In case your website takes more than three seconds to load then you may lose your visitors. This will affect your potential conversions. A slow loading page will result in poor user experience and may even lose its ranking in Google search.
Site speed is also one of the ranking factors in Google. You should optimize your website for page load times as it can affect the overall site performance.
Here are some of the ways to improve your site speed:
1. Reduce the number of HTTP requests the site makes. Time is spent downloading the different parts of the page like images, scripts and more. Reducing the number of requests will speed up your site.
2. The fewer requests your site makes to your server the faster the page will load. Identify all the external scripts that are adding requests. Knowing which ones are adding to your load times will be helpful in understanding your site speed.
4. Scripts can be loaded Synchronously and Asynchronously. Loading your file asynchronously will speed up your site as the browser moves from up to down while loading a page.
6. One of the factors that affect page load speeds is the DNS lookup. You can switch to a faster DNS provider.
7. Choose the right option depending on your requirements. You can choose from shared hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated server. Shared hosting is the cheapest and dedicated server option is the most expensive one. If your traffic levels are slowing your server response times then you should consider a VPS or Dedicated hosting option.
8. Smaller files will load faster and reduce your overall load times. So you can compress your images and other content. You can use GIDNetwork to run a compression audit.
9. Another way to reduce load times is to compress your files. This works fine with CSS and HTML. Most web servers can compress files in Gzip format.
10. When you visit a website the elements of the page are stored in a temporary storage or in the hard drive in a cache. For the subsequent visits only a few components have to be loaded. For all cacheable resources you can set caching between a minimum of one week to one year.
11. Images are often large files and slow down the page load times. Reducing the size can impact your page load times. One of the best ways to reduce the size of images is to crop them to the correct size. Next, use different tools to compress your images.
12. Use the appropriate file types for the images. Most common ones are GIF, JPG and PNG. JPG is best for photos, PNG is best for crisp details and GIF should be used for small graphics and animated images.
13. Use Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare to load the content faster to a server that is geographically far away. With a CDN you can cache your site on a global network of servers. When a browser requests a file from your site it can be routed to the closest server. For Small businesses cloudflare also offer free plans with limited features.
14. For your large files you can use external hosting platforms. Like for videos. Video files require a lot of space which can exceed the limit of a shared server. You can use third party services like YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia to host your videos. Most of these services are free.
15. CSS holds the style requirements of your page and you should optimize the CSS delivery. While setting up styles use one external CSS stylesheet. Use simple fonts as using custom fonts can slow down the entire process.
16. Improve user experience by having your above the fold section load faster even if the rest of the page takes a few seconds to load. This is called lazy loading. This way the users do not have to wait to access the page. A Lot of ecommerce solutions like Woocommerce and Shopify have free and paid plugins that are also easy to install.
17. Having too many plugins installed can cause your site to slow down. Deleting and deactivating the plugin that are not required can help to improve your overall site speed. You should evaluate your plugin and remove the ones that slow down your site speed.
18. Redirects are necessary when you remove and delete pages. Redirects should be kept to a minimum as they can negatively affect the site speed specially on mobile devices. Google says that ideally you should eliminate them entirely.
19. Try AMP to improve your speed especially on mobile devices. Google has also recommended AMP in their help files to improve website performance. AMP work for all types of sites including Ecommerce.
20. Monitor your site’s load times regularly to find any issues as early as possible. You should also check how your site loads on mobile devices. Use Google page speed tool to keep analyzing your website performance and follow the recommendations offered by Google Page Speed tool as much as possible.