8 Proven Ways to Speed Up Your Page Loads

Why is Page Load Speed Important?

We’re all familiar with the experience of arriving at a website, only to have to wait… and wait… patiently… for the site to load.

For users browsing the internet, it’s pretty annoying, but for commercial organisations, the consequences of slow page loads and outages can be catastrophic. The financial impact of a slow loading website shouldn’t be underestimated.

According to Kissmetrics, a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Which means that if your e-commerce website is generating £10,000 a day, that single second lag could be costing you over £250,000 each year in lost sales.

Google Page Speed Insights

In 2018, Google made page speed a ranking factor, rewarding faster-loading sites.

Google allocates two scores to page speed; one for desktop and one for mobile. Desktop tends to score higher as connection speeds for desktop are generally faster, but with most searches now conducted on mobile devices, page speed for mobile has become more critical than ever to both user engagement and ultimately, sales.

Google have a free to use page speed checker, where you can discover how your website measures up.

8 Ways to Improve Your Page Load Speeds

1. ENABLE COMPRESSION

Use Gzip to reduce the size of your CSS, HTML and JavaScript files that are larger than 120 bytes.

2. MINIFY CSS, HTML & JAVASCRIPT

By removing spaces, commas and any other unnecessary characters you will significantly increase your page speeds.

3. REDUCE REDIRECTS

Every time a page redirects to another page, it creates added time waiting for the HTTP request/response cycle. Each redirect creates a delay in page load.

4. REMOVE RENDER-BLOCKING SCRIPTS

Browsers have to parse HTML before they can render a page. If your browser encounters a script during this process, it has to stop this process to execute it before it can continue.

5. LEVERAGE BROWSER CACHING

Browsers cache a chunk of data including stylesheets, images and JavaScript files so that when a user returns to your site, the browser doesn’t have to reload the entire page.

6. OPTIMISE IMAGES

Make sure your images are no larger than they need to be, that they are in the right file format – png photographs make for pretty huge images – and that they are compressed for the web.

7. SPEED UP SERVER RESPONSES

Look to fix performance hold-ups such as slow database queries, routing lag or inadequate memory. The recommended server response time is less than 200ms.

8. CONSIDER CDN

Content distribution networks are networks of servers used to distribute the load of delivering content. Copies of your site are stored on multiple servers across the world, so users have faster access to your site.

If you have questions about any of the above, please get in touch.

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Stephen Cree

Stephen Cree

Stephen has over 18 years industry experience and is founder of Cree Digital.

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