Do you know the website’s speed and performance is as much important as writing great content? Many times, while searching on the net, you might wonder why isn’t your website getting as much traffic? There can be many reasons but one of them would be slower website speed and performance.
For getting indexed, Google has made it clear that faster user experience is really important. There’s a reason, why would people like to visit your website if they have to wait more than 1-2 seconds. (There are many more reasons we’ll discuss later.)
One second of delay in page load can cost you:
- 12% fewer page views.
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
- 9% loss in conversions.
Here are 9 facts about how to increase website speed you should know:
- Shockingly, the average website page load time in 2016 is 5 seconds which should be less than 2.5s.
- 40% of visitors will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
- 70% of visitors who think your website speed is too slow won’t return to your website again.
- 80% of a web page’s load time is spent downloading different page elements. For example, images, style sheets, widgets, etc.
- 73% of mobile users say that they have found a website via their mobile device that is too slow.
- Mobile users expect website speeds to be a little slow due to the internet connection but 18% of mobile users will abandon a site if it doesn’t load in 5 seconds. So ensure your website is optimized for mobile.
- Finally, remember to maintain your website. On average, a website’s page load speed increases 22% each year.
- A site that loads in 3 seconds experiences 22% fewer page views, a 50% higher bounce rate, and a 22% fewer conversions than a site that loads in 1 second. While a site that loads in 5 seconds experiences 35% fewer page views, a 105% higher bounce rate, and 38% fewer conversions.
- Only 25% of the Alexa 2000 uses a CDN. A fifth of sites fail to implement relatively simple performance-enhancing techniques.
Why website speed is so important?
You might be searching on how to increase website speed and it’s performance but why it is really important? Do you know 1 second of page load is ok, and you should manage to get it under 3 seconds but if it takes more than 5-6 seconds than you’re losing your money and need to improve?
It doesn’t matter what website you use, e-commerce or blogging, but what really matters is how fast your site works. Ordinarily, it’s said if you have more pages, your site takes more time to load. But when a study was done on Amazon, it’s page load time was 3.26s, still faster for such a massive site.
Not only websites but the user experience is really important on mobile too. A stat says, 70% of your users (and new users) get to your website through mobile phones. So it is important for your readers to have a better experience.
We all know how it’s like to wait for few seconds for a website to load. Imagine waiting for more than 10 seconds? Yes, your website might take this long, and your users might leave and never come back. In today’s fast paced world, nobody wants to wait for a few seconds or have time to wait for slow websites to load.
Search engine optimization
Google has made it clear, that website speed is important factor of Google algorithm of ranking (You can learn 13 SEO mistake you might be making). Research shows that Google might be specifically measuring time to first byte as when it considers page speed. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.
User experience is a huge part of SEO and if your site is slow to load, that will count against your ranking. Search engines work really hard to give searchers a perfect answer for queries, and they will never provide slow answer.
If users are leaving your site because it’s taking too long to load, then it’s going to affect your bounce rate. Bounce rate is the number of users leaving your website without interaction. If your bounce rate is higher, it’s going to affect your SEO. If people are not interacting to your content and not clicking on your posts, then it sends signal to search engines that your content is not very good and users cannot find your content in their query. Bounce rate is another important reason on how to increase website speed and why it’s important.
4. Traffic and money
It’s a fact, if your website works slow why would someone like to visit it again. If people won’t visit your site, you won’t get much traffic and that will affect your ranking. Website speed is related to everything on your website. So make sure you don’t let it go. After all the first impression is last impression.
How to check website speed and it’s current performance?
Before you begin anything, let’s check how your website perform. It might seems perfectly to you, but it might not work the same way to others. There are number of ways to check your website speed, it’s performance and critical issues in your website. Here is the list of site that we use:
- Pingdom – Test the load time of that page and analyze it.
- Google PageSpeed Insights – It analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster.
- GT Metrix – I can highly recommend you this site. It gives you detailed insight information of errors and issues of your site.
- Web Page test
A thing to remember don’t only focus on score, instead, improve speed, reduce image size and other critical issues that increases site load. Don’t rely on only one site, try all of them and take the overall picture.
These website tools will give you an idea on current situation of your website speed and performance. Some of them will give you how to solve those issue. One more thing to keep in mind is the location of your server. Tools like Pingdom let you choose between multiple locations, make sure you choose the one closest to your audience.
Don’t just think about your website users, think about your mobile users too. Do you know why they are more important than web users? Around 60-70% of your visitors, visits your website through mobile browsers.
11 ways to increase website speed?
Choose right hosting site.
A big factor of your website speed comes through your web host. When you decide which web host to use makes sure you consider they take site speed seriously. It’s easy to jump at the cheapest deal when considering hosting, but given that site speed has such a dramatic effect on traffic, and therefore earning potential, it can be a false economy.
Some of the web host you can use:
Make you check them as per your budget, preference and web host’s performance.
Reduce image size
Images play major role in your website speed. They’re often very larger and can slow down your place load time. This is especially true when your work includes lots of high-quality images (lifestyle blog or e-commerce store), those image size can range from 3 mb to 15 mb. Removing them or reducing their quality is not the option.
If you’re using WordPress, use a plugin like EWWW Image Optimizer or WP Smush which optimizes your images as you upload them and can also optimize them in bulk in the media library. Check the box next to “Automatically smush my images on upload” and all your images will compress automatically.
If you don’t use WordPress, there’s a tool named Compressor.io. Before adding any image on your site, compress it through this tool and then upload it to your website.
Delete all unnecessary plugins, themes, and images.
If you don’t use certain plugins or images, or they no longer are required to you, just Delete them. They are taking a lot of space and slowing down your site.
Use caching plugins
Caching help server to store/remember data from your site users’ computer in order to show your page correctly. This means that the next time your users visit your site, your browser can load page without sending another HTTP request to the server. Using Caching plugin can seriously speed up your site. If you’re using WordPress, I would recommend W3 Total Cache Plugin.
5. Use a content delivery network (CDN)
How fast your website loads, depends on where your user’s server is located. For example, my server is located in USA, my website will load faster in USA than in UK or Australia. A CDN is a network of servers, other than your hosting server, used to decrease load time for your visitors.
When your site is hosted on one server, each users who visits your site sends request to that same server. This means that when your site is experiencing high traffic, the time it takes to process each request increases. This makes your website load time slow.
Check out these options:
- MaxCDN – Lots of people say good things.
- CacheFly – Another trustworthy provider.
- Cloudflare. Part CDN, part security tool. I use it on CXL.
- Inscapsula – similar to Cloudflare, but has shown to offer a much better level of security/protection according to research.
Here’s a great article on how to pick a CDN.
Minimize HTTP requests
Why does your website take to much time to load? Because most of your time is spending while downloading elements like images, stylesheets and scripts. The first step to minimize your requests is to figure out how many does it make currently. You can check it through the tools I’ve listed above.
In the above image of Beyond Execute website performance, as you can see this website has 103 requests. By reducing this number, you can increase your website speed. Google has a handy manual for doing it all.
Minify and combine files
If you are running your website on WordPress, there are several plugins that can help you minify or combine these files but the one I would recommend is WP Rocket. It’s fairly simple to use on your website. If you have, this plugin installed, go the “Static Files” tab and check the files you want to minify and combine.
This plugin also includes reducing Google Fonts. If you’re done, hit ‘Save changes” to complete the process. When it comes to website, lesser is better. Fewer elements on the page can make your website speed faster and take less time to load.
Reduce server response time
Another factor in how fast your page loads is how much time does DNS lookup takes. DNS or domain name system, when a user types your URL in their browser, a DNS server translate it into IP address that indicates its location online.
If your DNS is working slow, then you need to switch to faster DNS provider to increase website speed. Some of the DNS providers I have mentioned above.
The fact is, the smaller your websites are, the faster your page will load. Compression reduces response times by reducing the size of HTTP response. You can compress your file through Gzip. It’s a format and software application that temporarily replaces them with smaller files.
If you’re using WordPress then both WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache plugins support enabling Gzip. You just need to check the box from setting.
Reduce external scripts
Redirects are often necessary when you delete or remove pages from your site, that way you don’t have any broken link on your site. But having too many of them can negatively affect your site. That means keeping them minimum is a good idea.
Additionally, to solve this problem, you can download a tool, Screaming Frog that can help you identify those redirect and completely remove them.
If you’ve just started, then it can be challenging for you, but if you begin with these basic steps you can see a lot of improvement. It’s also necessary to understand you don’t need to implement all these together. Spend some time going through the issues and understating how fast you can make your website load.
Your first step is to figure out your website’s current position. List down the things that are making your site slow. Follow all of the points mention above and see how you improve your website speed and performance.
There can be some other issues, which you may not find solution here. But you can always list them down and we’ll reach to you.
Know you’re question is – What helped you improve your website speed?
Other articles that you might be interested in:
- How to get started with Email Marketing?
- How to Promote Your Business? 34 Best Ways to Increase Traffic.
- Social Media Promotion: 21 Ways To Increase Your Following.
- Step-By-Step SEO Guide For Beginner Made Easy
- 13 Content Marketing Tools You Need To Start Your Blog With