Web Development | 01-03-2022 | Deepti Bhatta
Do you honestly think that optimizing your website for speed isn't essential? That is your gigantic mistake.
As a result of a one-second delay in page load time, we see the following:
- Pageviews down by 11%.
- Customer satisfaction dropped by 16%.
- Conversions decreased by 7%.
When your site takes a few extra seconds to load, you will have trouble engaging visitors and creating sales. There is no way around it.
This means that a quick website is essential for Google rankings and maintaining a healthy bottom line.
The most important thing you can do is to learn how to speed up your website. Because they influence many elements, fast-loading pages are critical for website success.
A delay of just one or two seconds can reduce:
- Customer satisfaction
- User experience
- Search ranking
Do you have any doubts? Here's the proof, as well as a long list of things you can do to speed up your website.
Before we get into the how-to, let's discuss what's so horrible about a sluggish site.
Why do a few extra seconds matter so much? Aren't people running out of time? Here are the reasons:
Websites that take too long to load are more likely to be abandoned. According to a Google study, visitors will bounce more likely the slower your site is on mobile.
According to a study, even two seconds can have a significant effect, and four seconds can boost bounce rates by 100%. Last but not least, make your site as fast as possible if you want users to stay on it.
Because site speed is essential to users, Google considers it when ranking websites. The policy has now been implemented for mobile devices as well.
With Google's transition to a mobile-first index, these factors are even more important.
Therefore, websites are ranked according to their performance on smartphones, not on desktops.
This includes non-mobile website versions, and it's a complete 180 from the previous situation.
Because of this, a slow mobile site will negatively impact your overall search ranking, not just in mobile searches. According to Google, this only affects the slowest websites, however, site speed has a significant impact on bounce rates, time on site, and other metrics considered by search engines.
Furthermore, a slow-loading page may harm crawling because crawl bots are budgeted. You may notice a decrease in Google's indexation of your pages.
The user experience is at the heart of everything above. If it's awful, it's bad for your site; if it's good, it's beneficial for your site.
Your target audience can even determine if your website is usable based on its speed. One of the most spectacular examples is from YouTube's early days.
When the page weight was lowered from 1.2MB to 100KB, users in Asia, South America, Africa, and other remote locations were able to watch a movie in 2 minutes instead of 20 minutes. The result was the creation of entirely new markets.
The premise remains valid despite vast improvements in online architecture since then.
You need to provide an excellent speed experience at all times and on any screen size if you want people to stay on your site, increase conversions, and rank well in search engines.
If you put in the effort to get your website's speed down to acceptable levels, you'll stand out from the crowd. It's a fantastic method to give yourself a leg up on the competition in almost every aspect of website success.
Doesn't it sound great?
So, without further delay, let's look at what you can do to improve the speed of your website and attain that specific aim.
We'll go through some tips to speed up your website and make it more appealing to visitors in the following sections.
Don't worry if that seems excessive. You don't need to accomplish everything at once. We'll discuss determining what to accomplish first a little farther down. It's preferable to make a few modifications than to do nothing at all if your site is slow. You can always carve out extra time to accomplish more.
Hosting your media files on a content delivery network is one of the most effective ways to speed up your website, saving up to 60% bandwidth and halving the number of queries. Your files are distributed across a global network of servers using CDNs.
When a user from Thailand accesses your site, the files are downloaded from the server nearest to them. Because the bandwidth is distributed among so many servers, the stress on any single server is reduced, and your sites are protected from DDoS assaults and traffic spikes.
As previously stated, your server significantly impacts the time to first byte and the overall speed with which your pages load.
Unless you know how to build servers yourself, you are almost definitely renting server space from a hosting provider.
While it's fine to start with cheap shared hosting, you'll need to ensure your hosting can keep up once you start generating traffic.
The sort of hosting you choose is the first thing to consider:
Shared: It's precisely what the name implies. You share a server with many other websites, and they're all fighting for the same CPU power, RAM, and other resources.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) – Similar to shared hosting, fewer other sites are on the same system. Each user has dedicated processing resources that cannot be exceeded.
Dedicated: You get your server complete control over your server's setup, hardware, and other aspects. However, you'll need technical expertise or money to employ someone who handles it.
Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting is the newest and fastest-growing type of hosting. Cloud computing is based on a pay-per-use approach, which means you can utilize as much or as little processing power as you need. It's great for traffic spikes, but it's also more expensive.
Managed: This is a WordPress-specific option in which the provider handles the majority of the hosting duties. This encompasses aspects such as security, backups, and performance. With managed hosting, you can focus entirely on developing your website. However, this type of assistance comes at a cost.
One of the most essential elements in the slowness of your server's response time is the DNS lookup. DNS stands for domain name system, in case you didn't know. It consists of servers that store information about which domain name corresponds to which IP address in a database.
IP addresses, such as 22.214.171.124, are numerical sequences that identify every device on the Internet. We invented domain names and set up a place that knows which domain name relates to which IP because they are difficult to remember.
So far, everything is in order?
If you're using WordPress, installing a caching plugin like WP Total Cache or WP Super Cache is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve page loading performance.
Of course, if you're using WP Engine, you can skip this step because caching is already included.
Both plugins mentioned above are available for free download and are excellent. Caching plugins, despite their name, do a lot more than just cache your browser, although that is their primary role. I'll go over the benefits and how to implement browser caching without a plugin in a moment, but for people who use WordPress and want to increase page speed quickly, installing a plugin is typically quicker.
If you don't want to install another plugin to add Expires Headers and browser caching, here's how to do it manually if you don't use WordPress. Expires headers instruct the browser to request a specific file from the web server or fetch a cached version of a page.
Of course, this only applies if a user already has a cached version of your web page, so it will only speed up your site for users who have previously visited it.
In most cases, prevention is preferable to cure. You should choose a solid host, a good CDN, and an excellent theme/design to avoid many page speed difficulties in the first place.
As a digital marketer, it irritates me when web designers create visually appealing sites yet function poorly in SEO or speed. As some web design affects SEO, you should design websites by following the best SEO practices. I recall having to break the news to a client who had just spent a quarter of a million pounds on a new website, only to have it deleted because it would have destroyed their digital marketing efforts. This is the most extreme example I've ever encountered, but it has left an indelible mark on my mind.
The problem hasn't gotten any better or worse in the past few years. Designers utilized flash and other archaic technology to develop sites when I started SEO. It's no surprise that today's WordPress themes have so many bells and whistles that they take 10 seconds to load.
Broken links are not just a waste of bandwidth, but they are also one of the most common reasons visitors abandon your site.
After addressing all of these issues, the average number of pages visited per user increased from 1.4 to 1.85 each visit, and the bounce rate decreased noticeably. If the impact on these behavioral metrics isn't enough of an incentive to replace your broken links, the effect on page speed should be.
While 301 (permanent) redirects are preferable to 404 (broken link) errors, they aren't ideal because they prolong the browser's time to reach the correct page version.
Images play a unique role in website speed because they are typically one of, if not the most, significant elements on online pages. That's because they have a lot more information than plain text; therefore, they're bigger and take longer to load.
As a result, if image files aren't optimized, they can easily be several megabytes in size. When you consider that the optimal page size for Google is around 500KB, this quickly becomes a problem.
On the other hand, images are essential for making internet content appealing and delivering additional information. They are necessary when it comes to selling items.
So, how do you bring the two of them together? By reducing the size of images as much as feasible.