How to increase your website speed? [Website Speed Optimization]
In this post we will learn about website speed optimization and some of the simplest tricks and techniques in the book that can help you improve website speed.
Your website speed is the first impression you are making on the visitors and they are not really high on patience. Chances are, you would not see them again if they have to wait for the website to load completely, and they can get into the ‘real’ work aspect.
A website that is slow to load will quickly frustrate the visitors and ultimately lead them to think negatively about your company as well. It is no surprise that the high-performance websites enjoy a higher number of return visits, lower bounce rates, higher conversions, higher engagement, better search rankings, and an enhanced overall user experience.
Contrarily, slower websites will not just lose you a lot of money, but will also hurt your brand reputation substantially. In the post below, you will learn some really effective ways to improve the performance of your website, reduce page load times, and eventually cast a positive impact on your marketing and sales processes.
Why is website speed optimization important?
Page load time for your website is a critical web performance metric that tells you the exact time needed for the page to completely be displayed on the screen for a user. Following are the three major factors for website success that are influenced by website speed optimization:
Conversion means getting your visitors to complete the action you wish them to take. This is the single most important factor that contributes to the success of the website. The lesser the time taken by the website to load, higher are the chances for conversion. In fact, 1 second delay in page load time can lead to 7% reduction in conversion.
Website speed or the page load time is a strong factor taken into consideration by Google while ranking websites. Slower websites perform poorly, which buries them down further in the search results giving them poor visibility.
Website usability including website page speed, load time, and website responsiveness to user requests have a direct and strong impact on the loyalty of your customers. When you offer great user experience on your website, you are working your way to build a massive customer base, strengthening your brand.
How to increase your website speed?
Once you have decided to improve your website speed, it is imperative that you start brainstorming for ideas on page speed optimization. In the post further, I have chosen 7 of the simplest yet effective ways to improve your website speed.
- Reduce Image Footprint
- CSS Optimization
- Reduce Plugins
- Use Website Caching
- Detect 404 errors
Too many images on your website can impact your website speed, but that doesn’t mean that you have to remove them all for page speed optimization. Images are particularly important for certain kinds of sites like ecommerce websites as consumers can only buy what they can see. The idea here is to use the smallest possible size of the image on your site. This can be done by compressing them. In doing so, you must be careful that the image is not too small as that may lead to a distorted or pixelated image which will hurt your brand image.
This can serve as a shortcut to achieve website speed notification. The process entails removing all the superfluous data that is irrelevant for the browser. This process also removes any redundant data, so that you do not have to put in manual efforts, engaging additional resources.
Cascading style sheets or CSS are code elements which let you style your website the way you want. CSS can help you change the colors on your website, the fonts and numerous other elements like margins, padding, columns, indentations etc. Since every CSS element addresses a specific part of your website, bloated CSS can have serious consequences on website speed.
Adding too many plugins to your website slows down the website. This is because while loading your page, the browser would first need to understand what each of the plugin means and how to integrate each with the website. Adding superfluous plugins that do not add any value to your website, just because there is a thin possibility of doing something fancy for your website. However, just deactivating these plugins will not really help, unless you delete each one from their WordPress installation.
Whenever you visit a website, page elements are saved on your hard disk in a cache – a temporary storage. This ensures a better page speed when you visit it next, because the browser need not send another HTTP request to the server. It is important that your website caching is in place and you can do it with a convenient plugin like W3 Total Cache to improve your website speed.
The 404 errors take up space that could have been used for meaningful content and slows down the website. Also, they sour the whole user experience while annoying those who’re visiting your website. There are two ways to go about this – remove all the 404 pages or create a 301 redirect to another page on your site. In case you are getting some traffic on the page with 404 error, redirection is the way to go.
Website speed is the most important factor when it comes to website optimization because the intent for any business owner is to get the visitors to the web content in the shortest possible time. The user experience can only be positive when the website speed is good and they can navigate between different pages on your website with ease.
Your consumers do not have a lot of time or patience to keep waiting for the website to load. They are going to move to your competitors if you test their patience with a slow website.
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