Slow websites are infuriating for the user, which, undoubtedly plays a huge role in the average session duration and bounce rate performance levels. More importantly though, a slow website will result in lost traffic and potential customers.
For example, a study by Akamai found that:
- 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
- 40% will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
- 52% of online shoppers say quick page loads are important for their loyalty to a site.
So, we have compiled our top 5 ways to speed up your website’s load speed:
Compress and Scales Images: Large, high quality images take longer to load, so the best way to increase their load time is to compress them. This will reduce the bandwidth of your pages, meaning that they load more efficiently throughout the website, especially on pages that contain a high number of images, such as on e-commerce websites.
Enable Browser Caching: When visiting a website, all elements of the page are stored on your computer in a cache. This helps your browser to load the page more quickly when you next visit it, as there is no need to send another HTTP request to the server.
Tests have shown that caching can help to shave off almost 2 seconds off a page’s load time, which will certainly help to keep returning visitors happy when they re-enter your website.
According to Tenni Theurer – formerly of Yahoo – 40-60% of daily visitors to your site come in with an empty cache, so it’s critical that you make your page fast for these first-time visitors. But you also need to enable caching to shave time off subsequent visits.
Reduce HTTP Requests: Previous studies have shown that around 80% of the time it takes to load a web page is spent downloading images, stylesheets, and so on. These elements all require their own HTTP requests to be made, which means that the more on-page components, the longer amount of time it takes for the page to load.
So, the best way around this issue would be to use CSS instead of images (where possible), ensure that all style sheets are combined into one, reduce the total number of scripts and place them at the bottom of the page code, and streamline the number of elements that feature within your pages.
Reduce Server Response Time: Server response time is the amount of time it takes for a web server to respond to a request from a browser and, according to Google, you should be aiming to reduce your server response time to under 200ms.
There are four factors that will play a part in your servers response time, which are:
- Website Traffic – The higher your visitor numbers, the more problems you will receive.
- Website Resource Usage – If each of your webpages used less resources, you could improve server response time.
- Web Server Software – If you change your web server software or configuration you likely could improve server response time.
- Web Hosting – If you improve the quality and scope of your web hosting you can improve your server response tim
Reduce the Number of Plugins on Your Website: This is a common issue with WordPress websites. If you have installed a high number of plugins on your site then it will ultimately slow down the load speed, with potential crashed and technical difficulties often occurring.
We strongly recommend that you look through the list of plugins that you have activated on your site and disabled the ones that you aren’t required. If your site is still running slowly then you’ll then be able to identify which plugins are causing the load speed difficulties. We suggest deactivating one plugin at a time and then measuring your overall load speed.
Jump 2 IT Media are digital marketing experts, who work with a high volume of clients both in the UK and Worldwide. Please contact us for all enquiries regarding our SEO, social media management, PPC management and website design services on 0845 582 3545.