365andUP Blog

10 ways to improve your website performance

There are few things as frustrating as visiting a slow website. How many times have we closed the tab as soon as we realize that this visit is going to be a time-guzzler?

Countless, isn’t it?

No matter which type of business you are in, as long as you have an online presence, it is a must that you keep your website up and running as smoothly as possible. One of the factors that contribute to the efficient running of a website is its speed.

Speed affects your website’s visitors, reputation, conversion, sales, traffic and customer service. Keeping a fast loading website will only make your business grow faster and better.

Here are 3 statistics on Page Speed that should convince you about its importance:

  • A 100-millisecond delay in load time causes conversion rates to drop by 7%
  • 79% of online shoppers said that they won’t return to a site that takes too long to load.
  • Pages that load under 2 seconds has a bounce rate of 9% while a five-second delay pushes the bounce rate to 38%.

Here are 10 ways to improve your website’s speed

1. Use a good hosting plan

Well, no one goes out of their way to choose a ‘bad’ hosting plan, do they? A bad hosting plan is essentially anything that is cheap and doesn’t have the reliability required for a professional business. The hosting plan that you started with might need a rethink since you added more content, images and other documents over time. The simplest way to increase the speed of your website is to use a better web hosting plan. Use a VPS or dedicated option if you are currently on a shared hosting plan. Virtual Private servers are the best option to go with as it has multiple servers for content distribution and is the most scalable option no matter the size of your business.

2. Use a Content Delivery Network

A Content Delivery Network (or CDN) is essentially a network of multiple servers that are located around the world whose job is to deliver web content to users based on their location. To reduce the server load and deliver content immediately, CDN hosts the static files of your website.

When you send a request, the CDN chooses the server closest to the location so that the content is received by the end user immediately. Not only does CDN store static files, it also stores your CSS, JavaScript files, images, PDFs and other types of content.

3. Optimize your images

Images take up a lot of space and consume a lot of time to load thus reducing the page load speed of your website, unless optimized. Why? Because they use a lot of server resources. Reducing the size of the images without affecting the quality should be your goal. Apart from just reducing the size, you should also focus on the format and the src attribute (the image’s URL). JPEG format is supported by all browsers, so it is advisable to go with it.

4. Proper JavaScript Placement

From loading dynamic data to adding attractive special effects on your web pages, JavaScript is quintessential if you are building a website. But the only problem with it is that the JS libraries add a lot of ‘weight’ to the web pages thus slowing down the website whenever requests are raised.

Reduce the size of the JavaScript files. Place your JavaScript at the end of the HTML file. What happens if you do so is that the majority of your content gets loaded and rendered first. Since the users observe that content is loading, it makes the page look responsive. When you place the JS at the end of the HTML file, the heavy JS files begins to load at the end. So this way the page looks responsive to the end user, in other words, the site loads faster.

5. Optimize CSS performance

Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is used to transform your HTML content into documents that are easy to read. Even CSS options require HTTP requests, so you need to make it a point to minimize the size of the CSS files too without affecting major features in it. There is a lot of research that points to how reducing the number of HTTP requests dramatically improve loading time.

6. Minimize HTTPS requests

When your website gets a lot of HTTPS requests, it significantly slows your website down. A visitor to your website requests for some files, which the web browser requests from your server using the HTTP protocol. The files include HTML, CSS and JavaScript files. When there are a lot of requests like this, it can significantly reduce the speed of the website.

Here are 4 ways to reduce HTTPS requests:

  • Use CSS instead of images whenever possible
  • Combine CSS, JavaScript and HTML files together
  • The elements on the page should be reduced
  • Use a caching plugin

7. Enable GZip Compression

It is not anything complex, we all have compressed files on our computer as ZIP files, GZip does the same but with website pages. It is considered as one of the best compression methods with the ability to minimize HTTP requests and reduce response time.

When you use GZip compression, the files in your website automatically gets compressed like a zip file. This reduces the size of the files helping directly in boosting the speed of your website and an improved page load time. But when someone visits your website, the files won’t be compressed, it will be unzipped for them to access the content without any hurdles.

8. Clean up HTML document

We all know that Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML is the foundation of every website. HTML helps you format web-pages with the help of headings, subheadings, creating graphics and more. Web crawlers find it easy to read HTML, so if you update your website’s content regularly, you are bound to be discovered often by the search engines. When writing HTML commands, make sure they are to the point.

9. Mobile friendly website

It is not surprising to learn that most consumption of websites these days is through mobile devices thanks to the proliferation of 4G and 5G. That makes it all the more important for you to design a website that is mobile-friendly while providing a smooth experience for tablet and desktop users too. Take Google’s Mobile Website Auditor to check your website’s efficiency on mobile. The test shows your website’s score on a wide variety of criteria like plugins, text readability, clickable elements and more.

10. Adopt Cloud-based website monitoring

Using a cloud-based website monitoring tool comes with a host of advantages like cost- effectiveness, scalability, reliability, increased efficiency and more. No need to go through the hassle of installation or scheduled maintenance which cloud based website monitoring tools will do themselves without any effort from your side.

Conclusion

There has never been a more important time for your business to fix it’s website speed. Why? Because the number of people who are using the Internet is growing exponentially and none of them are fans of slow loading websites. If you are not going to be fast, they will give your website a miss and move on to your competitor’s without as much as a goodbye!

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