawl. Although it’s nearly impossible to avoid plugins altogether, there are ways to reduce the overall count. Every few months, review all the plugins based on the amount of use and functionality. Eliminate them as necessary.
Caching stores users’ static files (such as HTML documents and images). That way, when a user revisits the page, it will load much faster since the database isn’t required to retrieve each file every time there is a request.
Reduce external scripts
Do you have various snippets of external scripts peppered throughout your site? Although they add some pretty great features, they send HTTP requests every time a new page loads. Find out which scripts were particularly large and you’ll discover which pages take the longest to load.