Page speed is extremely important for the functionality of your website. However, it may be hard to improve it if you don’t understand how this metric works and, more specifically, what factors affect it.
Your web pages must load quickly and seamlessly in order to lower your bounce rate and boost visitor engagement.
The user experience (UX) of a site that is speed-optimized is improved, and it may also help your website rank higher in search results.
This article will define page speed, discuss its significance, and provide measurement instructions. Next, we’ll give you ten quick tips you can use to speed up page loading.
What is page speed?
In its most basic form, page speed describes how quickly content loads when a user accesses a page on your website. Page speed, which is distinct from website speed, is the rate at which a given page loads.
Numerous factors can affect how quickly a page loads. The number of images, videos, and other media files on the page, the installed themes and plugins, the website’s and a particular page’s coding, and server-side scripts are some of the most important elements.
The user experience (UX) of your website and the speed at which your pages load are both impacted by all of these variables. Users dislike slow-loading pages and are more likely to leave them, after all.
What makes page speed crucial?
Every second counts when it comes to the speed at which a page loads. In fact, according to Google research, the likelihood of a bounce—where a visitor leaves the site right away—increases by 32% when loading times go from one to three seconds. Also, if the page takes five seconds to load, it’s 90% more likely that the visitor will leave.
In other words, the likelihood that visitors will leave your site significantly increases if your pages don’t load within a few seconds. Additionally, slow-loading web pages can hinder your ability to increase engagement and conversions.
Page speed is important because it has the potential to affect how customers view your brand. Your website may come off as unreliable and unprofessional if your web pages take too long to load or something goes wrong.
Improving page speed will improve three main components of your website;
- Conversion: Getting website visitors to take the actions you want them to is a crucial component of your business’ success. They might purchase your product, sign up for newsletters, sign up for a webinar, or download a guide, for example. The page’s conversion rates will be higher the quicker it loads. A delay of one second results in a 7 percent decrease in conversions, according to Hubspot research. One second of page lag, for instance, could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in lost sales annually.
- Visibility: How quickly users can find your website is also impacted by its load time. One of the elements that Google takes into account when ranking websites is website speed. A website that performs poorly provides a poor user experience and receives less promotion in search results. Since December 2017, Google has started using mobile versions of pages when determining rankings, even for desktop searches. This decision aims to shield users from websites with poor performance and limited device responsiveness.
- Usability: Customer loyalty is directly impacted by website usability factors like page speed, load time, and responsiveness to user requests. The more effective your website is, the happier your users will be. A successful user experience can help you develop a significant customer base and a powerful brand.
Therefore, if you want to run a highly effective website, you must concentrate on page speed optimization. The first step in doing that is determining how well your pages are performing right now.
How to Measure Page Speed
You must evaluate the effectiveness of your web pages before making any site changes. To test and gauge page speed, you can use a variety of tools. Pingdom Website Speed Test and GTmetrix are two well-liked options that are suitable for beginners.
However, Google PageSpeed Insights is where we advise you to start. You can use this simple tool to gauge and test the speed of your web pages on desktop and mobile platforms.
Additionally, since it’s a Google-supported tool, it can assist you in ensuring that you’re meeting the performance standards necessary for top search result placements.
Simply type the URL of the website you want to test into the text field and choose the Analyze button to use PageSpeed Insights:
The content of your page will then be examined by PageSpeed Insights, which will assign it a score between 0 and 100. You’ll find a list of recommendations for ways to speed up page loading below your score.:
It’s important to note that you’ll receive a different rating and list of recommendations for your site’s desktop and mobile versions.
With the help of this information, you can quickly assess how quickly your web pages load and take practical steps to make them faster.
9 Simple Ways to Speed Up Page Loading
It’s time to work on enhancing this crucial metric now that you are aware of its significance and how to test your site’s performance.
In light of this, let’s look at nine simple techniques for speeding up your pages.
1. Select a hosting solution that is performance-optimized.
The management and operation of your website are significantly influenced by the hosting company you choose. That includes the speed of its pages.
The worst mistake you can make is to accept subpar hosting in exchange for a lower monthly fee.
Cheap hosting frequently results in subpar performance. It might entail splitting up server resources among several websites, which would slow down the load times of your pages.
On the other hand, there are a few hosting options that are performance-focused and offer a strong platform built for speed. These providers typically don’t offer shared hosting, so you’ll never have to be concerned about other websites using up all of your potential resources.
2. Reduce file size and improve image quality.
Images help your web pages look better and improve the quality of their content. Large images, however, can also increase loading times.
Compressing and optimizing your images is thus one of the simplest ways to speed up page loading. This might entail altering their file formats, enabling lazy loading, and lossy or lossless image compression.
Your pages will load more quickly if you reduce the “weight” of your images by reducing their file sizes. You can accomplish this using a variety of image optimization plugins, like WP Smush.
This plugin will automatically resize and compress your images after installation and activation without sacrificing their quality. It has tools for lossless compression, lazy loading, and even batch image optimization.
Try using tinypng.com or Attrock, which can reduce your image sizes anywhere from 25% to 80%, and a free website app called Squoosh if you’re not using WordPress as your CMS.
3. Reduce the number of redirects.
Your website’s loading times may suffer greatly if there are too many redirects. The length of the HTTP request and response process is increased each time a page redirects to another location.
Of course, there are times when redirects are required, like when switching to a new domain. However, removing pointless redirects from your website can result in noticeably faster page loads.
WordPress redirects can be reduced in a few different ways. When building internal links and menus, one is to avoid creating any that are not necessary. Another is ensuring that your Top-Level Domain (TLD) only requires one redirection to resolve.
Use the Patrick Sexton Redirect mapper tool to help you find redirects that are incorrectly configured on your website:
This will show up any redundant redirects. To find out about all the redirects on your website and where they go, you can also use a program like Screaming Frog. This ought to make it simpler to spot redirects that aren’t necessary. Then, using the.htaccess file on your website, delete the ones you don’t need.
4. Create a web page cache.
One of the best ways to make your website pages load faster is through caching. Caching reduces the amount of work required for the server to create and serve a web page to a visitor’s browser by saving copies of the files on your website.
By requiring the server to use fewer resources to load a page, caching can help reduce Time to First Byte (TTFB).
Your web pages can be cached in a variety of ways. This is something you can do at the server level, so your host takes care of it.
Another choice is to use a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache, a free WordPress plugin that makes it simple and quick to cache your web pages. Simply go to General Settings > Page Cache and choose the Enable option after installing and activating it.
Additionally, you can benefit from WP Rocket, a potent caching plugin that will speed up your loading time and, with just a few clicks, improve your PageSpeed Insights score and Core Web Vitals. Additionally, the plugin activates with 80% of web performance best practices already in place, making it the ideal tool for accelerating your site and saving time.
5. Make browser caching active.
WP Rocket is a potent caching plugin you can use on your WordPress site, similar to W3 Total Cache. It makes use of cache pre-loading and page caching to optimize the speed of your pages and produce blazingly quick loading times. A range of pricing options are available for the premium plugin WP Rocket.
When files load synchronously, they do so one at a time and in the same order as they appear on your website.
With this approach, the browser will delay loading other page elements until the script has finished loading completely.
In contrast, asynchronous loading allows multiple files to load simultaneously, which can improve the performance of the page. To set this up, render-blocking resources must be removed.
It’s simpler to combine files if their sizes are smaller. Cleaner code and leaner, quicker-loading web pages are the end result.
Of course, it isn’t exactly efficient to go through every line of code in every file on your website.
Configuring this plugin can be a little intimidating at first due to the wide range of features and settings it offers. Please feel free to look over this tutorial on how to install Autoptimize on your website to make your job easier.
8. Utilize a content delivery network (CDN) (CDN).
A network of servers called a content delivery network (CDN), also known as a “content distribution network,” can speed up the loading of web pages. It accomplishes this by storing and distributing duplicates of the static content on your website from servers positioned all over the world.
A CDN complements your host rather than replaces it. You can use a CDN to share copies of your site’s files among carefully chosen data centers in addition to the server that hosts your main website.
By shortening the distance that data requests must travel between browsers and the servers of your host, this can increase performance. A CDN aids in lowering network latency and TTFBs by loading content for a web page from a server close to each visitor.
There are many CDN options available to you, one of which is selecting a host that offers a CDN that you can activate right from your own dashboard.
9. Remove pointless plugins.
Not every plugin is made equally. An excessive number of plugins can bloat your website and slow it down.
Furthermore, outdated or poorly maintained plugins may be a security risk and even cause performance problems due to compatibility issues.
So it makes sense to use as few plugins as possible on your WordPress website. Obviously, one of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by deactivating and removing any plugins you are not using right now.
Additionally, we advise checking your installed plugins to see if they are actually required. Some tools may have features and functionalities that overlap, while others may simply no longer be necessary for your needs.
Finally, some plugins might cause your site to load slower than others. You can try testing each plugin separately to find out if it is affecting how quickly your pages load.
To begin with, turn off all of your plugins (it’s best to do this on a staging site for safety):
Then turn each one back on individually. Use a speed testing tool like PageSpeed Insights to check your score and timings after each plugin activation to see if they have changed.
Your page speeds may slightly increase if you use a lot of plugins. However, if you notice a sharp increase, it might be time to switch to a different tool that accomplishes the same thing (but is better optimized).
In the end, speeding up page loads helps your website’s SEO as well as its overall performance and user experience. You can reduce your loading times using a variety of techniques, which is fortunate for you.
You can use plugins to optimize your images, delay loading scripts, and minify your site’s files in addition to using a CDN and caching your pages.
Using a hosting service that is performance-optimized can also significantly affect how quickly your website loads.
But keep in mind that the longer it takes for your web pages to load, the more likely it is that visitors will leave. How long can you continue to operate your company while losing customers? Contact us to learn more on how Pixagon Team can improve your website performance.