Today when nobody has the time and patience to wait for anything, will they wait for a slow website? Well, the answer is no. Even Google has indicated page speed an important indicator for determining the rank of machines and has also rewarded sites that have clean codes and get downloaded easily.
If page speed is low, the search engines can crawl a few pages while your page loads, thus affecting your indexation immensely.
Page speed is also important for a good user experience. Pages with longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates thus skipping other pages of your website. The result – potential sales go down the drain in just a few seconds.
So what really affects your site speed?
- Themes: A beautiful website is necessary but not at the cost of page time. Choose a theme that is suitable for your website and which does not increase your loading time.
- Heavy code: Whenever you write an inefficient code it affects your site speed very much. So an effort should be made to shrink files.
- Annoying advertisements: Advertisements are really annoying especially when they irrelevant. These advertisements take time to load and may cause your visitors to flee in just some seconds.
- Images: Images that are not optimized can affect your page time immensely. These images generally have the overhead of heavy data on them.
How can you optimize your site speed?
- Simplify your design:Approximately, 80% of time is spent in downloading different elements of a page because an HTTP request is made for each element. So, more the components, more the HTTP requests will be and as a result it will take longer to load. For simplifying your design you can use css instead of images wherever possible, combine multiple stylesheets and put scripts at the bottom of each page.
- Use Compression: Large pages or heavily coded pages are often bulky and slow to load. The best way to reduce load time is to zip them. Compression reduces bandwidth of your pages, thus reducing HTTP response.
- Use browser caching: Whenever we open a page for the first time the browser saves the elements from the page into cache, so the next time you visit the page, browser can load without sending HTTP requests.
- Optimize large images: Oversized images take longer to load so use image editing tools and try to keep your images as small as possible.
- Reduce plugins in your website: Plugins can have certain security issues which may slow down your website. There may be some technical difficulties which may crash your website.
- Fix broken URLs: Broken links lead to 401/410 errors which cause wasteful requests. Thus it is necessary to fix those broken URLs. But before that you should check which URLs are broken and you can do that with free tools that are available online.
- Database optimization: Some websites use database and there is constant interaction with the database. For the website to be fast it is necessary that you adopt ways to optimize your database for faster retrieval of data. You may use indexing for that purpose.
- Replace PHP with static HTML wherever required: PHP makes your site efficient but calling information through it uses up server resource. So, it should be replaced with HTML which requires no time.
- Specify image dimensions:When you don’t specify image sizes, at run time the browser has to calculate the dimensions and then lay out your content.
- Put CSS at the top and JS at the bottom: CSS should be at the top of the page because it will not be rendered until CSS is rendered. JS on the other end should always be at the bottom because it prevents browsers from parsing after the tag before it is loaded and gets completed.
Do you think I missed out a point? Did you like the article and find it fruitful? Kindly let us know in the comment section. Your feedback is valuable to us.