The website speed makes the first impression about your business. It’s essential to understand that you won’t get a second chance when it comes to user experience. Low website speed is one of the most frustrating things that will turn people off about your resource. It’s no secret the extent to which a website’s speed and performance can influence its future. Your website delivers the first impact about the kind of value and services your business is going to the extent to the visitor. A slow-loading webpage can seriously affect the conversion rates even if the content on your site is one of its kind.
To run a successful website, you need to create a strict check on the maintenance of low bounce rates, engagement, high return visits, higher organic search ranks, and incredible user experience. Users generally take only 3 to 5 seconds to decide whether they want to stay on a certain webpage or move to the next, hence, you’ve got these five seconds to build a reputation that’s going to last. This is why reducing the page loading time and investing to achieve a better user experience for your website is crucial. This can positively impact sales and marketing by attracting more qualified leads who will potentially turn into customers.
Factors That Influences A Website’s Performance
Let’s take a look at how website speed optimization influences the key factors of website success:
Website conversion is an important factor in your business success, which means getting your visitors to do what you want them to do. For instance, they will buy your product, subscribe to newsletters campaigns, register for a webinar, or download a guide. The faster the page loads, the higher conversion rates it’ll have. According to the Hubspot research, the 1-second delay means a 7 per cent reduction in conversions. For instance, a page slowdown of 1 second could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales each year.
The load time of your website also influences how easily users can find your website. Website speed is one of the factors that Google takes into consideration when ranking sites. A low performing website has a poor user experience and as a result, gains less promotion in search results. Since December 2017, the Google search engine has started ranking also based on mobile versions of pages, even for desktop searches. The goal of this decision is to protect users from websites that have low performance and aren’t responsive to all devices.
Website usability like website page speed, load time, and website responsiveness to user requests directly impacts customer loyalty. The better your website performs, the more satisfied a user will be. A great user experience is a way for building a large customer base and a strong brand.
Ways to assess your website speed
Before starting your website speed optimization you should determine your current loading time and define what slows your site down. Then you should set your website performance goals. if you optimize your website speed to an acceptable level, you will get a significant ranking advantage over competitors. We recommend analyzing the website speed after each change to determine what actions deliver the best results.
Several performance evaluation tools are worth trying:
- Google Pagespeed Insights is a free tool from Google that runs a performance test on your site and provides recommendations on how to increase performance. It works for both desktop and mobile versions.
- Pingdom is also a great tool for website speed testing with several useful features. It tracks your website’s performance history, makes data-driven recommendations on how to improve the website speed, and generates easy to understand reports. Pingdom also provides apps for website speed testing for Android and iOS. It has both free and professional paid monitoring plans.
- YSlow also provides recommendations on how to improve the performance of the page, draws statistics, and summarizes all components.
- Performance Budget Calculator is a free tool that helps figure out what type of content you can use to keep your site running optimally.
Guidelines to speed up your website
Once you have tested the speed of your website, you can start optimizing it. There are a lot of different ways to make your website work faster and we created a list of the most effective ones.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network is a set of web servers distributed across various geographical locations that provide web content to end-users concerning their location. When you host the website on a single server, all users requests are sent to the same hardware. For this reason, the time needed to process each request increases. On top of that, the load time increases when users are physically far from the server. With CDN, user requests are redirected to the nearest server. As a result, the content is deliver to a user quick and a website works fast.
Use website caching
In case there are a lot of users accessing the page at the same servers work slowly and need more time to deliver the web page to each user. Caching is the process of storing the current version of your website on the hosting and presenting this version until your website is updated. This means that the web page doesn’t render over and over again for each user. Cached web page doesn’t need to send database requests each time.
Move your website to a better host
There are three possible types of hosting:
The most popular type of hosting that is used all over the world is Shared hosting. That’s the cheapest way to get your site online in a short time and for a low fee. It’s essential to choose a fast web host to ensure better optimization. With shared hosting, you share CPU, disk space, and RAM with other sites that also use this server.
Virtual Private Servers and dedicated servers are much faster. VPS uses multiple servers for content distribution. Having VPS you share the server with its other users and have your part of the virtual server where your configurations don’t influence other clients. If your website has the average traffic or you have an eCommerce site with traffic spikes in some periods, VPS will be the optimal solution for you.
Another approach is to rent dedicated cloud resource from AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, or other public cloud providers. Both approaches can also be combined into a hybrid cloud that we discussed recently. With dedicated servers, all resources belong only to you and you get full control of them. Cloud infrastructures can also add unlimited and on-demand scalability under several packages.
Optimize the size of images on your website
Everyone loves eye-catching images. In the case of successful eCommerce sites, images are a vital part. A lot of photos, images, graphics on your product pages improve engagement. The negative side of the image use is that they are usually large files that slow down a website.
The best way to reduce the image size without compromising its quality is to compress images using such tools as ImageOptim, JPEGmini, or Kraken. The procedure may take a bit of time but it’s worth it. Another way to reduce the image size is to use the HTML responsive images <secret> and <size> attributes that adjust image size based on user display properties.
Reduce the number of plugins
Plugins are common components of each website. They add specific features suggested by third parties. Unfortunately, the more plugins are installed, the more resources are needed to run them. As a result, the website works slower and also security issues can appear. Try to avoid plugins that load a lot of scripts and styles or generate a lot of database queries. The best solution is to keep only the necessary ones and ensure that they are kept up to date.
Getting your page load times to where you want them to be is a challenging undertaking, but will have a significant positive impact on your overall site performance. This is not an easy task, failing to reach the user’s expectations can result in loss of visitors and/or potential customers. 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.
You can start with evaluating key factors for the site’s success, consider visibility, conversion, and usability, and locating the cause of the problem by speed testing your site for speed. Then prioritize and work on features and pages that define conversion success the most. You can optimize the most speed-reducing aspects of your website and make sure that it’s equipped with everything it might need to rank better in every search engine.