Nothing is more irritating than a website loading slowly in browser.
A slow website is not bad only for the targeted audience or the users, but it have severe impact over the search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. In other words, a slow website can cause negative impact over the ranking in search engine results. This in turn will lead to fewer page views and less ad revenue or customer conversion for you which will lead to depreciation in your sales. Online shoppers are always impatient. Unlike a regular local store shopping where one spend significant amount of time, online shopping provides with a lot of options and deals over multiple platforms with few clicks only. This is the main reason for their impatience. An Aberdeen Group study from 2008 still holds true in saying that a web page must load in less than three seconds or it risks losing customers and revenue. The e-commerce and SEO landscape is always changing. Reacting to those changes is a significant competitive advantage.
No matter if you are providing an e commerce service or promoting your business through your website, the magic number to make a conversation is inching closer to 2 seconds in load time over the browser. We are going to discuss what can companies do to shave precious milliseconds of page loading times? Here are some tips which you should consider to reduce your load time.
1. Content delivery network (CDN)- The most overlooked factor
2. Reducing the image sizes by implementing new image formats
It doesn"t matter if it an e commerce store or a portfolio website, images represent your product and services best. Images have a great influence over a website. 61 percent of a website"s page weight on a devices is images. Adopting new image formats, such as WebP and JPG XR, can also help reduce image weight by 20 to 75 percent without sacrificing quality. In case you don"t have a graphic designer to do so, you can always hire online services like PixelPhant to get the job done for you in overnight turnaround time.
Browser caching stores cached versions of static resources, a process that quickens page speed tremendously and reduces server lag. When a user visits a page on your website, the cached version will usually be served unless it has changed since it was last cached; this saves a lot of requests to your server and as a result makes it faster.
4. Evaluate your plugins
Plugins can bring new functionality and features to your website, but the more plugins your website has, the more work it has to do to load. Poor or outdated plugins can slow down website performance dramatically as well. This can be easily fixed by evaluating your current plugins and removing those that duplicate functionality, are out of date or are no longer used. In case you are running your store over the CMS platform (Like wordpress, magento, prestosho), make sure that the plugin your are using are up to date and compatible with the latest versions for obscure performance
5. Combine images into CSS sprites
If you have many images on your page, you are forcing multiple roundtrips of the server to get all the resources secured, which slows down page speed. Sprites combine all background images on a page into one single image. The proper image segment will be displayed because of the CSS background-image and background-position properties.
6. Enable HTTP keep-alive response headers
HTTP requests are simple: they grab and send a single file and then close. That may be simple, but it isn"t very fast. Keep-alive allows the web browser and server to agree to use the same connection to grab and send multiple files. In other words, the server holds the connection open while a user is on the site instead of opening a new connection with every request, easing the load for the processor, network and memory.
7. Enable compression
8. Use expires headers
When a user visits your website, your website files will be stored on their computer so that your website loads faster for them the next time the visit; there"s an expiration date in the file header that determines how long these files will be stored on their computer, however. This expires header is usually set to 24 hours by default. You can configure the expires header so that the files never time out, or you can increase the expiration date significantly so that it doesn"t impact your server and page load time.
By removing unnecessary line breaks, extra space, and so on, you will speed up parsing, downloading and executing. This simple task can cut bytes of data from your page, and every little bit counts.
10. Review your hosting provider and package
If you"ve taken the steps above and your pages are still loading too slowly, it might be time to consider a new hosting package. On a typical shared hosting account, you might be sharing server space with dozens of other companies, and the speed of your website is affected by the number of people using that server. If shared hosting no longer meets your needs, it might be time to consider dedicated hosting, where you alone have access to the server, or a VPS (Virtual Private Server), a physical computer partitioned into multiple servers each running its own operating system.
Well you can easily see that these steps can significantly improve your website performance. Some of these solutions might be simple, while others can consume a little bit of time. No matter what, implementing these concepts are crucial. In case your webpages are not loading fast enough, you might face the risk of losing your targeted audience – and seriously no one wants that to happen. Apart from these, you still need great content, good copywriting, good marketing ideas, and more to run a website successfully.