Online users are an impatient lot. Ask them to wait for a web page to load and they’ve quickly moved on to something else. Poor loading web pages have severe consequences for companies – they reduce page views, drop conversions and trigger higher bounce rates. Most importantly, they hurt a brand’s SEO effort, which ultimately affects profitability. Here are some ways to improve your website loading time.
Make Sure You Check Your Website Speed
You need to make sure you analyse your website speed regularly to ensure it loads as quickly as possible. Plenty of resources are available to help you do that. Some of them include:
- Page Speed Insights from Google
- Pingdom Speed Test
- Varvy Pagespeed Optimization
- Page Scoring
These website speed resources will tell you where you’re lagging. Keep testing your website periodically and benchmark it to competition so you know when you have to make improvements. The faster your website loads, the better will be the experience for your target audience.
Make Sure Your Images Are Optimised
Many business owners fail to check this factor but images can play a major role in your website speed so they must be optimised for the best results. Consider the following:
- Start by appropriately scaling the images before you load them to your website to ensure they don’t load at full image size.
- Compress your images using free tools available to reduce their size without compromising on their quality.
- Make sure you choose the right image format – the most popular ones are PNG, JPEG and GIFs.
Since images are important when it comes to page loading speeds, they must be optimised to reduce load time considerably.
Make Sure Your CSS Is Properly Optimised
Since your CSS loads at the start, it must be properly optimised so they don’t have to wait to access your content. When you optimise your CSS, your files are downloaded quicker so visitors can access your web pages faster. Consider the following:
- Get rid of unnecessary code in your files because they can add to the page load time.
- Minimise CSS files because extra spaces can increase size and page load time. Minimised CSS files ensure the smallest size for the quickest load time.
- Check whether your CMS enables you to reduce your CSS either by default or through additional plugins. Alternatively, CSS minimisation tools are also available online.
When you minimise your CSS files, you’ll automatically notice your web pages loading much quicker than before.
Make Sure Your Server Response Time Is Optimised
Server response time is often an overlooked aspect but it is important when it comes to website loading time. Consider the following:
- Upgrade hosting to a reputable company to make sure it can handle increased levels of web traffic is necessary and enhance the overall user experience.
- Choose a good web server to help you stand out from your competition so that you can meet your audience’s needs as effectively as possible.
- Optimise your database to increase the speed on pages that don’t use it.
Once you’re able to enhance your server response time, you’ll notice a drastic improvement in your page load speed.
Make Sure You Enable Browser Caching
Visitors want the experience to be as seamless as possible when browsing through a particular page or website. Keep the following in mind:
- Visitors that download all elements needed to load a particular web page should not have to repeat the same process if they want to re-load the same page at a later date.
- Browser caching enables a website to store information on a user’s computer or mobile device temporarily so they don’t have to re-download the same information when they visit again.
- Retrieving files that are already stored on a hard drive is faster than retrieving from a remote server, which makes the page load much faster.
Browser caching can help to ensure that files down have to be downloaded every single time a user visits a web page so make sure you enable it for your site.
Improving the speed of your website isn’t a one time process. You need to keep testing it regularly and making tweaks to ensure it is always quick to load for an enhanced user experience. Ultimately, quick loading websites not only improve traffic but they also generate better conversions to boost your bottom line.