Speed is one of the fundamental aspects of website development. Websites with fast loading times are known to convert more visitors and rank higher on Google.
Research has shown that improving load times by just one second can increase website revenues by 7%. When you speed up your website, you can increase the traffic to your site massively. The top 3 results in search engine results get an average of 70x more visitors than sites outside of the top 3.
Therefore, investing time and financial resources into this area of your online presence is worth it.
There are many ways you can improve your site’s speed. Here are some of the solutions for you to try out when you’re performing website maintenance or during the website development stage.
1. Optimising images for better loading time
The first, most important, and most straightforward solution is optimising images for your website. Images take up a lot of memory. They, can slow down the delivery of your site to the user’s browser. There are numerous options when it comes to speeding up your website’s images, but all of them should be done.
First, you need to scale images to a better size. Many businesses when developing their website just add pictures to the site without scaling them, so they are stored in the appropriate size. Images shouldn’t really be any larger than 600 x 400 pixels. This is the size most mobile devices can handle with ease.
Next, images should go through compression. Using free image optimisers like RIOT are great and can reduce some pictures down by 75%. They can also easily change the file format from memory-intensive PNG to JPG format.
Websites look beautiful on our screens, but they are just lines of code to a computer. Every letter and symbol that is stored in website files can take up memory.
While a small amount of unnecessary code might not make much of a difference, lots of small redundant code can add up and really slow down your website. Examples of unnecessary coding include extra spaces and commas.
3. Utilise browser caching
Another critical aspect that you should look into is enabling caching for your website. This is where a version of your site is stored on the user’s computer. While this doesn’t help your site’s speed on the first visit, it will help speed up your website on subsequent visits.
Considering 80% of conversions happen between the fifth and twelfth interaction, this aspect becomes more important.
4. Gzip files larger than 150 bytes
Gzip is a file compression system that allows you to condense the amount of memory a file takes up in your website’s folders. By utilising Gzip on your files, you can drastically speed up your website.
However, don’t Gzip any image files. This can cause their quality to drop significantly, which can have a negative impact on your conversion ratios.
5. Reduce redirects
A redirect is where a customer tries to view a URL and is then redirected to another. In some cases, this can be beneficial, like when a URL has changed. However, for the most part, it does slow down your website.
Therefore, reduce redirects on your website to pages that are necessary.
When browsers are rendering your page for users, they have to build a DOM tree. This is done by parsing HTML first and then rendering the page for the final look that the user sees.
However, if the website’s code includes a script during the construction of the DOM tree, then the process is stopped so the browser can execute that script first.
7. Improve server response time
Your server response time is a complicated aspect of your website. A server response time is affected by many elements, including the level of traffic you attract, the resources and the pages used, the server software and the hosting solution.
You need to look for performance bottlenecks, such as inadequate memory allocations and slow database queries and then find a solution. Google recommends that a server response time should be under 200ms.
Your website’s speed is a critical aspect of your online presence. You can lose more than 25% of your visitors by having a website render in over four seconds. Yet the average website speed in the UK is nearly 10 seconds.
There are lots of easy to implement solutions to solve this. Improving website speed increases business rankings on search engines, enriches your users’ experiences and ultimately increases business revenues.