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Website load time is one of the most important factors that have a major impact on the search engine ranking, the satisfaction of users, and customer conversion rates as well. Oftentimes, we overlook the page loading time in order to step up design aesthetics and accommodate new nifty functionalities.
Why Website Speed?
In a word, search engine rankings. While optimized website load time is valuable from a user’s perspective, search engines reward it with higher rankings because speed is critical for robots scanning a website. If a competitor’s website loads faster than yours it will take a better position ahead of you on the search engine results page. The performance of a website is important, but so too is increasing website load time speed. Constantly monitor your website load time and take necessary measures to increase the site speed.
5 Easy Tips to Speed up Your Website
1. Minimize HTTP Requests
According to Yahoo, 85% of web page load time is spent downloading the different components of the page (e.g. images, CSS, and scripts). An HTTP request is multiplied when there are duplicate scripts in the code. Identify and remove these duplicate scripts.
The quickest way to improve site speed is to simplify your design.
- Use CSS scripts to combine multiple images
- Combine multiple stylesheets into one
- Combine background images into a single image
- Use Script tag on your HTML page
- Reduce scripts
- Optimize Image Size
Images often contain additional comments and use unnecessary colors. Make images as small as possible so that the browser does not have to resize them.
Use Image Editing Tools To:
- Crop your images to the correct size
- Save in JPEG format
- Reduce color depth to the lowest acceptable level
- Remove image comments
- Specify image dimensions
- Minify Resources
2. Add CSS at the top and JS at the bottom
Your pages load faster with style sheet references added to the head of your HTML document because it allows the pages to constantly render the styles. Style sheets also improve page load time.
Browsers can only download two components per hostname at any given time. Adding your scripts towards the top blocks everything below during the initial page load, and gives the impression of the page loading slower.
To avoid this situation, place your stylesheet at the beginning of the HTML document and scripts references at the end, right before closing the tag.
3. Minify Resources
Minification, the process of reducing all unnecessary characters from source code without changing its functionality, helps to reduce its size and improve load time. Eliminate extra spaces, line breaks, and indentation in your code to keep your pages as lean as possible.
Minification tools available online include:
- To minify HTML, Page Speed Insights Chrome Extension (generates an optimized version of your HTML code)
- To minify CSS, YUI Compressor
4. Compress and Optimize Your Content
Compressing your website content will have a huge influence on reducing load times. Large pages with recurring high-quality content are slow to download. The best way to speed up the load time is to zip the pages, called compression. This saves bandwidth as well as the download time it takes to view your website. Its biggest impact is on web page load time. Be sure to configure the server to return zipped content.
5. Install a Cache Plugins
Caching plugins permit you to publish static rather than dynamic HTML files, reducing the time a page takes to load. Additional caching features include minification, caching of feeds, Gzip, and Content Delivery Network (CDN) support.
Host your website on cloud-based hosting – Cloud hosting offers greater scalability, it also offers better performance & load balancing across multiple servers.