10 Tips to Improve Your Website Page Speed
A sluggish website is one of the main reasons to drive your visitors away. No one enjoys browsing a website that takes too long to load. Every second counts as soon as the visitor presses the ‘Enter’ key after typing in your website’s URL.
A survey conducted by Google suggested that if a page takes more than three seconds, the number of users leaving that site increases by more than 53%.
Look into your own experience!
How many times have you ended up closing the page when it took more than a few seconds to load? So your answer is right there!
What Do We Mean by ‘Page Speed’?
A website page speed or the ‘page load time’ is a measurement of the number of seconds a page takes to display all its content to visitors. Page speed is crucial for marketers and web admins as it negatively impacts visitors’ experience.
Additionally, a sluggish speed impacts the dwell time of a visitor. Dwell time is the total duration a user spends on a web page after clicking its link on the search engine. So after clicking the link, if the page takes too long to show its content, the probability of the user returning to the search engine to find another link increases. Hence, a page’s dwell time directly impacts your website’s SEO ranking.
Now we understand this above piece of information might have led to your worry about losing your customers. But hold on to this page; we are about to share some extremely helpful tips for improving your website’s page speed.
1. Assessing the Website Page Speed
There are certain speed tools, mostly free, that help website owners assess the page speed and hence work on its optimization. It is recommended that each time you make a change to your page, you use one of the tools listed below to determine its impact on the page’s speed.
Google Pagespeed Insights
This is a free tool provided by Google that runs a performance test on your website and provides recommendations on optimizing page speed.
This is another tool for assessing your page speed. It provides recommendations for improving the page’s performance through different methods.
This is another awesome tool that assesses your page’s speed and tracks the website’s performance history. It will also generate easy-to-understand reports for its users.
Choose the Right Host for Your Website
Let’s look into the types of hosting to see which will help the most in improving your website’s page speed.
This is the most commonly used hosting because it helps get your site online quickly and with the lowest fee possible. With this hosting, you share the server with other sites as well. Hence, shared hosting can slow down a page’s speed.
Virtual Private Servers
Compared to shared hosting, VPS is much faster since they provide you with your dedicated virtual server. You will still be sharing server space with other sites, but virtual private networks restrict interaction between different websites, so the speed is rarely disrupted. VPS is an ideal choice if you have a small organization or an eCommerce website with an average number of visitors.
As the name suggests, you will not share space with another site when purchasing a dedicated server. However, it is the most expensive option. But the advantage of using a dedicated server is that your website’s page speed will improve immensely.
Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN is a set of web servers distributed across various geographical locations. With a CDN server, the visitors of your webpage are redirected to the nearest server based on their location.
This helps the content to be delivered fast, thus improving the website’s speed. This may be an expensive method, but at the end of the day, it effectively improves the page’s loading time.
Optimize Your Website’s Images
A large-size image can be frustrating for visitors. This is because a large image takes up a lot of space on the screen, and the viewer has to scroll more to read the contents of the page. Plus, it decreases the page speed. So it is better to use optimized images since they save space and help enhance the page’s speed.
A study conducted by Google in 2018 concluded that when you optimize images and text, 25% of pages can save more than 250KB, and 10% can save more than 1MB. This contributes significantly to page load times and makes the experience enjoyable for visitors.
You can also follow the standard sizes for photos and images to increase your page’s speed. Use software like Photoshop to resize image size since it will not affect the overall quality of the pictures. If you are looking to buy photos, many reliable stock photo websites also allow customization. Just choose the most suitable dimension according to your page’s layout to maintain the load speed.
Enable File Compression
Use the Gzip software to compress web files that are larger than 150 bytes. You will need to modify your server’s configuration files to enable the software.
You can also use a plugin if you are using Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress.
Minify Your Code
Reduce Redirects on Your Page
Each time a page redirects, it increases the HTTP request and response process. Start with identifying the redirects by running a site scan on your page. Tools such as Screaming Frog efficiently do this task. Once a report is generated, eliminate all those redirects that do not serve a necessary purpose. This will further improve the speed of your website’s page.
Remove Unnecessary Plugins
We understand that plugins are a great way to add special features to your web page and enhance the user experience. But too many plugins lead to a slow web page, and that’s not what you want, right?
Begin with running performance tests so you can find which plugins are decreasing your page’s speed. Then filter the ones that load several scripts, styles and generate a lot of database queries. These are the ones that further slow down your page. Also, honestly ask yourself how many plugins are beneficial for your website and only keep those.
Optimize Data in the Content Management System (CMS)
Content Management Systems like WordPress and Wix are popular website builders allowing users to create pages without technical support. However, they can slow down your website speed by storing unnecessary data.
There are different optimization measures for every CMS. For instance, you can install a caching plugin to increase your page’s speed on WordPress. This will store frequently accessed data in its library and generate the page whenever a visitor requests the same.
You can also delete all unused files, trashed data, and revision posts from your CMS to clear up space and speed up the website.
Minimize the Use of Web Fonts
The usage of web fonts on websites are quite commonly used to give a page a certain style. But sadly, they add extra load to the page and cause a negative impact on its speed. They also add additional HTTP requests to external resources. Here are a few steps to reduce the size of web font traffic:
- Use fonts that are compatible with the current browsers.
- Select those styles that you require for your website.
- Use only those character sets which are compatible with your site.
Keep in mind that the speed of your website’s page is proportionally linked to increasing your customers and growing your business. So make sure that you manage the image and file sizes, the plugins and web fonts, and the codes to ensure your site keeps functioning optimally.