Everyone hates websites that load slow. To Speed Up Your Website impact user experience and in addition to increasing customer bounce rate can also have an impact on how Google ranks your website on their search results.
A 1-second delay in page loading time yields:
11% fewer page views
16% decrease in customer satisfaction
7% loss in conversions
Upgrading your hosting to a bigger, better plan may help, but it is not always the solution you should be going for. For one, larger servers are more expensive. Also, not all businesses need a Pure-SSD VPS Server or a dedicated server. While upgrading to a faster server may help, it is necessary to optimize your scripts and processes for scalable solutions.
A few extra seconds could have a huge impact on your ability to engage visitors and make sales.
This means that having a fast site is essential — not just for ranking well with Google, but for keeping your bottom-line profits high.
1. Minimize HTTP requests
According to Yahoo, 80% of a Web page’s load time is spent downloading the different parts of the page, like images, stylesheets, and scripts.
An HTTP request is made for each one of these elements, so the more on-page components, the longer it takes for the page to render.
The first step to minimizing your requests is to figure out how many your site currently makes, to use as a benchmark.
If you use Google Chrome, you can use the browser’s Developer Tools to see how many HTTP requests your site makes.
2. Minify and combine files
Loading files asynchronously can speed up your pages because when a browser loads a page, it moves from top to bottom.
5. Minimize time to first byte
Time to first byte, or TTFB, is the amount of time a browser has to wait before getting its first byte of data from the server. Google recommends a TTFB of less than 200 ms.
6. Reduce server response time
One of the biggest factors in how quickly your page loads is the amount of time your DNS lookup takes.
A DNS, or domain name system, is a server with a database of IP addresses and their associated hostnames. When a user types a URL into their browser, a DNS server is what translates that URL into the IP address that indicates its location online.
7. Choose the right hosting option for your needs
Shared hosting is the cheapest option and you can often get it for about five dollars per month. While it’s fine for low-traffic sites, shared hosting does struggle to keep up with traffic spikes and high-volume sites. And it is possible for your site to be impacted by traffic spikes from other sites using the same server as you.
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.
8. Run a compression audit
It’s in your best interest to get your files to the smallest they can be, without sacrificing quality. The smaller your files, the faster they’ll load — and the lower your overall load times will be.
9. Enable compression
The smaller your files, the faster your pages will load. Compressing files is one of the easiest ways to reduce load times, and today, enabling compression with Gzip is considered standard practice.
10. Enable browser caching
When you visit a website, the elements on the page you visit are stored on your hard drive in a cache, or temporary storage.
This means that the next time you visit the site, your browser can load the page without having to send another HTTP request to the server.
11. Reduce image sizes
Images can play a major role in your site speed. They’re often very large files, which can slow down page load times.
12. Use a CDN
Beyond the server that hosts your site, you can also use other networks of servers to decrease load times for your visitors.
When your site is hosted on one server, each user who visits it sends requests to that same server.
13. Use external hosting platforms
In addition to hosting your site’s files on a CDN, you can also use external hosting platforms for some of your larger files.
This is particularly valuable for videos.
For example, let’s say you want to add a video tutorial to your site. You create, edit, and export the video file.
14. Optimize CSS delivery
CSS holds the style requirements for your page. Generally, your website accesses this information in one of two ways: In an external file, which loads before your page renders, or inline, meaning it is in the HTML document itself.
15. Prioritize above-the-fold content (lazy loading)
Having just recommended that you use only one CSS stylesheet and no inline CSS, there is one caveat you need to consider.
You can improve user experience by having your above the fold (top of the page) section load faster — even if the rest of the page takes a few seconds to load.
This is called lazy loading and is particularly helpful for pages with lots of content below the fold.
16. Reduce the number of plugins you use on your site
As you’ve likely gathered from this post so far, plugins can do a lot to improve your WordPress site. You can use them to add custom functionality, clean up your code, improve user experience, and more.
17. Reduce redirects
Redirects are often necessary when you move and delete pages, and are the best way to eliminate issues with broken links.
But having too many of them can create additional HTTP requests, which can negatively impact speed, particularly on mobile devices.
18. Reduce external scripts
As we mentioned above, the fewer requests your site makes to your server, the faster a page will load.
19. Monitor your speed over time
As you work to improve your site speed, it’s a good idea to monitor how it changes over time. This is important even after you’ve achieved an acceptable page load time.
20. Monitor mobile page speed
In addition to monitoring your load times on desktop, you’ll want to pay particular attention to how well your site loads on mobile devices.
As we mentioned above, mobile user experience now impacts all of your site’s rankings.
Spend some time looking through your site’s speed test results and look for the issues that have the greatest impact on your load times. Focus on those high-impact factors and take the necessary steps to get them into shape.
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