Website Speed Optimization: Ultimate Guide

  • 4th May'21
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In the modern online business, there is a lot dependent on the company's website performance. Your website is the face of your company, this is where people look for when they want to know more about you. Take yourself, for instance, whenever you hear about a company which you are not familiar with, the first thing you do is visit their website. Now, you know that there are huge audiences who visit your website daily, but they chose someone else over you because they did not like your performance. 

Out of many reasons, websites' slow speed irritates people most. Remember, they are looking for many options at the same time, if your website is taking time to show itself, they will close it rather than giving their time and effort in waiting and understanding. The poor and unimpressive website speed optimization is killing your business and also frustrates visitors to seek alternatives.

 

speed test

 

Website Speed Optimization: things to know before getting started

Page speed

Page Speed refers to the length of time that it takes for a web page to load. When you click on a link and the time taken between clicking and displaying the entire content from the web page is page load time. For website success, website speed optimization and page load time are very important. The faster the page will be loaded, the higher rate of converting your visitors into customers. Research done by Hubspot reveals that 1-second delay results in a 7 percent reduction in conversions.

Besides, while ranking sites Google considers the Website speed, if it has a poor user experience it will gain less promotion in search results. Also, factors like website page speed, load time, and website responsiveness decide whether the user will be likely to visit you more often or not. Engineers at Google found out that page load time of 0.4 seconds is enough to cause users to search less and 1 in 4 visitors leave the website if it takes over 4 seconds to load. A giant online merchant like Amazon will face an annual loss of $ 1.6 billion for every one-second delay in page load time. 

Visit the below links to know more related to page load time:

Page load time effect on business

Even a second delay in the page load time can cost you millions. We are all more likely to visit websites that respond quickly. Get to know how this factor affects your business regarding case studies. Read more.

Good page load time for SEO

We know that page load time plays an important role in website ranking, so let us see what time duration is acceptable to the visitors and is important for SEO as well. Read more.

 

How to Speed up your website

1. Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A set of web servers distributed across various geographical locations is called a content delivery network. Considering the user's location, CDN provides web content to end-users worldwide without slowing down the website speed. Hosting the website on a single server increases the time needed to process each request. Also, when the users are physically far away from the server the load times increase. Using CDN you can minimize the physical distance between the server and the user thus removing the chances of delays in loading the web page. CDN redirects the user requests to the nearest server. As a result of which a website works faster. 

 2. Handover your website to better host

For better optimization, it is essential to choose a faster host. There are three types of hosting. They are:

  • Shared hosting

  • Virtual Private Servers (VPS) hosting

  • Dedicated server

Shared hosting is the most popular and the cheapest way to get the site online in a short time. But, it is not a fast host as you share CPU, disk space, and RAM with other sites that also use this server. Virtual Private Servers or VPS and dedicated servers are much faster. For content distribution, VPS uses multiple servers. 
Dedicated servers are the most expensive hosting option. Here, you hire a system administration and pay a server rent to maintain itRead more 

3. Optimizing image size of the website

Images are great communicators. They convey a lot of messages without saying anything. If you have an eCommerce site, then images become even more important. A good amount of photos and graphics improve engagement. But, if the quality of images is not good, it may negatively impact your business. The negative aspect is that good quality images are usually large, which slows down the website speed. So, you need to focus on reducing image size without compromising on quality. There are many tools such as ImageOptim, JPEGmini, Kraken among others which will help you achieve that. 

4. Lessen the plugins

A plugin is a piece of software that gives the browser additional functionality suggested by third parties. It is a common component of a website, but a higher number of plugins requires more resources to run, which eventually slows your website. With time, the plugin number grows, but at the same time, the older ones may not be used anymore. So, you can delete the unnecessary ones. 

Running a performance test on your page will help you to get your hands on the plugins that are slowing down your website. Website performance is also dependent on plugin quality, so try to avoid plugins that generate a lot of database queries and keep only the necessary and updated ones. 

5. Cut down the number of JavaScript and CSS files

A lot of JavaScript and CSS files lead to a large number of HTTP requests when visitors want to access particular files. The visitor’s browser treats these requests individually which further slows down the website work. So, minimizing the number of JavaScript and CSS files will surely speed up your website. You can either group all JavaScript into one and all CSS files into one or you can use tools to minify these files quickly. 

Must-read: JAVA or PHP: Your Web Development Go-To

6. Use website caching

When a large number of users access the page at the same time, servers work slowly and take extra time to deliver the web page to each user. Caching helps you avoid this problem by storing the current version of the website and presenting this version until your website is updated. Cached web pages do not require sending database requests each time. As a result of which the web page doesn’t render again and again for each user. 

7. Gzip Compression

For reducing the file size on your website use Gzip Compression. Gzip compresses the files before sending them to the browser, and a browser unzips the files on the user side to present the contents. For adding this feature to your website, all you need to do is add some lines of the code or use a utility called gzip.

8. Minimizing the use of web fonts

Web fonts may make your website look more attractive, and it is also very popular. But, at the same time, these web fonts leave a negative impact on the speed of page rendering as it adds extra HTTP requests to external resources. So, to reduce the size of web font traffic you can use the below-mentioned tips:

  • For modern browser using modern formats 

  • Try including the character sets that are used on the site

  • Only the needed styles should be chosen

Recommended: Top 10 tips to Optimize Google My Business Listing

9. Detect and correct 404 errors

You must have come across this error, 404 error means that a “Page isn’t found”. You also know what it feels when you are searching for something, and this error is displayed on the screen. So, you must not want your visitors to face this as it leaves a bad impression of your business. So, to avoid this you can use error detection tools and plugins to detect the error and correct it. Using extra plugins also slow down your website, so use external tools for error detection. 

Once all 404 errors are detected, check if they are generating any traffic or not. If they are not bringing any traffic and do not consume your server resource then, you can leave them. But, if they are bringing visitors then fix them. 

10. Reduce redirects

Redirects create additional HTTP requests which impact website performance negatively. So, run a site scan on your page, find out all redirects, and then try to minimize or eliminate them. If some redirects are necessary then leave them as it is.

11. Use prefetching techniques

Prefetching is a speedup technique that boosts execution performance by fetching instructions or data from their original storage. Prefetching works well if you can anticipate user behavior and load some content in advance. It is common in modern browsers as these browsers assume user behavior patterns. 

Prefetching can be done in 3 ways:

  • DNS-prefetching: It resolves domains into IP addresses in advance

  • Link Prefetching: when you are very sure about the specific link which user will click to navigate to some page, you can apply this type of prefetching

  • Prerendering: You render an entire page or some elements of it in advance using this prefetching technique

 

Tools for measuring website speed

Waiting for a page to load is not only annoying but also increases the chances of visitors losing their internet and moving on. If you want your customer to linger for more time, website speed should be your priority. So, here are some tools to help you measure your website speed. 

 

Indeed website speed plays a vital role in your business. So, do not forget to check your website speed and share your views in the below comment section.

 

Contributor: Jyotsana Rani

Jyotsana is very keen to express her views on new topics and wants readers to remember her through her writing. She is passionate about reading and believes that words wield the power of changing the scenario and she uses them to encourage people to the best of her knowledge.

Sources/References:

*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

About the author:

Usha Gwale (Editor), Super admin

 

An enthusiastic and professional towards achieving the best. Focused and centered on career objectives. completed post-graduation in rural planning and management, Also Digital marketing training learner from IT company. Adaptive towards accepting new skills and experience and now exploring my interests with the organization by becoming an intern.


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