You shouldn’t underestimate the effect a fast-loading page can have on your business. Statistics show that even just a one-second delay in load time can lead to
- 11% decrease in page views
- 7% lower conversion rates
This means that slow-loading websites can have a negative impact on your company. A slow-loading website can decrease your ability to attract traffic to your store and make sales. That’s why you need to put a focus on creating a fast website. Not only will it allow you to rank well on Google and other search engines, but you will also get higher profits.
How Does Website Speed Optimization Affect Conversion Rates?
Generally, people are impatient. Nowadays, when we are so used to seeing everything happen in seconds, that waiting is just considered an annoyance that you can avoid.
That’s why, if your website takes a long time to load or browsing through it is slow, customers are likely to close it and never return again. That’s not good for your company as it will lead to a loss of revenue and potential new clients. In fact, stats show that 79% of customers would not go back to a site that had poor performance. Over time that will lead to a considerable loss of potential sales and lower conversation rates, which is something you want to avoid.
If you think there’s no proof that faster load times equal more conversions, you will be wrong. A recently conducted study showed that conversion rates decrease by 25% for just one extra second of load time. Overall, you can remember the following: a fast website is a website that sells, so you should focus on optimizing your speed.
Why Might My Website Be Slow?
You can find out how fast your website is by conducting a speed test. If you find out that it’s slow, you may start wondering why.
Well, there are several possible reasons as to why your website can be lagging. Some of those include slow server load times, loads of large images, or even a lot of redirects that you have on the page.
Essentially, this means that there are a lot of steps you can take to increase the speed of your site. In this article, we will look over a bunch of them to know what you can do to get a faster website.
However, before we start with that, you first have to set a goal for when it comes to load time speed.
What is a Good Load Page Time?
In order to know what kind of load time speed you want, you have to first know what the acceptable norm is. As per Google, the best time is around three seconds. However, most websites are nowhere near that mark. When analyzing the performance of over 900,000 pages, Google found out that it takes 70% of them at least 7 seconds to display merely the visual content of the site.
This means that you can really stand out amongst your competitors if you manage to get your site to meet Google’s standards. A good practice is to use the search engine’s recommendations and benchmarks in order to set new goals and measure your site’s performance.
5 Ways to Improve the Load Speed of Your Website
There are tons of ways to improve the user experience of your website. In this blog post, we’ll go over some critical best practices and helpful tips that you can use to decrease your site’s load times and improve its performance.
Don’t get overwhelmed by all the tips you will read about here. You don’t have to implement all of them immediately. Instead, you can use each one of them until you reach the goal speed you set out.
So, let’s get started.
Choose the Right Hosting Option
When a business is just starting out, most owners try to save money in every possible way, including hosting options. This leads to using cheap hosting options that do not work well when the website starts to get more traffic.
So, even if you start out with a lower grade hosting option, it’s vital that you remember to upgrade when your business starts doing better and you get more visitors. There are three different hosting options you can go for:
- Shared hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated server
The first option – shared hosting – is also the cheapest one. It often can cost around five dollars per month. While it works okay for sites with low traffic, such as blogs, it becomes almost unusable once your traffic gets higher and you start getting more visitors. Another thing to consider is that your website may be impacted if other sites on the shared hosting platform are gaining traction too.
With shared hosting, you share the same server as other websites and that includes CPU, disk space, and RAM resources. This can cause significant issues when your website begins to grow.
VPS hosting is another shared option. However, you will get your own dedicated part of the server’s resources in this scenario. This is a sort of in-between option that’s good for smaller businesses and start-ups. It protects your site from being impacted by other ones on the hosting platform without you needing to pay for dedicated hosting.
Getting a dedicated server is the most stable option. You don’t have to share resources with anyone else. However, you will also be the one responsible for the configuration and technical maintenance of the server. That being said, dedicated hosting provides you more space, the ability to handle more traffic, and the option to configure it in the best way possible for your business. Its only downside is that it’s expensive and maybe too much for new companies to handle.
Reduce Server Response Time
Slow-loading websites are often impacted by the amount of time your DNS lookup takes.
Domain Name System or DNS is a server with a database of IP addresses and the hostnames associated with them. Basically, when you type a URL into your browser, the DNS takes it and translates it into an IP address that helps the computer find the online location of the site.
Following that logic, a DNS lookup is used to find a specific DNS record. It’s sort of like looking up a phone number in an address book. Your cellphone won’t do anything if you try to dial “John.” However, when you type the digits of his phone number, you will be able to call him. The same applies to your computer. When you type a URL, it doesn’t mean anything to your PC, but once the DNS server translates it into an IP address, you are able to reach your destination.
The amount of time it takes for the DNS to translate words into an IP address can sometimes be too long. That’s why if you want to make it quicker, you should consider switching to a new DNS provider. By doing so, browsers will be able to locate your site quicker and thus increase the load time speed.
Consider Using CDN (Contact Delivery Network)
Consider hosting your site on more than just one server in order to increase load times for your website visitors.
If you rely on just one server, all requests from all visitors will be directed towards it. That means that whenever you experience more traffic, the site will get slower load times and may even stop responding to user requests.
That’s an issue because when you get higher traffic, those are also potential moments of growth for your company that you don’t want to miss out on because of technical problems.
That’s where CDN or Contact Delivery Network comes into play to help you solve all these potential issues. By using a CDN, you can cache your website on a global network of servers. So, when a user requests to visit your website they get routed to the closest possible server.
That way, the user gets to your website much faster, and it will have quick loading abilities thanks to the geographical nearness.
Try To Reduce Redirects
Redirects are the best way to deal with broken links, and they become a necessity when you move or delete pages. However, having too many of them can impact the speed of your website, especially on mobile devices.
That’s why it’s good to keep them to a minimum, and according to Google, the best thing to do is to remove them altogether. While that may not be an option for you, there are undoubtedly things you can improve.
You can begin by using third-party software to identify all of the redirects that currently exist on your website. Then you can analyze the data and determine what the purpose is of your redirects. If you happen to find redirect chains, you can edit your .htaccess file so that all of them go to the most recent version of that page. That’s one way to avoid having a slow-loading page.
Analyze Your Site Speed Over Time
When making changes to your website, in order to get better loading times, it’s good to look at how data changes over time. It’s even essential to continue analyzing the performance, even after you’ve reached your predetermined goal.
As you’ve hopefully learned from this post, there are tons of different factors that influence your site’s speed, and so it can fluctuate at all times. By monitoring it on a regular basis, you will be able to notice any changes early on and thus fix issues proactively if such arise.
Testing the speed of your site is easy. There are plenty of apps built to monitor the whole performance of your website. All that’s required from you is to enter the URL of your web page and then analyze the summary you receive. In it, you will be able to see your website’s load times, overall performance, and how it compares with other tested sites.
By tracking this information over the course of several months, you can quickly see how your performance is going and whether improvements are needed. Some more advanced software will even give you suggestions on what can be improved in regards to your page. They will also include alerts and page speed monitoring and notify you of server errors, possible downtime, and other serious issues. This will make it easier for you to always keep your site up and running and functioning well.
Along with monitoring how the site’s desktop version is performing, it’s also essential to keep an eye on the mobile version. Most users are likely to go on your website on their smartphones, and ensuring a good user experience for them is vital for a modern-day business.
If you’re not really tech-savvy or just don’t have a ton of experience with building websites, increasing the speed of your page load times may seem like a bit of a difficult task. However, it will surely be worth it. Having a quick-loading page will help drive traffic, increase sales, and leave your current and potential customers with a good impression of your company.
That being said, you must remember that not all of the tips in this blog post need to be implemented immediately. They can help even if you choose to execute them one by one, as each of them can massively impact your site speed goals.
That’s why, before beginning to optimize your website, it’s essential to spend time analyzing your site speed results and figuring out what issues have the most significant impact on load times. That will allow you to focus on the most prominent problems first and proactively take steps to fix them. Once you do that, if you’re still facing troubles with your website, you can continue to look for ways to improve the loading page speed.
Another best practice that you must remember is to do a continuous analysis of your website’s performance so that you can fix arising issues quickly and be sure that your website is always up-and-running for potential customers.