When you decrease the amount of time your website takes to download, you will increase the likelihood they will stay. This has been proven by studies conducted by several giants of the web, including Google and Amazon. They understand that time is money, and the longer someone spends waiting for a page to show up, the more agitated they become. When you optimize for speed, your church website visitors should be surprised with how quickly your site appears. This is especially true if they are viewing it on a mobile device over a cellular network, where every megabyte of data is money.
Parts of this article are a bit technical as some optimization occurs in code. I would still encourage you to read through this list. You will certainly learn a few new terms and hopefully challenge your web team with researching a new technology for your church website.
Images are undoubtedly the largest space hogs on a website. Depending on what image editor you are using to create your graphics, you may be forcing your visitors to download unnecessarily large photos. Even industry standards such as Adobe Photoshop is at fault here. There are tools such as Yahoo! Smush.it and PunyPNG that reduce image size with little if no noticable effects. You can perform bulk uploads, or sometimes install a plugin right into your content management system (CMS) that will automatically process your images on upload.
Reuse and Combine
Eliminate Unnecessary Objects
Optimize Your Server
This is probably the most mystical item on the list, as many readers are familiar with images and HTML; but server configuration is somewhat foreign. However if you know how to edit a text file, there are plenty of tutorials on how to greatly optimize your server. One of the easiest and best updates you can make is enabling compression. I recommend this tutorial that outlines the benefits and steps needed to enable compression for both Apache and IIS web servers.
I want to apologize if you made it to here and your brain is a pile of mush. I know that not everyone is very tech savvy; but my prayer is that you become familiar with the technologies and their capabilities. You may not know how to implement half of it, but knowledge is certainly power. Posing questions to your team will push them to create a better and faster experience for your visitors. Just note that there me some very good reasons they cannot implement one of these suggestions. Regardless, strive for a smaller site
Image courtesey of Craitza