Last updated on February 23rd, 2018
Do you have a slow website? If so, what are you doing to reduce your website loading time? If you are doing nothing about it, here is what you should know. Nearly half of Internet users expect to access a website within a few seconds, and they tend to leave the site almost immediately if it does not meet this expectation. Therefore, if your web pages take too long to load, you will certainly lose your visitors to your rivals, which will, in turn, results in reduced conversion rate and low potential sales.
Can you afford to lose the visitors just because of the loading time difference? We don’t think so. What should you do? The answer is simple; speed up your website. Increasing the loading speed of your site will not only help improve your SEO performance but will also help you cut your bounce rate and increase your conversions.
Here Are 8 Steps To Decreasing Website Loading Time
01. Reduce HTTP Requests
When loading a web page, almost 80% of the loading time is spent downloading different elements that make up the page. These elements include images, flash, and style sheets. HTTP requests are made for each element that is downloaded. This means that more on-page elements will require more time to load, and it will take longer for the visitors to access your website. Therefore, the first thing you should do to reduce your loading time is to minimize HTTP requests. How do you do this? Here is how.
- Remove unnecessary elements from your website.
- If it’s possible, use CSS instead of images.
- Combine multiple style sheets.
- Reduces scripts and make sure you arrange them in such a way that they will be downloaded last.
Creating a leaner website will help you get rid of unnecessary HTTPS requests, which, in turn, result in improved site performance.
02. Improve Server Response Time
Most people overlook server response time when developing a strategy to help them reduce their website’s loading time. Now that you have come across this informative article, you should not be one of them. Reducing your server response time will help you to improve user’s experience and gain a competitive advantage. How do you achieve this? Here is how.
- Check your hosting- Upgrade your hosting to ensure it can handle any amount of traffic that comes your way. You should also ensure your website is hosted by a reputable hosting company that is likely to offer reliable services. It is also important to understand that the quality of your web hosting can also help you reduce server response time and enhance user experience.
- Improve your database- Apart from improving the performance of your queries, optimizing your database also helps increase the speed of the parts or pages of your website that don’t use the database.
- Choose your web server well- A good web server is crucial when it comes to setting up your website properly. There are many types of web servers available on the market today. Go for a server that will help your site stand out from your rivals. Make sure you conduct a thorough research to ensure you get a server that meets visitor’s needs and wants especially if you’re a small business.
03. Enable Compression
There are people who will tell you that reducing the quality of your content will help you reduce your website loading time. While doing this may help increase the loading speed of your website, it will reduce its quality, which results in reduced traffic and low conversion rate.
Therefore, you should not sacrifice your high-quality content while trying to improve your site’s performance. Instead, you should zip your content using a technique called compression. Compression will help reduce the bandwidth of your web pages and lower the HTTP responses needed for a page to load.
04. Optimize Your Images
Images are among the key factors that contribute significantly to slow page response. You should, therefore, ensure that all your site’s images are optimized. Start by scaling your images appropriately. There are online image compression tools that you can use to reduce the size of your images without compromising on quality.
Can you use CSS to scale down huge images? Unfortunately, using CSS to scale down huge images won’t help since browsers still load them as full image sizes.
05. Browser Caching
If visitors have downloaded all the elements required to load a page, why should you make them repeat the same process the next time they want to load the page? Browser caching will allow you to temporarily store some information on your viewers’ computer or mobile device so that they don’t have to download that information every time they visit your site. You can also do this via some plugins.
06. Optimize Your CSS
If you didn’t know, your CSS is the first thing that loads before your visitors see your site. Therefore, the longer it takes to load your CSS, the longer you keep your visitors from accessing your website. Optimizing your CSS will help your files load faster, giving your client or prospects quicker access to your site. Minimizing your CSS should be part of your CSS optimization process because it helps by ensuring that your files are at their smallest size.
07. Reduce Plugins
Using too many plugins will reduce your site’s speed. Too many plugins can also cause your website to crash, and this can result in added expenses. The first thing you should do is to delete or deactivate any unnecessary plugins on your site. It’s important to know what to install and what to avoid when putting together your first site.
After doing this, you ought to test your site’s speed and remove any plugins that are causing the loading problems. However, you should not remove plugins randomly. Instead, you should disable them selectively and then measure your site’s performance. This way, you will be able to know the plugins that lead to your site troubles.
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08. Reduce Redirects
Redirects are important when creating a responsive website. However, too many redirects result to increased HTTP requests, which cause a website to load slowly. Reduce your redirects and make sure the ones that remain don’t slow down your website.
Improving site speed is a process of ongoing testing and tweaking but the rewards are definitely big. Not only this will have a big boost in conversion rates and sales you’ll also be loved by both your users and Google for an enhanced UX.