How to Improve Website Speed

Websites with high performance are the ones that have a high number of returning visits, better conversions, engagement, and overall better user experience. It’s basically the first impression your business makes on potential clients. This is the reason why knowing how to improve website speed should be imperative for any enterprise.

If you’re an enterprise looking to boost your internet presence and gain more clients and higher revenue, the time it takes for your web page to load is something you should pay attention to. Slow websites are not something to overlook, as they can damage your reputation and, in the end, cost you money. If you’re interested in understanding how to improve website loading speed, there are many segments that should be covered. But first of all, you should know what influences the loading process.

Website’s Speed in a Nutshell

In this day and age, if you want to do business successfully, stay relevant among the competition, and work towards increasing your revenue, you should have at least some internet presence. Your website should present the central location on the web for your brand. Although it’s equally important to be present on all social media, and you can employ a social media marketing agency to cover it, a website should be your starting point.

The Time and Speed Matter to Your Visitors

So, what about your website’s speed, and why should it worry you? In essence, it refers to the time it takes for your website’s content to load when a user visits your web pages. There’s a large variety of factors that influence the loading process, but let’s list the most essential ones:

  • The number of images, videos, and any other media files implemented on the page,
  • The plugins and themes added to the site,
  • The coding and server-side scripts that are the core part of websites.
A laptop showing loading speed
A website’s slow performance can have serious consequences for your business

Why It’s Important to Know How to Improve Website Speed

It may sound cheesy (if taken out of context,) but when it comes to a website’s loading times, each second counts. If you want us to put this fact into numbers, Google studies claim that if your page loading time jumps from one second to three, the probability of a visitor leaving straight away increases by 32%. As the loading speed goes from one second to 5, the probability of bounce (user leaving) jumps to 90%, to 6 seconds it’s 106%, and to 10 it’s 123%.

In a nutshell, if your website doesn’t load in just a few seconds, the visits will drop as more and more users decide to leave. In the end, it will significantly hurt your ability to drive conversions and engagement.

Website Conversion Rate

Let’s talk about conversion. This factor is extremely important for your online business to succeed because it comes down to getting the visitors to behave in the way you want them to. In essence, it means paying for your products or service, subscribing to your online courses or the newsletter, and registering and downloading guides. When a website’s loading process is impeccable, it has higher conversions.

The Visibility of Your Web Page

When you build a website, it stands as your online presence while you build everything else around it – your socials, your campaigns, and the content (with some help from a content writing agency). An internet presence for your brand is there to make your business visible, and what influences it is the loading time. Keep in mind that its speed will be valuable for Google (we’re looking at this search engine because it has over 92% market share). Google takes several factors into account when ranking sites, and their loading time is one of them.

Overall Usability

Customer loyalty is directly impacted by usability factors such as load time and response to user requests. The greater your website’s performance, the happier your users will be. A superior user experience is a means of attracting a huge consumer base and establishing a solid brand.

 A laptop showing page optimization
Boosting a website’s loading times is extremely important

Best Ways to Approach Issues With Your Page Load

We’ve all heard it before – “patience is a virtue.” However, most of us disregard this when we want a certain web page to show, and thus slow loading can quickly turn us away from potentially visiting an internet site. There are some case studies that show the ideal time for a page to load, and it’s from 0 to 4 seconds. In fact, the first five seconds of visiting an internet location are the most important and have the greatest impact on the conversion rates. 

However, you might not be able to evaluate optimization without trying out some tools, and the following are worth trying:

  • Google Pagespeed Insights is free to use. It’s Google’s tool that allows you to run a test on your internet site and provides some advice on how to enhance it. The greatest thing about it is that it can be used both for desktop and mobile versions.
  • Performance Budget Calculator is another free tool that can help you determine the type of content you require. This is done to keep your site optimized.

Keep in mind that the best way to determine everything that’s good, great, bad, or needs some improvement on your internet site is to employ a website design agency to run an audit. You might not know what to do to make improvements, but they certainly do.

Analyze your internet site to pinpoint all the issues with it
Analyze your internet site to pinpoint all the issues with it

Use These Tools and Guidelines

Once you have determined your website’s speed, you may reach out to a website development agency to begin optimization. We have compiled a list that includes the most effective techniques for accelerating your website’s performance that this type of agency might incorporate into the process, like CDN, finding better hosting, and the like.

Content Delivery Network

A CDN or content delivery network is a collection of different web servers which are distributed over various geographical locations. If your web page is hosted on a single server, all visitor requests are sent to the same hardware, and thus it increases the time needed to process each one. If you use CDN, all the requests will automatically be directed to the nearest server.

Find a Better Host

Before we explain why you’ll want to move your website to another host, you should understand the possible types of hosting first. This includes shared hosting, a dedicated server, and Virtual Private Servers or VPS hosting. Shared hosting is the most popular way to host an internet site, and it’s also the most affordable and quick way to get your page started for a low fee. However, because you would be sharing the hardware (meaning disk space, the CPU, and RAM,) you won’t get fast loading time as with other servers. VPS consists of multiple servers and provides a part of the virtual space just for your configurations. This option is much faster. If you want to have a physical server all for yourself and an administrator to handle it, it will be the most expensive option.

Optimize All Images

High-quality and eye-catching photos are pleasing to look at and might get more people to your website, especially in the case of eCommerce. In most cases, a large variety of images, graphics, and videos enhance engagement greatly. However, there’s a negative side to this – large image size slows down pages significantly. On the other hand, if you resize images on your own, their quality might deteriorate. But there is a way around it, with tools such as JPEGmini, Kraken, or ImageOptim.

Reduce the Number of Plugins

Plugins are among the usual components of websites, providing specific features by third parties. But the downside is that the more you have installed, the more resources they eat up. As a result, your internet site will get sluggish and run slower; it may also cause some security issues. In time, some of them might get beyond functional, and that is why it’s important to regularly run checks and remove and delete the ones that aren’t needed. On another important note, you should stay away from plugins that load a lot of styles and scripts and generate a lot of queries. Basically, in order to run things smoothly on your site, you should reduce the number of plugins.

JavaScript and CSS Files Should Be Minimized

Your internet site will have a large number of HTTP requests when users want to gain access to certain files if it contains a large number of CSS files and JavaScript. The browsers used by the visitors will treat all these requests individually and thus slow loading. Reducing the number of JavaScript and CSS files will help accelerate the site, and grouping will improve the loading time, too. You can also use specific tools that will minify all these files in a short time.

Use Caching

There will be times when there are a lot of users trying to reach your website at the same time, and it will cause the servers to work slowly because they will take more time to load for each visitor. Caching is the method of keeping your website’s most recent version on the hosting server and displaying it to visitors up until an update is made. This indicates that the page doesn’t render for each user repeatedly. A cached internet page does not require repeated database calls.

Some Additional Advice on Improving Loading Time

The previous methods should make your internet pages run smoothly and thus keep your visitors from leaving. However, there are some additional techniques you can use to make improvements to your website’s performance. You should try the following:

  • Gzip compression is a powerful tool for reducing file size. It cuts down on HTTP requests and speeds up server response. Before delivering the files to the browser, Gzip compresses them. On the user’s end, a browser presents the contents after unzipping the files.
  • The most efficient technique to enhance performance is database optimization. CMS (content management system) loaded with numerous plugins causes the database to become larger and your website to load more slowly, so you should use another tool to optimize.
  • Using different web fonts has become widely popular, but it also affects the website’s performance. To get around this issue, you should use current WOFF2 formats made for modern browsers. Also, try to incorporate only several styles.
  • Regularly check your site for any 404 errors. These are usually dead links, and you can leave them if they don’t attract any more visits. But if they still have incoming traffic, work on fixing the link addresses.
  • There might be some redirects creating unnecessary HTTP requests, which, in return, impact the website’s behavior in a negative way. To be able to improve it, you should identify these redirects and eliminate them entirely.
  • The method of prefetching is a common one, and it includes reading and implementing instructions before visitors initiate them. If you can predict user activities and, for example, load certain content or links beforehand, it works effectively. Prefetching is typically enabled by default in current browsers since they anticipate user behavior patterns.
Optimizing should be left to the professionals

Reach Out to Us to Get the Best Out of Your Website’s Performance

The behavior of internet users tells us they expect the websites they are visiting to work impeccably, and it mostly refers to the loading times of pages. Along with quality SEO marketing services, which may include YouTube SEO, engaging content, and optimization, your internet presence can be the key to gaining a steady inflow of customers. Our local SEO marketing agency offers a package of different marketing strategies, and we will work with you to reach your dream goals. Contact us to make a custom plan for your business.

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