We all get relentless when a website loads up like a snail and that I guess would add up to the already stressed out mind of ours. In that case our minds get diverted and we immediately shut the website. Having a fast website is extremely crucial in this modern era of technologies. A report from the Aberdeen Group shows that 1 second delay in page load time leads to 11% fewer page views, 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and 7% loss in conversions.
The proverb – “Slow and steady wins the race” doesn’t apply online.
With online users demanding a richer online experience, size of the webpage continues to grow. If an e-commerce is making $100,000 per day, just one second delay in the page load time could potentially result in $2.5 million in annual loss sales. Customers expect websites to load in 2 sec and if it takes longer than 3 sec, then 57% of your prospect will abandon the site and go elsewhere to buy their product.
Reduce Webpage Load Time by:
1. Check the current speed of your website
Well we are lucky enough that we have some great and free resources that can be used for evaluating the website’s speed:
- Google’s PageSpeed Insights –Google’s PageSpeed Insights inspects the content of your website and then generates suggestions to make page faster.
- Pingdom – Tests load time of a webpage, analyzes it and finds bottlenecks.
- Yahoo’s YSlow – Similar to Pingdom, running YSlow against your web pages will give you a score and a grade to track the impact of your performance optimizations also recommending techniques to use to increase the performance.
- GTMetrix – Gives you an insight on how well your website loads and gives you actionable recommendations on how to optimize it.
2. Optimize your image size
Resizing and optimizing your image is one the easiest way to decrease the size of your web page and increase load time. Images consume a lot of bandwidth which in turn impacts loading time of the webpage. Resizing your website’s images in HTML is not sufficient as it only changes the appearance not its actual size. External picture editor tools can be used to resize the image such as the Photoshop.
Plus, you can also make use of image optimization tools which decreases images size without losing quality:
- Online Image Optimizer
- JPEG &PNG Stripper
3. Use Content Delivery Network
Making use of CDN (Content Delivery Network) means that your site is scattered across several servers in various geographical locations. That’s when someone requests to see your site, they will receive the data from the closest location to them. Because servers are closer to the user, they load more quickly. Larger websites execute CDNs to make sure that their visitors from around the world have fast website performance. Popular content delivery networks include:
- Amazon CloudFront
4. Avoid self hosted videos
Video files can be quite large in size. And uploading them to your webpage can be real sluggish. Instead you can opt for using third party video hosting services like Youtube, Vimeo or Wisita. All you need is to copy a small bit of code they furnish you and paste it into your post or webpage.
5. Use CSS sprites
A CSS Sprite is a method to combine handful of images within a single image file by implementing CSS positioning of background. This simple tool will save your server bandwidth and speed of the webpage will gradually increase. Here’s an example where three different countries flags are combined into single image by Sprite:
6. Switch off the plugins you won’t use
Using too many plugins to your site can slowdown your webpage, so it is advised to choose your plugins carefully and apply only those which are needed for your website. An outstanding case study by Mike http://startbloggingonline.com/speed-up-wordpress/ reveals how he was able to take his website speed from 4.23 seconds to 1.33 seconds. He realized plugins contributed to a whopping 86% of his website load time. Therefore it is ideal to delete or deactivate all the unnecessary plugins.
Minification is all about removing unnecessary characters from code so as to reduce page load time. When code is minified, all the unneeded white space characters (space, newline & tab) and comments are removed.
- To minify HTML, try and minifier http://www.willpeavy.com/minifier/ htmlcompressor to safely reduce the size of your HTML code.
- To minify CSS, try YUI Compressor and cssmin.js
Speed being an important factor in running a website, it is a key factor for conversions, customer satisfaction and search rankings. Even a one second can make a huge difference. Don’t just get stuck with the three minute level, the faster you can make your site the more likely your visitors are to stick around and buy something from you.
Got queries on how to optimize load time of your web page? Connect with CubeWires’s community of developers to share your reviews and tips.