5 Steps to make website Load Faster
Why is website loading speed so crucially important?
Every entrepreneur who starts his/her online journey comes across the same problems we all do. Our main goal is to drive traffic to our websites. Some do it to get revenue from advertisement on their website while others try to convert traffic into potential leads and paying customers by offering top-notch services.
After doing some research we get to the point where we realise that the speed at which the website loads is one of the most crucial factors in generating revenue from the traffic. How can you convert enough traffic into lead if most visitors simply leave the website after it still has not fully loaded in 4 seconds? People hate to wait, especially when it comes to the world of online. Website loading speed is something that we take for granted and expect web pages to load in under 2-3 seconds at most.
Website load time example from real life
Now imagine you are a foodie (I guess most of us do not even have to imagine this part) and decide to find some useful blogs on delicious food from Japan. Google shows you blogs found for your query and you start clicking. You go for the first link, new tab opens and you get a white screen.. 2 seconds.. 4 seconds and the page is still not loading. You naturally close the tab and move on to the next link. Now imagine how many visitors you have lost already due to a slow website load.
How PageSpeed score and website loading time affect SEO
Now when we get into SEO we notice articles published by Google (Matt Cutts) which clearly state that the website loading speed is one of the crucial factors to Google ranking. Another one is your PageSpeed score, which determines how well your website is optimized for speed and ease of use for the visitor. If your PageSpeed score is low and the website load time is high all of your SEO efforts into writing blogs with particular keywords, the backlinks, the Meta tags, image alts; all of this time goes through the window simple because Google does not recognise your website as a professional one. Think of this as an acceleration factor. When your Loading speed is above 4 seconds and the PageSpeed score is below 60% for both mobile and desktop your SEO efforts diminish by 50% – 80%.
Do you now think it is worth optimizing your website for page loading speed and Google PageSpeed scores? This would probably be the best investment you would have made in your online career.
Here are the 5 steps to getting your website to Load Faster.
Choose a suitable hosting environment
There are many hosting companies to choose from and even more options when it comes to choosing between Shared hosting, a VPS and a Dedicated Server. Managed hosting is also a decent option for a non-technical person, however it limits the extent to which you can configure the server as most of the work is allowed to be done by the hosting company only. When it comes to loading speed you need to make sure you have enough CPU and GPU on the server to power your website. Shared hosting option is only suitable if you have less than 100 visitors daily, a VPS for anything between 100 and 2000, and anything above that calls for a Dedicated Server. Once you optimize your website and cut down the number of requests with the page size, you should be able to triple the number of visitors your website can handle. Regarding the hosting provider, less tech-savvy bunch can go for something like Flywheel or Siteground, whereas we would strongly advice to go for a much more cost-effective solution like DigitalOcean, Amazon LightSail or Google Cloud Services.
Always strive to keep the number of the JS and CSS files you use to the bare minimum by combining them to reduce the number of http requests. Ideally you would have one critical part of each inlined in the header of your website and have the rest in a file at the bottom of your HTML code. Resource scripts can be very heavy so make sure to use a compression tool for the purpose of making your JS and CSS files smaller and for them to render faster.
Optimize your images
Large images that aren’t compressed or scaled on average are responsible for over 50% of your troubles. There are plenty of services like Kraken.io which optimize the quality of your image, reducing it in size without losing the high image quality. The quickest way to make your website faster is by serving optimized images. This does not only reduce the page size but also helps the website load faster.
Connect your domain to CloudFlare CDN
Using a CDN (Content Distribution Network) is almost mandatory in our day and age. It not only helps with website performance improvements by automatically minifying and managing your resources but also enhances your website’s security and makes the site load in the minimal time across the globe without worrying for where your server is located respectively to your target audience. Simply connecting CloudFlare will not do much. It is also a matter of thorough configurations, which will allow it to work effectively with your current caching and optimization plugins.
Leverage your browser caching
When you enable browser caching, the resources that are loaded from your server onto the visitor’s browser are saved there for a period of time defined by you so the second time the person visits your website, their browser won’t have to unnecessarily download those resources again. This is most needed on the websites, which use many external files. This aspect of optimization is strongly stressed upon by the PageSpeed and other performance testing websites, so make sure to keep your caching in check.