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Why Your Website Speed Matters. 9 Ways to Optimize your Page Speed

Search engines use web page speed as one of their signals when determining the rankings of websites in search results. The faster your website loads, the better it performs in search engine rankings. This means that slow loading times can negatively affect your site’s overall performance and user experience.

From a user experience perspective, users often abandon websites that load slowly leading to high bounce rates. This means a loss of potential customers for your business. For this reason, you should always be optimising for speed because it can have a huge impact on conversions, time on site and revenue.

To check your website speed, you can use tools like the following tools;

These tools will analyse your website and return page speed results for mobile app and desktop views of your website. They also give you insights and diagnostics on how to address some of the issues identified on your website that might be slowing your site down.

The chart below shows the impact of page speed on website bounce rate.

Website Speed

An average of 80% of web users will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

If you’re looking for ways to optimize your site’s speed, here are 9 techniques that can help optimise your website speed and increase engagement and organic ranking for our website.:

1. Optimising images on your website

When you upload an image to your website, it will be stored in a specific folder on your server.

The first step to improving your website’s page speed is to optimize the images used on your website. Images can make up a significant portion of the size of your website, so optimizing them will not only help your website load faster but also make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

Optimize images before uploading them on your website because an image takes longer to load than text or HTML code. You should be mindful of the level of compression, compressing images too much might lead to distortion and poor image resolution. For this reason, aim for a medium compression that reduces the image sizes sufficiently for the images to load quickly while still retaining good resolution.

You can use tools like imagify to optimize images that are already uploaded to your website.

2. Cache your website pages

Enable caching for browsers to cache static files like CSS, JavaScript and images so they won’t need re-downloading every time someone visits those pages.

When many people visit your website at one time, the server might work slowly and may take longer to deliver each page to each visitor. To solve this problem and make sure that your visitors can see the content of your website as quickly as possible, you can use caching. Caching is a process that stores the current version of your website on the server and then presents this version to all users until your website is updated.

3. Use a CDN

CDN stands for Content Delivery Networks. CDNs are networks of servers that deliver web content to your users. They are used to improve the performance of your website, help you speed up your website, and avoid bandwidth bottlenecks.

This network of geographically distributed servers speeds up the delivery of web content by bringing it closer to where users are. When you access content delivered via a CDN, the content is delivered from the servers closest to you on the network, thus ensuring fast delivery.

A CDN allows for the quick transfer of files needed for loading web pages—including HTML files, JavaScript files, stylesheets, images and videos. Major sites like Facebook, Netflix, etc. use CDNs to deliver content to users enabling these platforms to offer the fast user experience you enjoy on these platforms.

Content Delivery Networks CDN

4. Remove unnecessary JavaScript/CSS files

Remove unnecessary JavaScript/CSS files that are not required by your site. This can help reduce the loading time of a webpage by up to 50% depending on its size.

These scripts are necessary for your website to function, but unused ones just slow your website down without adding any value. Some of these files can be heavy and as a result, they slow down the load speed of your web pages.  Therefore, it’s important to optimize the speed of your website by removing unnecessary JavaScript and CSS files.

There are two main ways to optimize your JavaScript and CSS files: minification and compression.

  • Minification is simply removing unnecessary characters from the file so that it’s smaller in size and downloads faster.
  • Compression takes things a step further by compressing the file into a smaller size so that it downloads even faster.

To remove unused JavaScript/CSS files, first, identify whether any of the JavaScript or CSS files are being used by other components on the page. If they are not, then remove them from the page. You can check this by opening up DevTools in Chrome and clicking on Network tab.

Next, look for CSS rules that are not being applied anywhere on the page (i.e., they only appear in stylesheets). If there are any such rules, then delete them because they are not needed anymore!

5. Limit the amount of visual content you have on each page

While visual elements are good for engagement, having too many visual elements on a page could slow the page down. The trick here is to strike a balance. Have just enough to provide an optimal UI/UX which would help you engage your audience but not so much that it slows the page down. You can use tools like to.

6. Remove unused media from your server

This adds load time to your website unnecessarily. This is one of the most overlooked tactics when it comes to enhancing page speed. It is a low-hanging fruit that you can implement easily. Go to the media library for your website, un-attach and delete files that are no longer in use on your website to help improve your website’s load speed.

7. Reduce your redirects

Redirects can be a pain. They increase the time it takes for your pages to load and can also cause other problems with your website. Of course, in some cases, redirects may be necessary, such as when you’re moving to a new domain. However, eliminating unnecessary redirects on your site can result in significantly lower page loading times.

Too many redirects on your website can really hurt website speed or loading times. There are a few different ways to reduce redirects in WordPress. One is to avoid creating unnecessary ones when building internal links and menus.

8. Upgrade your Hosting

There are different types of hosting solutions for websites. They fall into 4 main categories.

  • Shared hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated server
  • Cloud Hosting

With shared hosting, you share certain resources like CPU, disk space, and RAM with other sites hosted on the same server.

With VPS hosting, you still share a server with other sites, but you have your own dedicated portions of the server’s resources. This is a good in-between option. It protects your site from everyone else on your server without the cost required for dedicated hosting.

Dedicated servers are ideal if you need more control over how your site performs or if there are specific requirements associated with the type of content on your site that may require special hardware or software configurations.

Cloud hosting is like a hybrid version of a VPS—but more cost-effective.

Cloud hosting plans come with multiple remote servers. Each server has different responsibilities. If one of the servers is compromised or has a problem, the other servers on the network will take over those responsibilities and pick up the slack.

Depending on the traffic and data used on your website, it is well worth the time to investigate and consider upgrading your hosting, if it is identified as a factor in slowing your website down. Check out our cloud hosting solutions if you need help with upgrading the hosting plan for your business.

9. Eliminate unnecessary plugins:

Plugins are a great way to add additional features and functionalities to a website without having to write your own custom codes. While they are very helpful, having too many plugins on your site can slow it down.

Additionally, plugins that are outdated or aren’t well maintained can pose a security threat, and even introduce compatibility issues that hamper performance.

For this reason, we recommend minimizing the installed plugins on your website to only those essential for your website to function optimally. Carry out a plugin audit to evaluate whether they’re necessary. There might be some tools that have overlapping functionalities and features, and others that are simply no longer relevant to your needs

Conclusion:

As you have seen, a lot of factors go into your website speed. The good news is that you can control most of them. A performance-oriented site should be designed with these factors in mind, and they should be taken into consideration during the development process.

It’s time to stop looking at your website as just a static page. It’s so much more than that. It should be an experience that users love, and one that makes them want to come back for more.

If you don’t have the time or the technical skills to carry out some of the website site optimization techniques we have discussed in this article, get a web design agency to support you with these tasks to improve your website speed.

Your website is your business’s first impression, invest in it by optimizing website speed to ensure improve your ranking on search results and ensure your customers have an excellent user experience on your website. This will result in more sales for your business.

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