It is a proven fact that slow speed kills conversation and as a matter of fact users expect websites to load faster in a speed of less than two seconds. Most of the users will immediately abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. This implies that in case your site takes more than three seconds to load then you risk the chance of losing almost all your visitors. This will greatly affect your conversion rates.
What is page speed?
Page speed refers to a measurement of how fast the content of a page loads. It is often confused with site speed which is actually the speed for a sample page views on a site. The page speed can be described in either page load time which is basically the time it takes to fully display content on a specific page. It can also be described as time first byte which is basically the time it takes for your first browser to receive the first byte of information from the web browser.
Why is my website slow?
You have conducted a site speed test and found that the load time is very slow. There could be a number of reasons why the web pages are taking a lot of time to load. This could be anything from server load time to image size or the number of redirects. There are various ways in which one can increase the loading time of the pages however, you will need to understand what a good load time is?
What is a good load time?
Before you start to work on the speed of your site it is highly recommended that you understand what a good speed entail. According to Google search engine the best load time is less than three seconds. It is very hard to find a website that can achieve such speeds this might be due to the diversity and complexity of the requirements so as to achieve such tremendous speeds.
SEO Best practices
Google uses site speed as one of the techniques that it uses by its algorithm to rank pages. Research has proven that Google might be measuring the time to first byte when it is considering page speed. A slow page speed simply means that search engines are able to crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget and this could negatively affect indexation. It is also very important to user experience simply because pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on the page. Below are some of the techniques which one can use to increase the speed of the page.
Minimize HTTP requests
According to research, close to 80% of the time it takes to load a page is spent in downloading different parts of the pages such as images, stylesheets and scripts. HTTP request is made for each of these elements hence the more on-page components the longer it will take for the pages to render. The first step would be to minimize your request so as to figure out how long you site currently takes.
The best way to increase the speed of the page is through optimizing your code which includes removing spaces, commas and other unnecessary characters. You also need to remove the code comments, unused code and formatting. You should also reduce redirects. Every time a page redirects to another page the visitor faces additional time waiting for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete. You will see this type of slim code on many adult sites. Fuckbuddyhookups is a strong example of an adult dating site with slim code that loads extremely fast.
Leverage browser caching
Browsers cache a lot of information so that whenever a visitor comes back to the site your browser won’t have to come back to your site. Use a tool like the YSlow to see if you already have an expiration data set for cache. You will then need to set your expires header for how long you want the information to be cached. Unless the design of the site changes frequently like a year.
Improve server response time
Content distribution networks (CDNs) are referred to as content delivery networks and are network servers that are used to distribute load for delivering content. The copies of your site are usually stored in multiple geographical data centers so as enhance speed and easier access.
In order to increase the speed of loading then you will need your images to be smaller and in the right file format. For example, PNGs are preferred as they offer better graphics with fewer than 16 colors while JPEGs are generally better for photographers and are usually compressed for the web. There are free web tools like TinyPNG that allow you to compress images of various formats.
Make use of CSS scripts to create templates and for images that are used frequently on your site such as buttons and icons. CSS combines the images into one large image and then loads it at once then it will display all the sections that it will want to show. This will help save a lot of time especially when loading multiple pages.
Choose the right hosting
Most of the site owners choose the cheapest possible option for hosting. As much as this is enough during the beginning you will definitely need to upgrade once you start once you start getting more traffic. You don’t necessarily need to skimp on your host as you can start getting more traffic. When looking for hosting services you will need to consider from the different options which include shared hosting, dedicated server and VPS hosting. Shared hosting is the cheapest option however, you get to share resources such as CPU, disk space and RAM. VPS hosting means that you get to share server with other user in a virtual private network while dedicated hosting means that you have much more space therefore you will need tons of space so as to have complete control over your hosting.