If lead conversion, search engine optimization, and user engagement matter to you then website speed should be high priority. Fast-loading websites get more sales, more users, and higher search engine placement.
Just think, if you visit a website and it takes longer than a few seconds to load, are you going to wait for it – a lot of people won’t.
In fact, 47 percent of people expect a website to load in two seconds or less. If it takes any longer, that’s where you’ll begin to see users begin to drop off. As a starting point, here are 9 easy ways to improve website speed.
1 – Use Google PageSpeed to Test Your Site
Google PageSpeed Insights works to improve latency and bandwidth usage, through implementing resource changes according to web performance best practices. PageSpeed doesn’t require you to change content or workflow. It’s an easy tool to use and it also allows you to do some basic speed improvement work. You can also Install Google PageSpeed on your server to optimize your site automatically.
2 – Optimize Images To Increase Web Load Speed
Large images take longer to load and slow down a web page. Reduce the file size of your photos, graphics, and logo files. You can still have HD-quality images. They just have to be optimized. If you use a lot of images, optimization is a must for page speed. The great thing about this is that you can usually reduce image size in some big ways without compromising quality.
3 – Compress Your Website To Reduce Its Size
Compression reduces the size of the HTTP response which in turn helps to speed things up on the user’s end. Some compression tools can reduce response size by as much as 70 percent. If you’re already employing caching apps or plug-ins, these may already be doing some compression. Anything like this that cuts into load time is worth looking into.
4 – Combine CSS Files To Minimize Load Time
Combining CSS files can be an easy way to provide faster webpage speed. For example, let’s say you’re using multiple CSS files. That means any time a browse retrieves a page, it has to make as many additional requests to your server as the number of files. This understandably increases load time. When you combine CSS and other files, this is another way to eat away at your load time.
5 – Hosting Videos On YouTube Or Third-Party Sites
If your intention is to use video often throughout your site, hosting video on a website’s server can cause load time to shoot up rather quickly. This is because there’s more to process on the server to deliver the page. Instead of going through that every time a page loads, host your video on a third-party website such as YouTube. Then you can embed it on your page and drastically increase website speed.
6 – Find A Fast Web Hosting Service
Many web design experts believe web hosting to be one of the most ignored elements influencing page load speed. If you are experiencing rushes of traffic, it might be time to upgrade your hosting plan. Doing so, you’ll ensure your pages are adequately supported with the resources they need to load quickly.
7 – Enable Browser Caching For Fast Website Speed
Enable browser caching. Doing so will allow a visitor to keep downloadable files from your website in their browser. Thereby, when someone returns to your website, the page will load faster because the browser already has those files processed and locked in. Browser caching enabled will cut down on load time for return visitors and also reduce the bandwidth required from your server.
8 – Reduce Round-Trip Times (RTT)
9 – Use a Content Delivery Network
If you’re getting a lot of traffic, you’re going to want to connect with a CDN or Content Delivery Network. CDNs can assist with media hosting, simplifying complex tasks into simpler ones and thereby helping to reduce load time. Use of CDN is essential if you need to host a lot of images or videos. The most popular CDN service is available through Amazon.
More Ways to Improve Site Speed
Reduce the use of web fonts. More websites are using custom web fonts. Although this provides a unique look, it also slows down the rendering of web pages. There are all sorts of issues that can occur from the misuse of fonts, from improper formatting to not preloading them. It’s best to stick with a more basic approach when it comes to what font to use on a website. It’s not worth the slow-down in speed to do it any other way.
Optimize your website database with a CMS (Content Management System). CMS platforms are built to be fast with optimal load times. A CMS is software that helps you manage and edit your website, even without a specialized knowledge. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others are all popular types of content management systems. Having one in place is a strong recommendation, especially for beginner websites.
Minimize time to first byte. Time To First Byte, aka TTFB, is how we measure a server’s reaction time. This parameter is critical and must be optimized to achieve maximum ranking and positive user experience. There are, fortunately, many ways to minimize time to first byte, including optimizing the application code to optimizing database queries, reducing HTTP requests, and using Respond First, Process Later (RFPL) cache.
Lazy loading. Aka on-demand loading, lazy loading is a way to make your page load faster by rendering only the required sections and delaying the rest of the web page. Normally, when a user clicks on it, the entire code renders. Lazy loading prioritizes different sections or elements, saving time and resources and avoiding unnecessary code execution. It’s an effective approach to managing a web page with a lot of sections or elements at play.
There are many ways to improve your web site speed. As web experts, we can test your website and analyze where things may be slowing your pages down. By optimizing these key areas and others, you can make your website load faster and deliver a better user experience.