There are a lot of metrics revolving around your website. Some of these you may know as search engine ranking, bounce rates, conversions, page views, user activity etc. The longer it takes for your website to load can affect their statistics which is vital for your website’s efficiency so its important to optimise your website to make it faster.
To put it simply, the faster your website the better your results will be. Below are some of the studies recently revealed regarding the ranking of websites by Google:
- 85% of mobile users expect website to load on their phone faster than on their computer.
- 40% of users will leave a website if a page doesn’t load within 2 seconds.
- 79% of online shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance will refuse to buy from that location again.
- 52% of shoppers define quick pages as a crucial factor in maintaining their loyalty.
These 5 tips will help you the success rate of your website by making it faster and more effective.
1. Re-size website images before using them
If your website has a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, you can upload images in any size and adjust their display size from within the interface.
However, this method tends to force browsers to run too many commands at once because it must collate the images and re-size them in real-time. Instead, if you adjust the images to the correct dimensions before uploading them to your website, the browser will not have to work so hard and will load your images much faster.
2. Reduce the number of HTTP requests
Somewhere around 80% of the time it takes to load your website, is mostly for loading the different elements your website needs such as stylesheets and other scripts as well as images and other website files.
The more files to load, the longer it will take your website to load. With that in mind, the quickest way to improve your site speed is to simplify your design. By doing this you streamline the process.
You can also combine multiple style sheets into one, and using CSS as much as possible rather than images. When it comes to website creation, less is definitely more.
3. Access website compression solutions
If your website’s pages have a lot of content or heavy content where your web pages are bigger than let’s say 100kb, it takes much longer to load. Sometimes, it may not be an option to exclude this data. In cases like this, the best way to speed up this issue is to compress the larger pages in to zip files.
If your pages are compressed, the bandwidth of a page falls, reducing the HTTP response time. Gzip is a great tool that can help you format your files before them to download by the user. This can reduce load times by up to 70%!
4. Make use of browser caching
Browser caching is when the browser will store your websites data that it has previously downloaded. This results in reduced amount of data transferred which means faster loading times.
If this is something you will be doing, be sure to set a maximum age (also known as expiry date), within the HTTP headers for all resources that are added locally.
This way browsers can keep stylesheets and images in their cache to load pages quickly, so when a visitor comes back on your website, they are readily available.
5. Remove unnecessary website plugins
There are hundreds of thousands of plugins on the web that you can use on your website to help you perform functions without the knowledge of coding. Sometimes, you can end up installing more than you need, or simply forget that they are there.
It’s important to know that every plugin you use also has to be loaded with the website. The more plugins you are using, the slower your website gets, and one of the biggest threats comes in the form of social media sharing plugins as they reduce page loading times considerably.
Before you add any more plugins to your website, consider whether it is worth it against the time lost for loading it.
Reduced website loading time is important
Reduced speeds at which your website is delivered to the user is considered good user experience, but don’t let your website’s speed drop over some cool plugin with an awesome interface.
In the end, your visitors only care about the speed and functionality of your site, over the bells and whistles you might want to add.