Your page loading speed matters. A super-fast loading website is a visitor’s delight. It is not only great in user experience but also rewards with higher search engine ranking. Google has a liking for websites that can load under 3 seconds flat.
On the other hand, a slower page loading speed brings a host of bad news.
- It reduces the number of page views
- Customer satisfaction reduces by notches
- There will be a subsequent reduction in conversions
Amazon, the retail giant, learned this the hard way. The e-retailer encountered a revenue loss of 1% for every 100-millisecond delay in page loading speed. This could spell doom for small-scale e-retailers who have their websites prepped with several images and multimedia.
Does your website boast of such a good page loading speed?
If not, fret not, here are some ways to boost your page loading speed so that you can stay on top of your visitor’s hearts and also search engine results.
Minimize HTTP Requests
Your website receives tons of HTTP requests each time it has to load each a web component. These components include images, text, stylesheets, scripts, Flash players and so on. These HTTP requests make it difficult for your website to load quicker.
If you have rich media included in the components, it is safe to assume that it is going to take even longer to load the page. That said, an ideal way to make your website load faster will be to minimize the HTTP requests.
You can minimize HTTP requests by:
- Streamlining the number of web components
- Replacing images with CSS whenever possible
- Combining several stylesheets into one
- Reducing scripts and pushing them to page’s bottom
Enable File Compression
Long story, short: heavy files drag down your page loading speed. So, if you have files that weigh more than a 100kb, be prepared to face a slow loading website. But, you need heavy files too if you want to deliver high-quality content, like full-screen and HD images.
Luckily, there is a way out. You don’t have to totally sacrifice on your content quality to improve page loading. You can still enhance your page loading speed by compressing all files using tools like Gzip. Tools like these can help reduce your page loading speed by a whopping 70%, says Yahoo.
Enable Browser Caching
Browser caching works like your brain’s memory. When you meet someone for the first time, you inquire about their name and whereabouts. The next time you meet them, you remember everything they have already told you.
Browser caching works in the same way. When a visitor visits a website for the first time, the browser stores a cache of all the components that it will have to load for subsequent events. This helps shave off seconds of page loading speed. However, to achieve this benefit, you will have to enable browser caching for your website.
There are three things about images on your website that you can fix to make your website load faster. They are the dimensions (or size), the file format and the src attribute.
Heavy images take a long time to load, so optimize the image size to a size that is within your website’s width parameter. And, JPEG is the universally friendly format for web images. You can also use .png, but some browsers may not load them properly. Avoid BMPs and TIFFs and use GIFs only if they are so essential.
Finally, use the src attribute to locate the image location so that no new request is created each time the image has to be loaded.
Uninstall & Remove Unused Plugins
If you are platforms like WordPress or Magento, there is a mini world of plugin options you have to maximize the productivity of your website. However, in the long-run, some of them might become obsolete or not necessary anymore.
Keeping them active on your website not only bogs down your website performance, but might also pose serious security risks. Outdated plugins are easy backdoor entries for hackers. So, uninstalling and removing unused plugins is mandatory if you want your website to load faster and remain secure.
Use a Content Distribution Network (CDN)
A content distribution network is made up of server networks distributed across several locations. These servers have a cached copy of your website which is pushed to the user’s system each time they visit. The servers are selected based on the closest proximity to the user thus helping save time in page loading. It also reduces the overload that your server will have to undergo when there is excess web traffic during peak hours.
Clean Databases frequently
One of the troubles of maintaining a website is that a lot of junk gets accumulated in the backend. Each time you create a post or revise it or abandon it abruptly, the files get collected occupying space in your database. These unwanted files, in the long run, can slow down your website. Hence the need to clean your databases frequently.
Use Sprite Images
A sprite image is one single image that contains all the images on your website. Sprite images help reduce the number of HTTP requests as well as the server resource required to process the images. They use CSS to hide the unwanted images that the user is not currently seeing while on your website. How can you enable Sprite images for your website? Use tools like SpriteMe that allow you to quickly turn all the images in your website into a single combined CSS sprite.
Switch to HTTPS
Switching to HTTPS has two benefits to it. One, your blog gets better speed and also becomes a lot more secure. To enable HTTPS for your website, you will need an SSL certificate. You can choose from various types of SSL certificates like EV, DV, OV, etc. from popular SSL certificate reseller like Cheap SSL Shop at cheapest price.
There are still more ways you can optimize the page loading speed of your website. These rank as the top ways that can instant results. Try them and let us know how faster your page loads.