The speed of a website is one of the major characteristics contributing to conversion. If it’s hard to believe, we’ve got some facts to prove you those disastrous consequences of the Internet delays. According to some sources, delays:
- reduce the frequency of page views by 11%
- lower the level of customer satisfaction by 16%
- decrease the number of conversions by 7%
Yes, a website visitor is quite demanding nowadays. So, making your site work faster is crucial if you want it to be ranked high by search engines, and as a result, bring you more profits and loyal customers. After all, we all have similar goals.
And to make the things better, here’s a simple truth: speeding up a site is quite a feasible task. Now, we’re going to tell you more about a website speed and what exactly you can do to improve it.
If you ask us what is the greatest speed thief of your web page, images are the first thing that comes to mind. When dealing with them, there are three aspects to consider.
- Make sure that your site doesn’t use BMP or TIFF images.
- Don’t forget to restrict the use of GIFs to small and plain graphics and animations.
- As for PNG, it’s not a bad option, but you should be aware that some outdated browsers may have no support for PNGs.
- And finally, your top choice must be the JPEG format.
- Make your images as small as you possibly can. Some developers prefer taking gigantic images and reducing their size by means of CSS. That’s a harmful approach because the client will load a full-sized image anyway.
- Crop images before the upload.
- You can also get rid of image comments and lower the color depth.
- Apart from that, you can compress your images by using various open source tools. In some cases, these tools help reduce image sizes up to 80 percent with no negative effect on quality.
Don’t even think to leave the src attribute value empty. Because if you do so, the request will be directed to the page that sent it or to the page directory. What will you get in the end? Spoiled data and the server flooded with superfluous requests. We surely don’t want that, right?
Another way to speed up the work of your site is to enable browser caching for different types of files. That’s what you should do with the lifetimes of these files:
- Static files – minimum 7 days
- Third-party files – minimum 24 hours
The bulk of the load time is taken by downloading various web page components, such as stylesheets or scripts with an HTTP request created for each of them.
That’s how we recommend you to tame this aspect:
- use fewer page parts
- use a single stylesheet instead of several
- apply CSS rather than using images if you can
- make JS scripts shorter and put them after the rest of the page’s content
If your pages are heavy-weight (something about 100Kb and above), you probably use the compression mechanism that makes the pages’ bandwidth significantly leaner and shortens the HTTP response time. Actually, all you need to do is apply to the coolest compression tool, which is called Gzip. It has a long-term experience and knows exactly how to help you.
Extra Spaces, Extra Code, External Stylesheets
Get rid of all the extra spaces in your stylesheets. Although it may seem insignificant, those spaces affect the size of a file. There are many minimization tools around. Just search for them online.
Besides, decide if you can live without some of the CSS code. If you find something that should not be there, throw it away without any hesitations. And always choose using an external stylesheet rather than adding your CSS inline on the page. For sure, it makes the size of a page smaller. Furthermore, it prevents your code from being duplicated.
You know exactly what we’re going to say. With too many plugins your page loads very slowly. They may also lead to some technical issues, which also disrupt the site’s smooth running.
You need to pin down the plugins that affect how fast your site can work. For that purpose, you can turn them off one by one and see which of them has the negative impact on performance. It may seem a rather routine work, but trust us – your web page is worth it.
Make sure there are as few redirects on your site as possible. Guess why! They generate more HTTP requests, so the page loads more slowly.
Speed Up and Never Stop!
You’ve just learned some initial data on how to accelerate your website and increase its conversion rate. Always keep this list by your side as web pages are growing in size due to all the fancy web technologies used on them. While you’re doing your best to renovate your site and add there all the new features, those simple rules from above will always be useful. After all, our efforts are directed to the customer’s loyalty. And the faster we work, the more trust we can get.