Best Techniques to Increase Website Speed

There are many determinators of a website’s success, whether if it’s about revenue or conversion rates, and website speed is one of the most important determinators that cannot be overlooked. Such that, many studies done by big companies such as Google and Amazon suggest that even milliseconds count when it comes to website speed optimization. If your website has a delay of one second, you should expect that customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and page views will all decrease.

With that being said, it is crucial to have a website with the optimal speed in order to make it successful. Remember, the more speed you have, the more success you can expect from your website. It is always the best option to speed up your website as much as you can since many consumers expect a website to be loaded in two or three seconds. You can find the details about how website speed influences your website’s success and the best techniques to increase your website’s speed for optimal results on this page.

Why is Website Speed Important?

Before getting into the techniques to increase website speed, it is important to know why website speed is important. You can see how website speed influences your consumers and your website in which ways and take precautions to prevent any unfortunate events on your website. The following are the reasons why website speed is important.

Why is web site speed important?
Why is web site speed important?

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Conversion Rate

The first thing you should know about website speed is that it is directly related to conversion rates. Conversion is what you expect from your website; it means that your goals are achieved. It can be a purchase or filling out a form through your website. Conversion rate refers to the percentage of consumers who converted from your website.

It is well known that websites with slow speed are such a disaster for conversions. Study shows that a big part of consumers will leave the page if it takes more than three seconds to load. This means that you are losing customers or clients for each second your website is delayed.  Even though you found yourself some patient consumers who will wait for the website to loading, they will not probably come back to your website. Hence you will once again lose possible customers or consumers.

First Impression Matters

There is a great research literature on first impressions, and there is no reason why you should think that it is not valid for websites because it is. The speed of your site will most probably be the very first impression your brand, company, or blog will have on people. They will unconsciously or consciously evaluate the site load speed to decide for further actions they will have about your website.

Web site speed and first impression
Web site speed and first impression

Nobody would want to lose possible consumers or clients just because they screwed up the first impression. It is possible to have a warm and good welcome for your future consumers with a fast website.

Visibility

Another significant reason that makes website speed important is visibility. As you probably already know, Google has some standards while offering results for people as a search engine. One important aspect that Google takes into consideration is speed. Google takes speed seriously when it comes to providing results for people who are searching for stuff. It is very important for your website to take place in the top rows of Google’s search results so that people can find your website and click.

Anyone who uses Google knows that they are clicking websites on the first page 99% of the time. When your website speed is high, this is a great bonus that Google would take into consideration. You should also know that the mobile version of your website is as important as the desktop version when it comes to speed for Google. You can increase your website’s visibility by increasing the speed, which will help you a lot in many terms.

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User Experience

Every single day, the number of websites (and probably the websites that are similar to yours) increases. In this case, it is very important to step up from others by offering a good user experience for your consumers. User experience is a crucial detail that would truly make your website unique and help you a lot in visibility, conversion, and organic traffic. User experience is mainly about providing your visitors what they came for and giving them as quickly as possible.

As mentioned earlier, website visitors are expecting the website to be loaded in three seconds maximum. If your website loads in two seconds, it is great, and if it loads in under one second, this means you can have the optimal results for your website regarding user experience. Increasing your website’s speed is a great way of offering a good user experience for your visitors.

How to speed up a website in the best way?

Websites can be pretty complicated. There are so many different factors that have an effect on page speed in a website, depending on what makes it so delayed loading. Given that, there are many techniques to speed up a site load time.

Decreasing server response time

The time required for your DNS lookup is one of the most important elements in how fast your page loads. As you may already know, DNS (short for domain name system) is a server that has IP addresses’ databases in addition to the relevant hostnames. It is DNS’ job to translate an URL address to an IP address that would detect the online location. In this case, DNS lookup refers to the sequence to find a particular DNS documentation.

Decreasing server response time
Decreasing server response time

In terms of website speed, it is important to take DNS lookup into consideration. The time your website will have for the DNS lookup process is dependent on the speed of your DNS provider’s server response time. You can look for your DNS speed comparison report to see in which parts your provider has problems and to find a better provider.

A slow DNS means that browsers will have a longer time to detect where your website is, meaning that your website will have a delayed load time. Since we would not want this and looking for ways to avoid it, switching to another and fast DNS provider can help you a lot to speed up your website.

Choose the correct hosting option

While creating a website, you will need a web hosting account that would allow you to have a website or webpage. It might look like an unimportant detail while you are first creating your website, given that there are millions of other things to consider, but it is a very crucial aspect of site speed for your webpage or website.

Additionally, your website will probably not have as much traffic as it will have later on when compared to when you first build it. Increased traffic on your website might be the reason for slow load time due to the inefficiency of your hosting. It would not be fair to say that one hosting option is better than the other one since they all can be useful for different websites with different content and requirements. It would be best to learn about the hosting options and choose the optimal one for your webpage or website.

Shared hosting

There are three different hosting options you can choose from. The first option is to use the shared option.  It is the cheapest one among all, and it can be enough for sites that have low traffic. However, it is not a recommended option since it will be influenced by other sites since you are on a shared hosting

VPS hosting

The other hosting option is VPS hosting. VPS hosting is a little bit similar to the shared hosting option since you still will be sharing resources with other sites, but different from it by offering you a special part of the server’s resources. This means that your server will not be completely shared, but it is also not completely special for you.

Dedicated hosting

The third hosting option is a dedicated hosting system. In dedicated hosting, the whole resources and the system will be dedicated to your website and your website only. This means that with a dedicated server, you will have the maximum space among all hosting options, but you should keep in mind that there will be additional technical setup issues and configuration processes to use a dedicated hosting system.

Reducing HTTP requests

Another method that can be very helpful while increasing your site’s speed is reducing HTTP requests. An HTTP request is a request to execute a specific action on a service defined by a Request-URL. It is known that more than half of a website’s load time is due to the load time of various parts within the site. Those parts could be scripts, gifs, images, and any other component that comes to your mind.

This means that there has to be a different HTTP request for each of the components of the site. As you can guess from now on, more HTTP requests mean that it will take longer for your site to be loaded. And when there are more components on your website, there will be more HTTP requests.

You can first detect how many HTTP requests your site needs to be loaded as a starter. You can easily detect the number of HTTP requests from “developer tools” of Google Chrome. There you can see the size of the files and the time it requires for them to be loaded. After you check and evaluate the HTTP requests on your site, you can reduce them by choosing the files that are not necessary. It can also be useful to combine files for extra speed.

Combining files

As we mentioned in the former heading, decreasing the number of HTTP requests might be very helpful for you to speed up your website or webpage. You can check out your HTML

JavaScript and CSS files to start combining your files. The aforementioned files have a crucial role on your site since they are the working mechanism behind your site’s look; however, they are also responsible for HTTP requests.

A very good method to reduce HTTP files is to combine your files. Combining your files means that you will be decreasing each file’s size while also reducing the number of files. You can also minimize file numbers to reduce any format, code, or whitespace that is not necessary on your website. You should be aware of the fact that every code counts when it comes to your page’s size, so you need to be careful about all of them. Check every single code that is unnecessary and eliminate them to increase your site’s speed.

If you spot more than one JavaScript and CCS file, this means that you have the opportunity to combine them in one file to decrease the total number of files and reduce the sizes of files. Lesser the files, the faster your site will be.

Asynchronous loading

There is more you can do about CSS and JavaScript files than combining files and deleting unnecessary codes. By choosing asynchronous loading, you can increase your website’s speed a little bit more. If you do not know, JavaScript and CSS files can be loaded either asynchronously or synchronously.

Synchronous loading means that they both will be loaded at the same time and asynchronous means that not all of them will be loaded at the same time. Switching your loading option from synchronous to asynchronous can be helpful for you to speed up your site because of the way a browser loads a page.

Another thing to note here is that when CSS and JavaScript are synchronous, the load will be stopped until one file is fully loaded. However, suppose that asynchronous loading is present; the browser would load other components of the site simultaneously.

Deferring JavaScript Loading

It is no secret that JavaScript is a large file.  If you simply put a stop to loading JavaScript (in other words, defer JavaScript), other components in your site would be loaded before JavaScript does, and it saves you a lot of time. There are many methods of deferring JavaScript loading depending on the type of your site, and it is not difficult to do so.

Compression

Another method that would increase the speed of your website is compression. If the files on your site are small, it will take less time for them to be loaded, and you would have a fast-loading site. You can enable compression on your site to decrease the load times by minimizing the size of the files available on your site.

Browser Caching

There is another cool method to decrease the HTTP requests on your website to increase your site’s speed. You can enable browser caching to not be having to send one more HTTP request to the server. You can think of a cache as temporary storage on the hard drive in which the component of the site takes place.

In the very first time where a consumer clicks to your site, it will take approximately 2.4 seconds for the site to be downloading all the necessary components. This is because many first timers on your site come with an empty cache that would help a lot to decrease load time. However, if they keep coming to your site, the load time may increase due to the cache being relatively full of the former visit. If you enable browser caching, you will prevent this unfortunate event from happening to your returning visitors and offer them a better user experience than before to not disappoint them on their second time.

Decrease Image Sizes

As we mentioned many times earlier, each file on your site counts, and it would be so much better for your site speed when the files are small. Visuals make up an important part of any given site, so you would not want to get rid of all of them, and it is sometimes not even possible.

It is not that we are saying that there should be a minimum number of images. It would be great if you could find some unnecessary images to delete; however, keep in mind that you would not want to delete the unnecessary ones. Additionally, having the right images on your site can actually increase conversion rates.

Of course, there is a solution for that. You can use image compression to decrease the sizes of image files while still keeping them on your site. There are many different tools to check how many spaces does compress images would give you file by file. You can choose the files that would be optimal to compress and then take action.

Images might be really big as a file, so you would not believe how much it would help to compress image sizes for a better-running site with faster speed. But the thing is, it is not your only way out. Sometimes images might not be available for compressing. In that case, you can crop images. Having very big images is not always the best way of using an image. You can crop the images that can work just as well as the big ones.

Using CDN

Using a CDN (short for Content Delivery Network) might be very helpful to speed up your site’s load time. If you remember from the previous heading, we talked about the hosting servers that you can use for your site. But there is a better option for your current server, which would be using a CDN. With a CDN, you can use another network of servers with your current one to increase your site’s speed. If you are using one server, this means that every single person using that server will send a separate request to that one server. As you can guess, when there are a lot of people who are sending a request to that one server, there will be a lot of traffic. When there is a lot of traffic, it will take longer for the server to load every site, including yours.

You would not want to have a slow load time when there is high traffic on your site. But the thing is, the case can be pretty much similar when you are using only one server. If you consider using a CDN, you can increase your site’s user experience a lot more. With a CDN, you can have access to the closest server to yours and increase the speed of your site drastically.

Decrease Round Trip Times

Another method to speed up your site is to decrease round trip time. Round trip time is the duration in which where a visitor sends a request to the server, and the server responds. There are many contributors that define the duration of round trip time, but it can be said that the most important one is the number of requests sent to the server.

Minimize redirects

Sometimes it is inevitable to use redirects, especially when it comes to broken links. However, you should be very careful about redirects since they play a role in website load speed. If you have too many redirects, it is possible to have unwanted and extra HTTP requests that would slow down your website.

Minimize redirects
Minimize redirects

It might not always be possible to get rid of all redirects; as we mentioned earlier, they might be pretty useful. If you have the chance, you should most definitely get rid of all of them. If you do not have the chance to get rid of them all, this does not mean that it is impossible to improve what you have. You can use some tools to track what redirects you have on your website to have a base.

Once you defined your redirects on your website, you can spot redirect chains. Redirect chains mean that the redirected link directs you to another link. Redirect chains are one of the worst redirects that can be present in a website, so you would want to edit the file to get rid of redirect chains.

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