Need For Speed – Optimizing Your Website Speed For Better Performance

Slow website speeds are more than just a mildly frustrating experience – they could be costing your business a lot in conversions and visibility.

When it comes to website speed, time is money. A 100-millisecond delay in website load time can reduce conversion rates by up to 7%

A slow website makes your business look unprofessional and outdated. If this is the kind of response visitors can expect from your website, what level of service they expect from your business should you eventually manage to convert them into customers?

Google doesn’t like slow websites either, and your website will be penalized in the search rankings accordingly.

Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward online with these tips for optimizing your website speed.

Optimizing Your Website Speed

1. Minimize HTTPS Requests

In a nutshell, HTTP requests are the browser requesting information from the server of a site. It then presents those files to the website user.

What happens in between the request and the delivering of the files can have a lot to do with what is slowing your website down.

The more files there are to request, and the bigger the size of those files, the more HTTP requests will have to be made, resulting in a slower speed for your website user.

To reduce the amount and duration of HTTP requests, find ways to minimize file size, such as reducing the amount and size of images. You should also completely remove any files that are unnecessary.

2. Combine And Minify Files

Minifying code is not going to turn your website speed into Hussein Bolt, but when it comes to website loading speeds it all adds up.

“Minifying” means reducing the amount of HTML, Javascript, and CSS code the browser needs to read on your website so it can load the page faster. It involves removing any unnecessary characters which are only there to make it easier for humans to read such as line breaks. Less code means less time for the browser to read and load your site

There are lots of free plugins available to easily help you minify your source code.

3. Reduce The Server Response Time

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool says your server response time should be less than 200ms. When browsers are trying to load your website, they make a request to the server that hosts your site for the files and data. The amount of time taken for the browser to receive a response is the server response time.

To reduce your SRT:

  • Carefully choose the settings for your web server
  • Reduce bloat on your site by removing unnecessary files or compressing others
  • Utilize browser caching

4. Be Selective About Your Hosting Provider

Not all hosting providers are created equal, so be extremely selective when choosing.

Before you decide, assess your own needs so you will know what to look for in a provider. For example, high traffic websites should opt for a dedicated server.

You should also assess how much of the work you’ll do yourself and how much support you’ll need. Other considerations are the type of service you can expect should anything go wrong.

Once you’ve found one you like, make sure they are located close to your users and has significant RAM and CPU capacity.

5. Enable Compression

Compressing your website files is essentially the same process as compressing files into a zip folder on your computer.

Gzip compression reduces the size of your files and unzips them as someone visits your website. There free plugins available to help you achieve this and you’ll see an instant boost to your page load speed.

6. Leverage Browser Caching

Browser caching is a way of reducing the page load speed for repeat visitors to your website. The first time someone visits your website, the browser has to request the website files in their entirety and it can take a couple of seconds to do so.

Caching means that the browser saves a lot of these files so that the next time the same user visits your site, the load time can be reduced significantly.

7. Keep Plugins To A Minimum

There are so many fantastic plugins available for WordPress websites. It’s easy to accumulate them, and they can do everything from optimizing site performance to creating elements for the front end.

But over time, accumulating too many can drag down your website speed. Go through all the plugins on your website. It’s more than likely that you’re doubling up on functionality and can dump a lot of redundant plugins to improve your site speed.

If you’re unsure about the best way to build and manage your website, providers such as Infinity Digital – a web designing company have the expertise to help.

8. Be Mindful How Many Redirects You’re Using

Redirects are another one of those often-necessary evils that come with managing a website. But it’s essential not to use too many or you could significantly slow down the speed of your website.

Perform regular site audits to clear out redundant landing pages and redirects that are no longer needed. It’s also useful to SEO and site speed to update any internal links to the new page, rather than relying on old links to redirect.

9. Reducing And Compressing Image Size

Images with large file sizes generously littered around your web pages are a huge contributor to slow website speed, but they are also one of the easiest things to fix.

For example, use JPEG format instead of PNG as they tend to be smaller file size. Use lossless compression that squeezes the data down without compromising on quality.

If you’re planning to use video content on your site, it’s also recommended that you upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and embed it rather than uploading directly to your website.

10. Use Google’s Pagespeed Insights Tool

It can be hard to know if your site speed is much of a problem without investigating it properly. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is as simple as entering your URL and scanning the results to get tips on what to fix.

A speedy website makes your business look professional and automatically infers a level of trust in the service you provide. Start with these steps and you’ll soon see a boost in site speed – and conversions.