Ten Underrated Tricks That Boost Your Website Speed
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If an e-commerce site makes $100,000 per day, a one-second page delay could cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. Optimizing your website speed is more important than ever before.
What is Website Speed?
Website speed is a function of how fast the content on your website loads. It also includes rendering, pre-rendering, and guiding people through various funnels and paths on your website.
People often confuse website speed with page speed. However, they are different from each other.
Page speed is about decreasing the load time of a specific page on your website. Optimizing page speed requires you to focus on improving page attributes.
However, site speed optimization requires you to improve various elements ranging from loading to link clicks until lead conversion. Why is it important?
Engineers at Google have discovered that the page load time of mere 0.4 seconds is long enough to cause users to search less.
Website speed also plays a critical role in improving organic search rankings, on both desktop and mobile. It’s a major part of technical SEO, and you can start your speed optimization journey by using a free SEO audit tool to measure your site’s speed and other technical SEO aspects that affect performance.
In other words, it is critical to thoroughly analyze your current site speed before taking any steps to boost the same. But how exactly can you improve your website speed?
Ten Ways To Boost Your Website Speed
Images make up 21% of a total webpage’s weight. Large image files take more time to load and hence decrease page speed. Refrain from using images that are larger than required.
You must use the correct format of images too. PNGs are preferred for graphics, and JPEGs are best for photographs.
You can also leverage CSS Sprites to templatize website buttons and icons. Sprites, essentially, convert N number of images into one large image, which is easier to load.
Check out this guide on how to optimize images for boosting website speed.
2. Enable Compression
Gzip is a software application that locates strings of similar code in your text files and temporarily replaces them to make the files smaller. It helps reduce up to 70% page weight in some cases.
3. Implement Browser Caching
Browsers store temporary information and static files in the browser cache. This activity helps the user access content without requesting the same repeatedly.
Developers can change the cache settings and allow the browser to save elements that would not change often. You can add instructions in the HTTP header responses from the hosting server.
Browser Caching helps the browser transfer lesser data to the server, and hence the page speed increases.
Read this guide to implement browser caching to speed up your website performance.
4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDNs like Amazon CloudFront and Google App Engine are a group of geographically distributed servers that work together to provide faster internet. They are used to reduce the page load by distributing the content on various servers.
Several copies of your websites are stored at different data centers. The load on your hosting server reduces immensely, and international visitors experience faster loading.
5. Reduce Redirects
Redirects are when the user enters a particular request and it gets forwarded to a different page on the web. They are the best way to eliminate issues with broken links.
However, redirects lead to a longer loading time. Reducing them is a thumb rule to increase page speed because they increase the number of HTTP requests. Google suggests that site owners should ideally avoid redirects.
Identify the number of redirects on your current website by using the SEO Spider tool.
6. Choose The Right Host For Your Website
Choosing the most affordable hosting option might make sense in the beginning. However, upgrading the host is imperative once your website starts attracting more traffic. Getting a trustworthy host is essential for a growing website.
Generally, there are three hosting options available –– shared hosting, VPS hosting, and a dedicated server. Check out this guide to choose the right hosting option.
Every piece of code adds to the size of your site. Code optimization methods like removing spaces, commas, and more can help increase your page speed.
8. Improve Server Response Time
The server response time is a function of the number of users visiting your website. Your server’s software and hosting solution also play a role.
You must keep a check on performance red flags like lack of adequate memory, slow database query, and slow routing, etc to improve server response time. The optimal server response time is under 200ms.
Read how to reduce server response time effectively.
9. Minimize HTTP Requests
80% of a Web page’s load time is spent downloading the different parts of the page, like images, stylesheets, and scripts.
Each of these elements makes individual HTTP requests. The more the requests, the longer the page takes to load successfully.
Analyze your site’s HTTP requests and accordingly make changes to increase your website’s speed.
10. Prioritize Above The Fold Content
You can also optimize site speed by prioritizing above-the-fold (top sections) content. When above-the-fold content loads faster, the user does not have to wait for the entire page to load. This practice is also known as lazy loading.
Plugins like Speed Up and Smush help enable lazy loading on your website. You may leverage them to increase website speed.
There are several other ways like identifying overlaps in functionality, eliminating plugins, and reducing external scripts. The ones mentioned above are the most underrated yet effective tactics to boost your website speed significantly.
Even though boosting site speed is critical, many marketers still fail to work on this area of website optimization.
Hence, boosting website speed is not only important for better user experience and increased conversions, but it shall also give you an edge over your competitors. Begin analyzing your website speed now!