The speed or performance of a website is something which should never be ignored when it comes to conquering the online market. An uninspiring website results in decreased sales volume, decreased traffic and decreased consumer base. A slow loading website exasperates users and compels them to leave at that very moment. This guide covers all the important aspects related to Website Speed Optimization and the advantages an online business gets by optimizing web page speed. But, before going into the depth, let™s start with the actual meaning and concept.
The Ins and Outs Of Website Speed Optimization- A Brief Introduction
Website Speed Optimization is generally used to describe the process which reflects the performance of page loading in any browser. Website loading speed plays a crucial role in marking the success or failure of any online business. While browsing online, people normally expect a quick user experience. They do not have the patience to wait for a slow website to load. Slow loading web pages have an overall negative impact on rankings and traffic.
While investing in an online market, the first thing which business owners need to think about is Conversions. The increased rate of conversion can only be achieved if your website acquires traffic and attracts customers. Website Speed actually is the main door from where users enter. So, if your website loads faster, you will be welcoming great clicks, conversions, traffic, and new users.
The urge to optimize website speed- Why Is It Required?
As discussed above, optimizing website speed is essentially important because it is directly related to the sales, conversion, user engagement and usability. In this section, we will be covering each of these aspects in detail.
A slow loading website impacts your visitors and sales- According to the surveys done by Gomez.com, almost half of users expect a site to get loaded in approx 2 seconds and if the site takes more than the expected time, the result is increased abandoned or bounce rate. The number of users who had a poor experience while browsing your website will never come back which will directly affect website sales and conversions. Additionally, you are not only losing conversions but also your consumers.
A slow loading website decreases user engagement- If you want to keep users engaged on your site, you will have to improve the overall page speed. One second™s delay can lead to severe consequences.
Website speed impacts search engine ranking- According to Google Ranking Algorithms, Website Speed is one of the factors that should be maintained to improve rankings. When a site loads slowly, visitors do not click or open that site which brings upon a poor traffic and weak performance in search engine result.
Slow loading times= Decreased usability- The performance of a website is generally measured in terms of navigation, user experience, page speed, responsiveness and load time. If any of these factors does not contribute in a defined way, the result will be a low converting website, loss of revenue, CTR (Click Through Rate), bounce rates, and so on. Therefore, it is important to fulfill all these elements in order to maximize the usability and performance of a website.
Well, after knowing the importance of speed optimization, it becomes necessary to reap out the best ways to optimize your site. The next section of the article covers the same.
Tips and Tricks You Need To Follow For Website Speed Optimization-
Follow these simple steps to improve the speed of slow loading websites.
1.Optimize Caching- Caching reduces the load on your web server, which, in turn, reduces the load time for your users. If you are receiving higher traffic on your site, caching can be a better way which ensures that your customers enjoy higher availability and accessibility for their interactions within your website.
2.Reduce HTTP Requests- By reducing HTTP requests, you are reducing the number of items that are to be loaded on each page. When the website loads, most of the time is consumed by HTTP requests to load the various components. Apart from this, you can also use methods like combining files, CSS Sprites, image maps, etc. to reduce the HTTP requests.
3.Optimize Image Size and Format- Image optimization means reducing the size so that images can get quickly loaded on the web. However, it is also important to consider the quality of the image. The basic idea behind making an image load faster is to make the file size smaller which can be accomplished by either making dimensions of the image smaller or decrease the amount of coding that is required to display the image. In addition to this, you can also try some image editor tools like Online Image Optimizer, Smush.it, JPEG and PNG Stripper, and so on. Before opting for image optimization, it is required to follow the basic image formats like, JPG, PNG, and GIF.
5.Clean Coding- A clean and simple programming offers the best web browsing experience. Every search engine looks up for clean and quick content to get indexed first. They don™t want their visitors to experience a cluttered website.
6.Minimizing the number of plugins- Third party plugins, when installed on your website, deteriorate the functioning of your website. Use plugins wisely, instead, go for the ones which are extremely important. The lesser use of plugins will dramatically increase search engine ranking and improve page load time.
7.Optimizing your Database on a Regular Basis- This counts to be a very important factor to boost up your website speed. Cleaning up your database makes your website load much faster.
8.Optimize your site with GZIP Compression- GZIP Compression is an effective way to save bandwidth and speed up your website. Enabling compression is pretty much standard now and if you are not using it for some reason, your web pages will remain slower than your competitors. In order to enable compression, you can include .htaccess, Apache, Nginx, and LiteSpeed Web servers.
9.Reducing the size of Cookies- By reducing the size of the cookie, you reduce the size of data that is transferred which further decreases page load time.
10.Merge CSS Files- In-lined CSS files reduce a number of files the browser has to download prior displaying your web page. If you are using an external CSS File, the browser must first download your HTML file, then download your CSS file. After you inline your CSS, the browser only has to download your HTML file. This makes the process quicker and simpler. Putting CSS into the header section of HTML will save the web browser from a round trip to the server since you are no longer asking for a separate external file to load. The overall process results in loading your web pages at a faster rate.
11.Reduce Server Response Time- Long web server response time delays page loading speed. Page Speed expects a website server to respond quickly so as to ensure quick page loading. For each resource request, your server needs to send the first byte of resource within 200 ms of the request being sent. Lower the server response time, higher the page speed you will have.
12.Reduce the size of above the fold content- The size of content placed above the fold should be reduced. Websites that seem crisp to load are often just as large as slow websites, they have just prioritized above the fold content so that site appears to load very fast. Search engines like Google along with site visitors love web pages which display content quickly. This can be achieved by reducing the amount of data used by resources or by structuring HTML to load above the fold content.
13.Update Content Management System Regularly- If you are using WordPress or any of the Content Management System (CMS) which releases updates frequently, you need to update it along with security and bug fixes to optimize the performance of your website.
14.Fix Broken Links- 404 and 401 errors are a result of broken links and they further add to the unnecessary information on your website. So, fixing your broken URL™s comes as a great deal when it comes to making sure that your website is streamlined properly. There are many link checkers available using which you can check your links work properly and do not cause distraction in loading of a web page.
15.Minimize DNS Lookups- Reducing the number of unique host names from which resources are served cuts down on the number of DNS resolutions that the browser has to make, which, in turn, leads to round trip time (RTT) delay.
These were some extra simple ways using which you will be able to optimize the speed of your website for maximum user engagement, traffic generation, and brand awareness. Now let™s explore the advantages you avail with website speed optimization.
Benefits Of Website Speed Optimization For Businesses
- A faster loading website improves Conversion Rate by attracting large number of visitors
- Helps in improving Click Through Rate (CTR) of a website
- Improves Indexation, Traffic and Rankings
- Improves Sales Volume and Online Revenue
- Maximizes Consumer Base and Brand Loyalty for your business
Summing it Up-
The importance of having a user-friendly website cannot be ignored in this competitive era of online business. Every online business requires customers to stay on their web page for a longer time period in order to maintain the long-term relationship. Therefore, having a website which is quick, optimized and has the capabilities to convert users will rule the online world in the coming days. So, in order to create an awesome experience for your users, you will have to start with a faster-loading web page.