How to improve your website speed? – Part 1
Imagine you need to buy a last-minute gift for your friend at an online store. You’re trying to open the website, but it goes on loading and loading, and loading…like forever. What are you going to do? You will leave the website and go to another one, where you will make your order more quickly and without any interruptions. Consumers have no time to waste. And you have no consumers to “waste” too!
The simple truth is that speed matters. A faster loading website will bring you more traffic and higher conversion rates. Did you know that if your website does not load within 3 seconds, more than half of its visitors will leave it?
Why do you need to improve your website speed?
- Website speed is essential for Google ranking.
- Consumers prefer fast-loading pages.
- The better the speed of your website, the higher your user satisfaction.
- Speed affects Bounce rates (the percentage of users that leave a site without looking at a second page)
- The faster your page loads, the more people will visit it.
- And more.
So, it seems rather obvious that a fast website equals a successful website. And now what?
How can I check my website speed?
Here are a few platforms that can help you analyze and optimize your website speed:
How do I increase my website speed? Here are some of our suggestions:
1. A trusty web hosting provider
The very first (and most important) thing is choosing the right web hosting provider. The server on which all your precious data will be stored must be reliable, not jam-packed and able to respond quickly to requests. Speedflow offers high quality hosting with lightning-fast performance:
- SSL certificates
- Linux server environment
- Customization and scalability
- Connectivity all over the world
- 24/7 support
- And more
2. Gzip compression
The bigger a web page, the longer it takes to load. When a user clicks on a link, the server receives an automatic command to begin loading all page elements. If these items are too big, it will take a lot longer to visualize them in the user’s browser. Gzip compression solves this problem.
Gzip compresses the elements of your site into a zip file, thanks to which your web page information reaches the user’s browser much faster. Most servers provide this type of compression. To check if your website employs Gzip compression, try these tools here and here.
To enable Gzip compression on your server, use the following modules:
3. Lazy Loading
Lazy loading is extremely useful because it allows your page elements to load at different times – only when the user actually needs to see them. Choose the parts of your website that have to be loaded with priority and those that can be loaded after the user scrolls down to them. Lazy Loading has many advantages. It:
- Reduces page loading time
- Saves bandwidth
- Improves user experience.
4. Image optimization
If you optimize the images on your page the right way, you can improve your website speed by 80%! Try the following tips:
- Format your images before uploading them online.
- The best image format is the JPEG format.
- Avoid using BMP and TIFF formats.
- Your image size should match the width of your page. If your page width is 570 pixels, so should your image width too.
- Decrease color depth to a minimum, only if it does not distort the image.
- Eliminate all white spaces around your images.
5. Cache your browser
Caching allows browsers to remember your website after it has been loaded on them even only once. Consequently, the browser will not have to reload all the items from the server again. On the contrary, it will load the information directly from the user’s local computer. This is an extremely useful feature especially for regular users because the website will load much quicker with every subsequent visit.
So, how can you enable this feature? First, you need to adjust your HTTP headers and indicate the expiry times of specific file types. Thus, the browser will know whether to request information from the server or from the browser cache. Keep in mind that your CMS system may also have cache extensions or plugins. If not, you can enter cache parameters in your .htaccess file (in the root of the domain). This will help the browser know which files to cache. If all this seems like a foreign language to you, contact us. We will help you enable your browser caching.
How about your website? Is it fast enough? Do you need to increase its speed? We can show you how to turn on the “turbo” immediately.
Check also “How to improve your website speed? – Part 2“
May 15, 2018