Have you ever had an encounter with a slow network connection? How frustrated were you? I bet you lost interest in everything you wanted to do at that time till you were able to find a better and faster network connection. This is somewhat similar to what you are subjecting your visitors to when you have a website that loads at a slow speed.
The truth of the matter is that most visitors don’t have the patience to wait for a long duration of time while your website is loading. There are tons of other sites out there who offer services similar to that which you do, and with a website that loads faster, they have the edge over you in terms of traffic.
This is why website owners are advised to optimize their website’s loading speed – to improve their visitors’ experience and increase their SEO rankings. There are some techniques that website owners can use to maximize their site’s loading speed, some of which include:
In the world of web hosting, there are different types of hosting that can be used by website owners. The loading speed of your website ultimately depends on what host you are making use of and the quality of the company you pay.
The first one, which is also the most popular, is ‘shared hosting’. Website owners that use this form of hosting share CPU, disk space and RAM with other website owners hence the name. It is cheap but not as fast as the other forms of hosting. However, there are some excellent shared hostings out there that will allow your website to start growing without paying too much.
The second one is Virtual Private Servers (VPS) hosting. This type of hosting is a more expensive but usually faster host than the shared hosting. It's used when you need full control over the server, but it often requires also a good technical knowledge about server administration.
The Dedicated Server is the best option for large and websites with too much traffic. Using the dedicated server, you pay a server rent, and also you need a system administrator to maintain it. As you might have already guessed, this is the most expensive option.
A good intermediate option between shared hosting and a VPS or Dedicated Server is a Cloud Server. The idea behind a Cloud Hosting service is simple: you may not need the power of a VPS or Dedicated server from the beginning, so it lets you start with a server a bit more powerful than shared hosting. But in the case your website grows and gets popularity, a Cloud Server allows you to increase the RAM Space, Disk size or number of CPU's to increase the power of the server and adapt it with your needs. This is great because you can grow your specifications as you need.
In this point, we would like to recommend our partner Siteground. This is probably the best hosting provider right now, with lots of great features, like:
Images are a significant part of your website's content. They bring life to your meaningful words and increase the level of engagement with visitors. However, just like everything in life that has its advantages, using pictures also has its disadvantage, and that is the fact that it slows down the time it takes a website to load. To abolish this disadvantage, website owners are advised to optimize their images before using it on their website. This can be done by reducing the size of the image(s) using tools such as ImageOptim and JPEGmini.
In Wordpress or any other CMS (Content Managed System), the more plugins you have, the more time it takes to load your website. If you have any plugin activated that you don't need: remove it!. And think twice about if you really need every plugin you have.
External Typographies are great to give to your blog or website a good look. But you must know that it increases the time to load your site, as it has to load an external resource (for example a Google Font). Google servers are very optimized, and usually loading one or two typographies doesn't take too long. But be careful with the theme that you buy or download to your Wordpress, it may be using many different fonts that can harm your site loading speed.
302 and 301 redirects make the visitor's browser to reload your website, increasing the time to load. Sometimes are very useful to avoid 404 Errors in your site (what is worst), but be careful about multiple consecutive redirections.
404 errors are showed when a visitor follows a link that has no content associated right now. It may have existed some time ago and removed, but somehow a link to that content (external or internal) keeps linking it. A 404 error is bad for many reasons, but mainly because it can frustrate your user and slow down his navigation (as he takes more to reach the content he is looking for). An excellent way to detect 404 errors is using Screaming Frog SEO Spider, a free tool that will crawl your site and give you a complete analysis of potential problems, including 404 errors.
In addition to these techniques, some tools that can be used to test the speed of your website’s page. Tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix can be used to test the speed of a particular site, provide you with useful insights, and proffer possible solutions that can help you hasten up the website’s loading speed.
Why Is It Important?
Optimizing a website’s loading speed is useful in improving your visitors’ experience with your website. First impressions matter a lot, and your website’s loading speed might determine if a user decides to visit your web page again or not.
Fast load time also helps the usability of your website by your visitors, and in the long run, this would draw in more traffic and increase your SERPs and SEO ranking.
Did you know? The standard time a user expects a web page to load is 3 seconds. Anything more than that and you run the risk of losing out on lots of traffic.
Expert’s suggestion: “Start your optimization with the most speed-reducing aspects and focus on the pages that define your conversion success the most.” – altexsoft (https://www.altexsoft.com/blog/engineering/12-techniques-of-website-speed-optimization-performance-testing-and-improvement-practices/)