As a webmaster, one of the things you should be focusing on is getting the best page speed for your site. Considering a report made by Google in 2018, about 53% of mobile users leave if a webpage if it takes three seconds or more to load. Besides, Google itself made it clear that fast page speed is a critical factor in the overall performance. Fortunately, fixing a slow webpage is quite simple as soon as you know what’s causing the delay. If you’re not sure about the cause, you can try these methods mentioned in this article.
What Is Page Speed?
Page speed, which is different from site speed, is the time that the browser usually takes to display one full webpage completely. Other terminologies for this term include “page load time” or “load time”. It is generally affected by several factors, such as hardware capability and internet connection. But there are times when the sluggish performance of the page itself causes inefficiencies. If your webpages are optimized, problems with delay and lag can be avoided.
You can learn the effectiveness of your webpages by using Google’s very own PageSpeed Insights. For webmasters and site owners, this is a very helpful tool because it gives detailed results. You’ll also know what might be causing the performance delay or how to increase website speed.
Seven Ways to Speed-up Your Website
1. Enable Compression
The “compression” in this step doesn’t mean using the typical .rar or .zp file formats to compress data. Instead, this method uses Gzip compression, which is a method of compressing files for about 50-70% to cope up with network transfer usage. It’s a pretty standard practice that increases website speed. Because the files are compressed, it would be a lot faster. If you’re still not doing this technique, you’re likely giving advantage to your competitors. Depending on your web server, the steps in enabling Gzip compression varies. It is currently supported for .htaccess, Apache, Litespeed, and Nginx servers.
3. Reduce Redirects
Redirects are a natural part of the online ecosystem. In reality, these redirects can also serve other functions like dealing with site duplicate contents. However, redirects are very annoying for the end-users of the website. It is advisable to limit the redirects in your site to avoid lag and delay.
The most common redirects being used are 301 and 302 redirects. These redirects are used to get rid of duplicate contents either permanently or temporarily. If the usage of these redirects slows down your webpage, then it might be better to consider alternatives such as NoIndex and Canonica tags to remove identical contents.
Browsers follow a hierarchy when it comes to rendering the contents of a webpage. If there’s a script that is present in the source code, it will stop rendering the webpage. It will only resume after the script is executed. Of course, the script run time will cause a delay in page loading.
5. Leverage Browser Caching
Leveraging browser caching is the act of giving a specified term on how long web browsers should hold on to your files. If you change your website looks frequently, you need to do this more often. However, for most of the sites out there, once a year is enough.
6. Use a Content Distribution Network
Using Content Distribution Networks or CDN is another website optimization which is not usually done on-page. By using a CDN, you make the load time faster by delivering content from the faster and most reliable location. In short, if you use a CDN, it will try to find the shortest route from the server to the end-user. In addition to faster load times, using a CDN will also minimize traffic spikes and overall site performance, since the files will not be distributed in a single point anymore. You can also expect a more stable site speed after using CDN.
7. Optimize Images
Probably, this is the easiest optimization method to get a faster load time. Optimizing images is a process of compressing image files to speed up the loading time. You can easily do this by installing plugins in your WordPress. This way, each and every picture appearing in your site is optimized.
If you have an image that you frequently use in your site (like a company logo), creating a CSS sprite is recommended. It reduces network congestion because you would not need to download a lot to render a whole page. Building CSS sprites can be done manually or via automated tools such as the CSS Sprite Generator.