10 Tried-and-Tested Ways to Boost Your Website Speed

Around 50% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Website speed has a huge impact on your website, possibly much greater than you realize. While a slow website can make you lose customers, a fast-loading website can boost visitor engagement and help you convert your first-time visitors to customers. Below are 10 things that will help you in speeding up your website.

Optimize Images

Image sizes area contributory factor to your website loads slowly. This is because they actually can add extra load to your server. By using appropriate size images, that are not too large and just the right fit, you can reduce your page load time. For optimizing images you need to focus on size and format. You can and should optimize your images without compromising their quality.

There are WordPress optimization plugins and other online services available to help you reduce your image files by resizing or compressing them. Also, according to Google, the three image formats that can improve mobile page speed are JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP. PNG and GIF formats are also good options for web pages.

There are new image formats which are now supported on most browsers also help in reducing file sizes. For example, Google’s WebP image format, mentioned above can reduce between 64% and 92% of your image size.

Use A Content Delivery Network

CDNs contact your server, cache the response they receive, then serve the content locally to your users wherever they may be. That is, CDNs replicate static elements of your website on their network of servers all around the world so that when a visitor comes to your website, they fetch or upload the content from their closest server.

They may initially seem very expensive, but setting up your Content Delivery Network correctly should reduce your serving costs while performance is greatly improved.

Content Delivery Networks decrease the website load time. Consequently, this brings about a better user experience and higher search engine rankings. A good web host and a good CDN is a combination you want to have. Examples of Content Delivery Networks are CloudFare and MAXCDN.

Use LazyLoading

Lazy loading is a helpful technique. It is the act of loading content only when it is about to go into view. This will reduce downloading of extra content that the user may never use, and allow the browser to improve its performance greatly. That is, it boosts page speed and performance, as unnecessary content does not load for visitors and frees up the browser.

There are a lot of packages online that you can use for lazy loading. Also, starting with Chrome 76, which is the July 2019 version, Lazy Loading comes natively integrated with HTML. All you need to do is to add loading=” lazy” to the tag.

Implement WebCaching

Caching can be defined as the storage of resources in a temporary storage system so that it can be used quickly when it is needed. This is important for returning visitors because every time a visitor comes to your site, their browser usually downloads all the files.

When you implement web caching, the static files are stored on the visitor’s browser so that the next time the visitor visits the page it will load faster, as the browser already has those files which are retrieved rather than being downloaded again. Only a few components need to download for the subsequent visits, which would result in faster response and better performance.

You can set up a period for information to be cached. By enabling caching and creating static copies of pages that usually stay unchanged, your servers would work more efficiently. Page load time can be improved at a significant rate, by asking the browser to store files that it has already downloaded. Web caching will help improve your readers’ experience while visiting your website page again.

There are cache plugins available on the Internet that you can make use of for this.

Use Premium Web Hosting

A web host is the backbone of a website. Your web host should be able to provide a fast load time to as many visitors as possible. This is because it won’t matter how much work you do to improve your web page speed if what you have is an unreliable web host. People mostly choose cheap hosting platforms due to budget constrains. However, when your website begins getting lots of traffic, you are sure to face problems.

It’s up to you to research the web host provider and its infrastructure. Also, make sure that you choose a plan that will help to speed up loading times on your website. If your web host does not have a solid infrastructure, your site will be slow, and if traffic keeps increasing, your visitors might visit your website and see that is down. So, you should make sure to choose the right web hosting provider from the beginning.

One thing to note is that if there aren’t enough servers near you or your target audience, your site’s loading times will be slow. A good idea is to look for hosts with good service in your country or area. You can always supplement your hosting with a CDN too though. Another thing to look at is the host’s technology stack. For instance, are the servers equipped with caching, and do servers run on the latest versions of software?

Don’t forget that you must use a trusted hosting platform.

Reduce Server Response Time

Server response time is the amount of time the web server takes to respond to a request from a web browser. Server response time depends on various factors. These factors are; the amount of traffic received, resources received by the page, software used by the server and the hosting platform.

Experts consider the best response time to be under 200 ms. To achieve this, you can speed up your website DNS by choosing a faster website DNS provider. You can also check for issues like memory availability, database queries that are slow and slow routing.

Optimize Your Code (CSS/Javascript/HTML)

Your website and the content on it are not the only things that slow down how quickly your mobile pages load. The code and files behind it can cause these and other issues too.

Codes are often written by developers in a way that makes them human-readable. They usually have extra spaces, comments, and another formatting. However, this just gives your server extra characters to process. Unwanted elements like commas, spaces, and characters, being removed, can boost website speed. When you minify your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, the extra code is removed so that your file sizes and code can become more manageable for your server to effectively deliver to visitors.

Servers process an average of 69 HTTP files for every mobile page. To make this process more efficient, you should combine files when possible. While you remove the extra characters in your code, you can also combine all of your files into one. This is particularly useful for weighty CSS and JavaScript files.

Enable Compression

Large pages of about 100kb and more, with high-quality content, take more time to load and download. To make your website faster, it needs to be made lean. Minimizing round-trip times and redirects is one way to go about it. But you can also compress the size of an HTTP response.

So, you are to make use of the technique called Compression. After compression, the page files get zipped and take less time to load. The compression technology helps to reduce the bandwidth of the pages.

Some plugins can do this for you. An example is the WP HTTP Compression plugin for WordPress. You can also make use of Gzip. Gzip can reduce the HTTP response size close to 70% and this will in turn account for a great change in your page load time.

Reduce Redirects

Redirects create additional HTTP requests and consequently make your website slower. So, you must reduce the redirects. While sometimes they are necessary, like when redirecting users to use the secure version of your site, or when you move content on your website but you still want your old SEO links to continue tolead your audience to the content.

If you find yourself having to use redirects, make sure you avoid chained redirects. A chained redirect is a redirect that leads to another redirect. It is also recommended to make a cacheable redirect. This will reduce your page load time.

Remove Unnecessary Plugins 

Plugins add features to your site that are not available by default in the themes. The issue is that the more plugins you have, the slower your website gets as they require loading CSS and javascript files. Also, a lot of plugins secretly install tracking scripts to collect data and this also affects page load time.

Interestingly, even when you’re not using excessive plugins, poorly coded plugins, which you use can lead to performance issues. Basically, the use of too many or just any plug-ins slows down your website, creates security issues which can even lead to crashes and technical difficulties. So, you have to be very mindful of which plugins you install. You need to deactivate and remove unnecessary plug-ins and eliminate the ones that slow down the website speed.

You should see if any of the features which you are using through external plugins could be coded with your theme. This will reduce the extra load from your website.

Conclusion

As we have more visitors flocking to our websites, we need to be prepared to give them the very best experience. The major problem now is that some of the old ways of designing and optimizing websites for desktops don’t do much in terms of mobile page speed. However, by using the above steps, you can improve your mobile page speed. These techniques can significantly speed up your website and thereby increase your page views and customer satisfaction.

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