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Last Updated on February 3, 2023 by Arif Chowdhury
Loading speed has a significant impact on how potential customers perceive your business. Unfortunately, there are no do-overs if you want to maximize your audience experience. The aggravating element of a slow website is that it will drive people away from your site.
Improved user experience, fewer bounce rates, more conversions, and better organic search results are all signs of a high-performance website. On the other hand, you’ll lose both money and goodwill if your website loads quickly.
You can boost sales and marketing by lowering the time it takes for a page to load. As your website’s traffic grows, you’ll get more quality leads and, in turn, more revenues. Various methods may improve your website’s loading speed and page visits.
In this guide, we will show you several website performance optimization techniques.
Why is a website speed optimization test crucial?
Website speed is one of the factors in optimizing website performance. When a page loads on a user’s computer or other devices, the term “loading time” is used to describe the amount of time it takes to load fully.
You need to optimize your website’s speed to have a significant online presence.
- Conversion ability
- Easy to use
Customer acquisition is critical for the long-term success of a business, so concentrate on attracting and retaining the consumers you need. For example, customers may purchase your product, sign up for email campaigns, participate in a web conference, or download your free pdf guide.
When a website loads quickly, it has a greater chance of converting visitors. But, according to Hubspot’s study, a one-second delay decreases conversions by 7%. The annual loss for Amazon, for example, is $1.6 billion because of the one-second delay in its web pages.
A website that takes less time to load might positively influence customers’ navigating through it. Google takes website speed as a significant factor when deciding a site’s ranking. Conversely, a website’s search engine optimization suffers if its users have a terrible time on it.
Google has favored mobile-friendly results for a while, even for desktop queries. As a result, users will be protected from slow-loading and unfriendly websites by their algorithm.
Easy to use.
Customer loyalty is directly influenced by website usability factors like how easy it is to navigate your website, page loading time, and response to customer demands.
A user’s level of satisfaction with a website is directly correlated to how user-friendly it is. You can only achieve a solid client base and a successful brand if you provide an excellent user experience.
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How to identify your site speed?
The first step is to identify the length of time it takes for your website to load and the factors contributing to its delay.
Setting performance targets for your website is the next stage. Page loading times of less than three seconds are deemed ideal. However, just a tiny percentage of websites in Google’s measurement of average mobile speed across sectors meet or exceed the required rate.
You’ll get a considerable advantage over your competitors in search engine results when you optimize the performance of your website.
The methods outlined in this guide are reasonably varied to improve your website’s performance, and correcting one issue may negatively influence another. Therefore, we suggest reviewing the website’s performance after each update to determine which activities impact the most.
In terms of assessing website performance, you have many options available.
Quick Note: When checking site speed performance, “time to the first byte” is a powerful metric. Also, check how long it will take to load fully. Your target should be less than 3 sec.
Google page speed.
With this application, you can check your site page speed insight. Your website’s overall performance will also evaluate, and this free Google service provides recommendations for improvement. You may use it on any platform, i.e., desktop or mobile.
Assessing the performance of a website is an excellent tool. Data-driven suggestions for speed improvements are provided, and accessible reports are generated using this tool.
Website performance assessment software Pingdom has recently been released for Android devices and iPhones. Monitors are available for free, as well as subscription options.
How to increase site loading speed?
Once you’ve examined the current status of your site, the following step is to begin improving it. We’ve compiled a list of the best practices for speeding up your website.
Method #1: Content delivery network (CDN)
Distributing online material to users regardless of location is the primary function of this network of servers—a network for distributing material worldwide.
When an individual server hosts a website, all user requests are routed to the origin server. As a result, each request takes more and longer to complete.
Additionally, the time it takes for pages to load rises as visitors are farther away from the origin server. Again, it is because the CDN routes user requests to the closest server to the user’s location.
Information is sent to users more quickly, and websites operate more rapidly. An expensive yet very effective method of speeding up the loading process is available through this method.
Method #2: Choose web hosting wisely.
In general, you and other webmaster host their site in the below category:
- Shared hosting (Cheapest and best for beginners)
- Virtual Private Servers (VPS) (Mid-level plan and best for small to medium businesses)
- Dedicated server (Expensive plan and best for large organizations)
‘Sharing’ or ‘collaborative’ hosting has become the most affordable and well-known web hosting. You may have your site up and running in a matter of hours and for minimal cost. However, choosing a stable hosting is critical to ensuring optimal performance.
Your server’s CPU, RAM, and storage space are all shared with other websites when you choose shared hosting. Hence, shared hosting is usually slower than VPS or dedicated hosting.
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VPS and dedicated servers.
These two premium servers are expensive, yet they are far better than shared hosting. To provide stable performance, VPS uses a vast number of servers. With a VPS, you may share a physical server with other customers while still having full access to your private virtual server.
Using a virtual private server (VPS) is the best choice if your business website or eCommerce site experiences surges in traffic regularly or sometimes.
If you have a large organization and a considerable customer base, the best option for hosting your website could be a dedicated server. The best part is – this server will host only your website. Thus, you are not going to share the resource with others. However, it is much more expensive as well, as you have to maintain the server or pay an additional charge to keep it from host providers.
Method #3: Optimize image size.
Images that attract and retain the viewer’s attention are always a hit. Therefore, the performance of an eCommerce company significantly depends on quality photos. Use many images, graphics, and photography to increase traffic to your site from search engines and other sources.
However, photographs have a drawback since they take up much space on a page. Images may be reduced without sacrificing quality by using software like Imagecompressor.
Though compressing images may take time, the rewards are well worth the effort. Images may also be compressed automatically using several other different plugins.
Method #4: Remove unnecessary plugins.
Though plugins are essential to every website, you can include third-party features with these plugins. However, more plugins installed means they require additional resources to maintain functioning optimally.
Website loading times might increase, and security concerns could arise. Also, some plugins may become obsolete as new plugins are coming daily.
Look through your plugins and remove any that you don’t use. Plugins can add functionality to your site or slow it down, so you must do speed tests to see which ones impact you.
The quality and quantity of plugins both impacts the performance of a website. Therefore, you should be cautious of any plugin with many scripts, styles, or database queries.
Retain just those that are required, and make sure to keep updated regularly.
Method #5: Reduce the number of files as possible.
Reducing or compressing files such as HTML and CSS may be done fast using various tools. For example, you may use WillPeavy to compress files.
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Method #6: Utilize web page caching.
When several individuals are trying to visit the same website simultaneously, the server has to spend extra time providing each user’s web page so that everyone will experience a delay.
To make it fast, you must save a static version of the website. There is no need to render the website page for each unique user. No database calls are performed each time a cached page is visited.
Various platforms need different approaches for caching your webpage. WordPress plugins like W3 Super Cache and W3 Total Cache may help speed up your site.
You can set up caching quickly on a dedicated or VPS server. However, on shared servers, caching web pages is practically never possible. However, regardless of shared or dedicated hosting, you may use CDN, such as Cloudflare.
Method #7: Gzip compression to increase site speed.
Gzip is a frequently used method for compressing information over the internet. It detects similar strings within a text file and replaces them with smaller, unique strings. As a result, page load times can be decreased by reducing the quantity of data.
You must enable “gzip compression” on your web server before using it on your website. Adding certain lines of code to a server configuration file, such as a .htaccess file on an Apache server, is a common way to accomplish this. One possible approach is shown below.
- Verify that mod_deflate is present on the server. If not, you’ll need to have it installed.
- You should add the following lines to your .htaccess file:
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
Save the file and upload it to your server.
There you have it! Your web server’s Gzip compression settings have been updated successfully. Use a website testing service like pingdom.com or webpagetest.org to ensure it functions properly.
Method #8: Identify 404 pages.
An error page indicates that the requested page was not found. Browsers and search engines are alerted that a previously viewed website is no longer accessible through this notification. Error detection plugins and tools may help you locate and repair a 404 error.
We recommend utilizing an error detection service rather than downloading extra plugins to prevent slowing down your website. You may use Screaming frog to find all types of errors on your website.
Method #9: Minimize redirects.
Redirecting a user to another page on a website causes more HTTP requests; thus, it will slow things down. Therefore, we recommend that you should remove them entirely. But first, do a site check to discover which URL of your site is redirected.
With Screaming Frog, it may be possible to discover this redirection. But, first, determine whether or not they are required and only keep those necessary.
Method #10: Prefetching site content.
Prefetching is silently loading the page before the user requests them. In business sites, this is a common technique. An excellent way to anticipate user behavior is to load specific material or links ahead of time.
It is common for contemporary browsers to allow prefetching because of assumptions about user behavior. UX professionals and developers, on the other hand, regularly monitor user browsing behavior and provide browser “hints” for prefetching.
There are a few methods of prefetching that may be categorized:
IP addresses are already pre-resolved in this method.
You may use this prefetching strategy if your audience visits a specific page. This strategy is especially beneficial to users who return to their shopping cart after adding a few products.
The full page or a section of it may be pre-rendered using this method.
There must be thorough research on user behavior to exploit prefetching to its best capacity.
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What is Core Web Vitals?
The Core Web Vitals are a collection of indicators for how well a website performs for its visitors. Thus, to aid designers in making more exciting and user-friendly websites, these metrics consider things like speed, responsiveness, and visual stability.
Web developers should pay attention to these indicators because Google has indicated that they will become a significant ranking element for search results.
Time to the first byte.
What is meant by “time to first byte” (TTFB) is how long it takes for a browser to get the first byte of a response from a web server after a request for a web page has been made. It’s a crucial indicator of a website’s efficiency because it affects how long it takes for a page to load and be presented to the user.
Slow server response time or connectivity issues between the server and the client can contribute to a high TTFB. However, you can reduce the time it takes for a response to be delivered by optimizing the server, employing a content delivery network (CDN), and sending only the necessary information.
Websites need to load in under three seconds in today’s fast-moving world. So you’ll miss out on a lot of traffic and money if you don’t fulfill this requirement.
Thus, we offer the following simple yet efficient techniques for improving the performance of a website:
- A good website must have many vital features: conversion ability, flexibility, and ease to use.
- Identify your best page that receives the highest number of visitors by thoroughly evaluating your website’s performance in these three parameters.
- To maximize your conversion rate, you should first begin with a thorough scan of your site and determine which parts need to be fixed.
Website performance, in the form of loading speed, is crucial as it can affect both the user experience and the site’s success. When a web page takes too long to load, users sometimes give up waiting and go elsewhere. If your website has a large percentage of visitors who immediately leave after viewing only one page, it can hurt its search engine rankings and its overall success.