Best Techniques to Speed Up Page Loading Times
Page loading time is one of the most important performance metrics for any website. Studies have indicated that with every extra second it takes to load your website, you give up about 7% in conversions, 11% in page view numbers, and 16% in raw customer satisfaction. Moreover, Google now uses page load times as an important ranking metric.
In short, speeding up page loading times can always be beneficial. Let us take a look at how to accomplish this for most websites.
Choose Quality Hosting
Often, one of the areas where businesses cut costs is while choosing a hosting provider. While there are definitely some excellent budget options, cheap hosting tends to be the first bottleneck when it comes to page loading speed. Shared hosting, which involved sharing already depleted or low-power server resources with other customers, is often the culprit.
To instantly improve performance, choose a dedicated hosting server from a provider that focuses on performance. The difference in performance can be night and day.
Optimize HTTP Requests
Typically, most of the time it takes a web page to load is spent on downloading its component parts. This can include visual elements, pictures, and scripts. Each of these get pushed via individual HTTP requests. Therefore, the more of these elements you have in your website, the more HTTP requests each web page render has to deal with. This can often take prohibitively long.
Images, typically, involve larger file sizes. During the page load, these can take up a significant chunk of the time. The larger the image files, the more time they take to load. This means that one of the easiest ways to speed up page load times is to optimize every image you use on your website.
You can use specialized image tools or CMS plugins to resize and compress your images. Many modern tools can significantly compress images without visibly impacting their resolution and appeal. Certain services also give you a way to do this automatically, helping you save time and effort.
One of the most important metrics regarding page load times is known as TTFB, or Time to First Byte. This can be significantly improved by employing smart caching. Caching is a great way to store fully rendered copies of dynamic web pages to memory, thereby helping serve web pages quickly when they are called.
For most websites, you should be able to find features like caching, along with GZIP compression, at the server level where it can affect your entire website and make things faster. CMS platforms like WordPress also offer several plugin options that can help you achieve the same things.
Considering the importance of good page load times for the success of websites in this day and age, this is certainly an area where you can invoke critical improvements and see an immediate increase in website performance and RoI.