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Last Updated on September 5, 2022 by Arif Chowdhury
Suppose you have a website for personal or business purposes. In that case, you should be aware of “website loading speed” as it is one of the significant factors for both SEO & audience engagements. It is so evident that if your website takes longer than usual to load its content, then your audience will start to leave. Therefore, it will significantly impact your overall business performance.
Just think this way, when you visit a website & it takes 5-10 sec to load or even more, you will undoubtedly leave that website. On average, a website should load within 3 sec & which is an optimal time. Anything above this number is considered a slow loading speed. Thus, you should improve your site speed and target a load time of under 3 sec for optimal performance.
In this guide, I will walk you through 8 simple yet intelligent steps on how to speed up web page loading time than before. Of course, you may need some online tools to measure it. But, no worries, this guide will cover it all. So, let’s get started.
Definition: Page Speed.
Before we start, let me educate you about “website loading speed.” First of all, there is a misconception. It is not a website/site loading speed but rather “page speed.” When you visit a website, a specific page starts to load, not the whole website. So, for example, when you saw this article, the website only loaded this page, not the entire site.
There are two critical measurements, 1st full-page loading time & 2nd the time to the first byte. How long does it take to fully display a page, including images & all other visible contents? And how long it takes to receive the first byte of information from a web server.
Quick Note: If you have rich content on your page, i.e., high-resolution images over 5MB each, it will take a considerable amount of time to load those content. Thus, the total loading time will significantly increase. And, if your web server is not fast, it will take lots of time to receive the first byte of information.
There are many online speed checker tools available to test your website loading speed & how to fix different issues related to it. You should check the below sites.
If you want free resources, then Google is always the best & authentic. However, you should look for other paid services for professional needs.
Step 1: Compressing files.
I recommend you use Gzip for the file compressing task; it is free software. You won’t have to worry about modifying any code or data. However, please do not use it for image compression. They have a tutorial section, so you can learn how to do it yourself.
Quick Note: To improve page load time, compressing CSS files, HTML, and image files are necessary. Also, reduce the number of files and images as possible to increase the overall load times for your site. Apart from it, content delivery network (CDN) and browser caching are vital to improving the website speed. Besides, a fast website always offers the best user experience.
Recommended Reading: Cornerstone Content 101: A Simple 7-step Practical Guideline
Step 2: Compressing images.
After you have done file compressing, it is time to compress images. If you check your site loading speed using those above websites, you will find that most of your speed issues are related to “large images.” That is, you have uploaded large-size images. Usually, we consider large images bigger than 500KB. Therefore, you should target to reduce those sizes to under 100KB. But, again, it is easy & fast if you know how to do it exactly.
Here are some simple steps to compress a large image:
First, convert your image extension to JPEG format. In most cases, a high-quality image has a PNG format. However, the PNG format image is difficult to compress. That’s why you need to convert it to JPEG. To do it, you can use Windows default software called “Paint.” Just right-click on your image & click edit. Now, save this file in JPEG format to convert it.
After conversion, you now have to reduce the resolution of the image. To do it, click on the “resize” option. Depending on image size, it is best to minimize the pixel to under 1000. Remember, a large resolution is also challenging to compress.
So, you have done both, converted to JPEG & reduce the resolution size. Now, it is time to use compression software. You can use Optimizilla; it is free to use. Try to compress the image to under 100KB for best image optimization.
Step 3: Manually delete unnecessary lines.
For more resources, I recommend reading Google documentation about minifying resources.
Step 4: Configure redirects.
Probably, you didn’t even know this issue existed. We all heard about redirects. What is this? Simple, whenever you visit a website, but if that specific URL doesn’t exist, it will automatically redirect you to their other similar page. For example, if you enter this page URL, it no longer exists. Thus my website will automatically redirect you to my blog page or home page, depending on my settings.
Another example can be from “cliobra.com > www.cliobra.com then m.cliobra.com > m.cliobra.com/home.” It is a lengthy process that will force your audience browser to wait for HTTP requests four times over. Therefore, it will take four times longer loading times than usual to visit your home page for a mobile user.
To fix this issue, first, you should check your site. If there are any redirecting issues, fix them as soon as possible. In most cases, when you check it through an online service, they will guide you on how to improve your specific redirect issues.
Quick Note: You should frequently use Google Pagespeed Insights to see how long it takes your page to load. Remember, the faster your website is the better it will perform in search results.
Recommended Reading: How to Write an SEO Optimized Blog Post that Rank (Practical Guide)
Step 5: Cautious about render-blocking script.
It is another cause of the slow loading speed of your site page. Whenever you visit a website, your browser has to create a DOM tree to render the page content by analyzing the HTML markup. Therefore, if any external script exists, the browser is forced to load that extra resource, which increases the page loading speed.
The simple solution is to remove those render-blocking scripts. Here is Google documentation about render-blocking scripts & how you can fix this issue.
Step 6: Catching webpage.
Therefore, when you leave that website & return after a few days, your browser does not load the entire page again. Instead, it can load a massive chunk of information directly from local storage. In this way, page loading speed can increase drastically.
There are many plugins available based on your website platform. For example, do a quick Google search for the “cache plugin.”
Step 7: Server response time.
Server response time is another major factor in site loading speed. However, it is something you cannot control from your end unless you decide to upgrade to a more advanced hosting plan. If you just started a new website, then choosing a shared hosting plan is correct. However, as your website grows in traffic, you should focus on upgrading it.
In most cases, cloud/dedicated hosting is the best solution for server response time.
Step 8: Leverage CDN.
A content Distribution Network (CDN) is an advanced caching system that accelerates your site loading speed in many ways, not just storing its information in user local storage. Instead, it will copy your site and distribute it to all servers across the globe in their different geographical location.
Let me clarify: your site is hosted on a New York City server. Therefore, every visitor from the USA will get access to your site quickly as it is close to their location. However, what about overseas visitors from European countries, India, China, and Malaysia? Isn’t it so obvious that they will experience a slow loading speed when visiting your site as their location is far away from the server?
Hence, to solve this problem, CDN networks copy your site & distribute it to all their servers in different countries. So, for example, if your CDN provider has a server in India, then the Indian, Chinese & Malaysian audience will access your site from the Indian server rather than the USA. And this is how CDN effectively increases a site loading speed.
I recommend using Cloudflare CDN as it has a free plan for you to test out its service. If you want, you can keep using it for free forever. For a business website, choose their Pro ($20 per month) or business ($200 per month) plan according to your needs.
Website loading speed is a crucial factor for your overall performance. No matter how engaging or quality content you have on your site, if it has a slow loading speed, then all will fail. Your audience will start to leave & search engines like Google will also abandon your site.
Try to analyze your site to identify the issues & then try to fix them. I have discussed eight significant steps to solve this loading speed issue. In most cases, this is enough to make your site faster than ever. But, even after that, if this is not enough to solve your problem, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comment section. I will try my best to guide you.