• 09.03.2023 13:30

    A Complete Guide To Optimizing Your Website Speed And Performance

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    When it comes to website speed and performance, a few-second delay may reduce your page views, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction. Once it happens, your sales may suffer, affecting your company’s bottom line. To prevent that, you should prioritize website performance and speed optimization.

    When done right, it can positively boost your sales and marketing processes. You may also get better traffic and more qualified leads. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a complete guide to optimizing your website performance and speed.

    1. Evaluate Your Website Performance

    Before making necessary changes to your website, you must evaluate its performance first. The good news is that there are various performance evaluation tools you can use for your website.

    One of these is the Google page speed test, which analyzes your website using the Core Web Vitals benchmarks. These grade your website on mobile and desktop. The higher the score, the better, which means you have a fast website.

    Depending on the results, follow the actionable recommendations to improve your website performance and speed. Such recommendations may range from easy to complicated fixes. If the recommended fixes aren’t something you can do, look for a knowledgeable professional.

    2. Fix Broken Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)

    Having broken URLs may negatively affect your website. These may prevent search engine crawlers from indexing critical pages, reducing your website traffic over time. In addition, broken URLs give users the impression that your website isn’t well-maintained. It may keep your visitors away, resulting in an increased bounce rate.

    To double your website traffic and ensure all URLs work, you must crawl your website periodically. You can do this using various tools available online. If you find any broken URL, fix it immediately using plugins and other necessary solutions.

    3. Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)

    Another way to improve your website performance is to use a CDN. It’s a series of servers distributed in various geographical areas to deliver web content to users based on their location. In short, CDN helps deliver content quickly using servers closer to the users. It executes user Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) requests faster and shortens website loading time.

    For instance, if you have a website that runs from Canadian servers and somebody from another country visits it, they need to wait longer due to the distance the content travels. When you use CDN, you can lessen the loading time as your content will spread over different servers worldwide.

    4. Optimize File Sizes

    Visuals are essential to make your website stand out. Unfortunately, high-resolution graphics often have weight and size that negatively affect your website speed. However, you’ll need quality images to impress your users, making optimization challenging.

    Luckily, there are ways to optimize your website’s file sizes. One of these is to apply file compression techniques to images with bigger file sizes.

    You may also maintain a proper balance between visual quality and load time by using images in Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format. The primary advantage of PNG over other formats is that it supports lossless data compression. It means it won’t lose its quality every time it’s saved or opened. It also handles high-contrast and detailed images.

    5. Enable Browser Caching

    The primary reason to enable browser caching is that it reduces the load on your server. As a result, it lessens your website’s load time and boosts page speed. Once you visit any website page, your program downloads the content of that page. Moreover, your browser may start downloading more files if you visit another page.

    When you enable browser caching, it’ll only download your web page’s unique content. This way, you can accelerate your website speed and performance optimization process.

    6. Use a Well-Optimized Theme

    Several themes have a considerable impact on your website beyond its style. These days, various themes have countless features and custom page builders. All these extra functionalities may come at a cost, resulting in poor performance.

    Moreover, not all themes are well-optimized, which may slow down your website’s loading time. Since testing several themes on your servers isn’t feasible, you must research the suitable theme before selecting any template.

    Fortunately, there are many resources online about well-optimized themes. You can also read reviews to weigh the pros and cons of your prospective themes. Doing so can help save you from many headaches over time and choose the right theme without breaking your budget.

    7. Select a Better Hosting Plan

    A high-performance hosting plan can make a difference to your website performance and speed. If you’re using a shared hosting plan, you can’t expect exceptional performance unless you pay more. So, choose a hosting plan wisely if you want your website to perform better.

    At present, there are various types of hosting plans. They vary in options and prices. The most affordable plans are the shared ones since you can share a server with other website owners. While it’s a cost-saving plan, you may not get the speed you need for your website.

    If you prefer a higher website speed, you’ll need other hosting plans such as a virtual private server (VPS). Unlike shared plans, it guarantees higher speed since it uses multiple hardware.

    Dedicated servers are the priciest hosting plan because you’ll get a standalone server for your website. If you want a next-gen hosting solution, you can try serverless hosting. It offers unlimited scalability compared to other hosting plans, especially if the service provider manages massive cloud infrastructures.

    If you’re confused with the different hosting plans in the market, start by measuring your current site performance and determining your needs. Creating a list of your unique needs is best before considering any hosting plan. This will help you compare your options easily.

    For example, if your website has a particular niche, you need to consider it. This is especially true if you’re running a photography website since you must prioritize storage and speed features. The good news is that most service providers offer CDN options for a content-heavy website.

    On the contrary, if you operate an eCommerce website, you might need to focus on security and bandwidth. You can also opt for hosting plans specific to eCommerce websites. Aside from your needs, you should also consider the support that vendors offer. This way, you can ensure that someone is available to assist with your hosting issues.

    8. Minify JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Files

    Minifying JavaScript and CSS files usually means eliminating anything computers don’t require to carry out and understand the code, including unnecessary semicolons, code comments, and whitespace. It makes such files smaller, so they load quicker in web browsers and use less bandwidth.

    However, focusing on minifying codes only isn’t enough to improve your website speed and performance. Implementing it with other strategies can give you better results.

    9. Remove Unnecessary Plugins

    Your eCommerce website can run faster with fewer plugins installed. While they can be an excellent way to increase your site’s functionality and customization, too many plugins may compromise your website’s speed and performance. So, if you have many plugins, you might want to remove the unnecessary ones, especially those that aren’t needed regularly.

    To do that, check the current plugins on your website and determine the ones you need to make your website efficient. Then, get rid of those you don’t require and be sure your remaining plugins are high quality.

    Cheap or poor-quality plugins often use large scripts, which can increase your site’s loading time. These aren’t updated regularly, so opt for up-to-date plugins designed by reliable developers.

    10. Implement GZIP Compression

    You can optimize your website performance and speed by using GZIP compression. It’s a method that allows you to reduce every file size for several elements on your website. In other cases, enabling GZIP compression may lessen your webpage’s weight.

    The smaller pages are, the faster they’ll load. Most web hosts enable GZIP compression. You can use other online compression tools if your vendor doesn’t offer one.

    11. Reduce the Number of HTTP Requests

    Many web pages require browsers to make several HTTP requests for different elements, including scripts and images. In fact, other web pages may need many of these requests.

    Every request leads to a roundtrip to and from the server hosting the resources, which increases your webpage’s loading time. Moreover, with resources loaded from various providers, problems with the hosts may affect your page’s ability to load immediately.

    With that in mind, the overall number of assets every page required to load must be kept to a minimum. A speed test will help determine which HTTP requests take the most time. For example, if your images are causing your webpage to load slowly, you can opt for a faster image hosting solution to fix the issue.

    Final Thoughts on Optimizing Your Website Speed and Performance

    Optimizing website performance and speed isn’t rocket science—you may even do it without the help of professionals. The only thing you need to do is follow the above tips and implement them properly. When done right, your website will be lightning-fast, allowing users to browse your pages easily without experiencing any inconvenience.

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