Page Load Speed Optimization Services
The speed that a page loads is more important than you may think. It is of such importance that search engines have included page load time as a ‘ranking factor’ when determining what web pages to show and what web pages to forget about when displaying search results.
Think about it. Do you like waiting for a web page to load when you browse the internet? Your visitors and potential customers do not. With so many websites vying for attention, they are more likely to abandon your site and go to your competitor.
Your web pages deserve to be seen.
A 2008 study shows you have three seconds for your web page to load before your visitor leaves. Another study shows that every second delay in loading of your web pages results in an 11% drop in the number of pages viewed on your site, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and a 7% loss of conversions or revenue. The degradation of user experience increases exponentially with every second delay and can cause you a significant loss of revenue. Websites are not getting smaller to make load page speeds possible; they are using proven tips to reduce the load time.
What is a good page load
The short answer is that you cannot be fast enough. In a world where more people access the internet on handheld and mobile devices, speed is as critical as features and quality. Visitor patience is decreasing every day, and you need to meet their expected performance standards to retain them on your site.
The fact that Google has developed Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) – a technology for coding web pages for fast loading on mobile devices shows the importance search engines attest to website speed.
How to check your website
There are free tools designed to check your website loading speed. Some check both desktop and mobile versions of your site. Different tools will give you different results because of the different metrics it tests. These tools will also give suggestions on how to fix each error. A few of the more popular tools for checking website performance and loading time include:
- Google PageSpeed Insights
Causes of slow page load
There could be several reasons why your site is running slow:
- The code is broken or out-of-date.
- The site has outgrown what it was originally designed.
- Database queries cannot handle larger amounts of data.
- Malware or virus is on your website.
- You may have added new functions to your website that are not compatible with its core code.
- Inexperienced web developers may have made changes to the code that causes it to run slow.
- Your website has not been ‘tuned’ for mobile devices that have slower download speeds.
- Images used in your site have not been optimized.
- There is avoidable excess code on your web pages.
- Files are not zipped or minified
- Styles and scripts have not been combined or externalized
- Your site could be residing on a slow performing server…and more
How to improve page load time?
There are many page load speed optimization techniques available to help you optimize page load time and website performance. Some of these include:
- Content Delivery Network (CDN) – Using a CDN speeds up page loads by taking large files and codes such as CSS and images and sending them to a server which is located near the website visitor.
- Reduce image size using new formats – Images take up a large part of websites which makes them slow to load. Adjusting the image using tools such as WebP and JPegXR will not affect the quality, and will reduce load speeds.
- Cache – When a browser stores a cached version of your website it loads quicker.
- Evaluate plugins – Plugins are very helpful for website functionality; however, they also slow web pages down the more you use. Consider reducing the number of plugins being used and ensure all plugins are up-to-date.
- Combine images in CSS sprites – Using CSS sprites will take every image on the web page, combine them as one, and display the right one at the right time. This reduces the number of times your server is hit, reducing load time.
- HTTP keep-alive – When websites make HTTP requests it is done as a single file – increasing load speeds. By enabling keep-alive, the server will keep the connection open until the web page visitor is done on that page.
- Expires headers – Using an expires header allows your website to store information on a visitor’s computer to decrease load speed next time they visit. You can leave the expire time as the default of 24 hours or increase it never to expire.
- Hosting provider – Using a shared hosting package means you are sharing your available speed with many other companies. Consider switching to a dedicated hosting provider where only you are within that hosting space.
Choosing the element load order determines the speed of the load time. All elements within the header section should load first. This is what you want your website visitor to see first, including valuable content on the page.
Cleaning up Website Baggage
If a website is not maintained, website baggage is easily accumulated. In turn, the baggage slows website speed to a minimum, resulting in frustration visitors. The following are some tips for removing baggage.
- Check comments and reviews for any spam or trackbacks which needs to be removed.
- Use a cloud, such as Amazon S3 or Google Drive, to store media or PDF files.
- Remove past WordPress installations after a new update.
- WordPress offers and optimizing plugin to clean the database of any unnecessary files.
It is tough to connect with your customers with all the competition, why make it even harder for people to see you due to slow page speed? Whatever the reason for the problem, regular web maintenance can go a long way in improving your page load time and giving your customer a good user experience.
Flying Cow Design’s website speed optimization services can help you improve your page load time and attract more customers. We can also conduct regular maintenance on your site making it one less thing on your list to remember.
Contact Flying Cow Design today to improve your website speed.