Website speed impacts both user experience and ranking on search results. If you have a fast website, you will notice a gradual increase in conversion rates. The increased revenue from tweaking your site to increase loading speed makes it a worthwhile investment.
When shopping online, customers to interact with a site that is fast and easy to use. A slow website might force a customer to change their decision, even after adding a product to the cart. If the website is too slow, the users will get frustrated and abandon it for a competitor’s site.
Ideally, your website should load within two seconds.
This is the maximum recommended by Google’s John Mueller. If you want to increase website speed, you first have to identify the factors that are slowing down your site. You need to test the pages that are part of the checkout process to reduce the number of abandoned carts.
Why Website Speed Matters?
One of the most important aspects of a website, especially for an e-commerce site, is how fast it loads. Loading time is an indicator of a site’s performance, and can directly impact conversion rates. According to a study by Akamai, a one-second delay in page load time resulted in a 1.8% drop in conversions. Conversion rates for mobile sites are even more sensitive to loading times, with a one-second delay resulting in a 2.4% drop
It’s been proven that sites with fast loading times have higher conversion rates. But why should we care about conversions? Well, when your site is loading fast, you’re getting more traffic, and that means more money. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of reducing your site’s load time and why it’s the best investment you can make.
Website speed is a huge factor when it comes to conversion. If your website is loading slowly, your visitor is going to leave. The point is to get people to your website and to keep them on it as long as possible. This is easier said than done. There are many factors that can affect the performance of your website, from the number of visitors to the location of your server. The good news is there are ways to improve your website’s performance.
How to Increase Website Speed and Conversion
As seen above, your website speed impacts the user experience and conversions. There are several factors behind a slow website, and you need to address them to generate more revenue.
Here are the best ways of increasing your website speed in 2022
Minimise HTTP Requests
Each of these elements requires an HTTP request, which means that more elements hurt the loading speed of your web pages. You can easily track the number of requests made by a webpage using Google Chrome’s Developer Tools. Once you have the number, find ways of reducing them by removing all elements that are not critical to the loading of your website.
You should notice an improvement in loading speed after removing the non-critical elements and refreshing the website.
Synchronous loading is where the elements load one at a time, in sequential order. Asynchronous loading means that the elements load simultaneously.
You should always use asynchronous loading to increase website speed and boost your conversion rates.
Minimise Time to the First Byte
Time to the first byte is a measure of the time it takes for the server to respond when a user types your URL in the browser. According to Google, it should be less than 200 milliseconds.
In most cases, slow time to the first byte is caused by network issues, dynamic content creation, congested traffic and improper web server configuration. Of these factors, you can only adjust the dynamic content creation and server configuration.
You can speed up dynamic pages by enabling caching. Regarding the server, always confirm that the configuration is right before running your website. If you improve these two, you will increase website speed and conversions.
Choose the Right Host
A common mistake made by website owners is going for the cheapest hosting option. Instead of going for the cut-rate option, you should look for a reliable provider.
There are three types of web hosting; shared hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated servers.
Shared hosting is a model where you share the computing power of the server, which means that it has the cheapest plans. It is not suited for eCommerce sites that mainly focus on conversions and sales. Every time a site that is sharing the same resources as yours receives high traffic levels, you will experience reduced website speed on your end.
VPS hosting is mostly similar to shared hosting, with the difference being that you have a dedicated portion of the computing resources. It is a cheaper alternative to dedicated hosting that does not suffer the shortcomings of shared hosting.
Dedicated hosting is where you host the website on your server. You are also responsible for the maintenance. If configured correctly, it offers the best website speed.
If you notice that your site is loading slowly, you should move from shared hosting to VPS hosting. If you are already on VPS, it is time to invest in a dedicated server.
You can boost website speed significantly by using smaller files. The best way of reducing file size is by enabling compression. You should particularly focus on CSS and HTML, as they often have repeated codes and a lot of whitespaces.
Compressing your files improves website load time, which encourages users to stay on and purchase your items.
Reduce Image Sizes
High-quality images usually have a large size that can hurt your website speed. However, you cannot have a website without images.
If you want to increase your website conversion rate, your site must have plenty of product images. You need to compress these images so that your site loads fast enough.
The easiest way of resizing your images is by cropping. After uploading the photo in its original format, you can crop it to the desired size and reduce the space it takes up on your website. Alternatively, you can use plugins and compression tools that are readily available on the internet.
Another factor that affects speed is the file format of images on your website. The form you choose has an impact on the size of the image.
JPG is the best file format for most cases. It uses lossy compression, which means that the images have a small file size. Using JPG images ensures that you have a fast website without affecting the quality of images.
PNG images use lossless compression, meaning that they produce larger file sizes than JPG. They are ideal for use in areas that require crisp detail, such as logos, screenshots and infographics.
GIFs are ideal for small images, especially animated ones.
Use a Content Delivery Network
Besides the hosting servers, you can use other networks to improve your website speed. When your site is hosted on one server, every person visiting the website sends requests to it. If the traffic numbers spike, the server will be slow to respond, and the effect will trickle over to your site.
Since high-traffic times present the biggest opportunity to get conversions, you cannot afford to have a slow website. The best way of avoiding such issues is by using a content delivery network.
A content delivery network allows you to cache your website on several servers around the world. When a user tries to access your website, their request is routed to the closest server, increasing the loading speed.
Prioritise above-the-fold Content
A smart way of improving website speed is by prioritising above-the-fold content. This is the content that the user first sees when they open your website. This approach also enhances the user experience for websites that have a lot of content.
WordPress offers an abundance of plugins that ensure that the topmost content loads first before other elements on a webpage.
Reduce the Number of Plugins
Although they are useful, too many plugins can reduce your website speed. You need to continually check, deactivate and delete any plugins that are not useful to your website.
When evaluating your plugins, do away with the ones that have overlapping functions. If you have two plugins that improve website speed, you should remove the less efficient of the two. You should also eliminate any plugins that perform tasks that you can do manually.
If you want to increase your website conversion rate, you need to reduce the number of redirects on your site. Too many redirects increase the number of HTTP requests, which translates to slower loading speeds.
According to Google, website owners should remove redirects altogether. While this is challenging, you can start by eliminating all redirects that are not adding value to your site.
Monitor Your Speed Regularly
As you optimise your website speed, you should measure it frequently to see the progress you are making. Monitoring also allows you to notice any issues before they become hard to contain.
The internet has several tools for measuring website speed, both free and paid. Most of them give insights on how to improve speed.
10 ABCs of Enhancing Website Speed in 2022 to Get More Sales
Search engines use page speed as one of the ranking factors. Slow-loading pages are not only annoying and frustrating, but they also increase the bounce rate.
In a fast-paced society where people demand instant gratification, you can only afford to have a slow-loading website for so long before you start losing customers.
And with competition getting tougher by the day, you certainly don’t want to lose out on potential customers just because your site loads slowly.
A slow website is known to discourage visitors from coming back and drive them to your competitor’s site. This is especially true when the online competition is as big as it is right now.
These tips will help you make your website speed up in this year 2022
When we’re talking about website speed and performance, a few key factors have a dramatic effect on load times.
You have the power to influence how images affect your site’s performance. The more you know about images, the easier it is to optimise them for speed and size.
The impact of image size and loading time on your website cannot be stressed enough. Images take up the most website resources to download, which results in a long loading time for your site.
This means that your customers will have to wait longer for pages to load, maybe even long enough to become impatient and close the tab. As we all know, slower sites mean lower conversion rates.
Images account for over half of the total kilobytes downloaded from an average web page. In some scenarios, images may increase page weight or appear in inappropriate columns.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to reduce the file size of your images without much loss in quality.
Reducing the image size.
- When you upload images, be sure to use a tool like TinyPNG to compress them. Compressing the images will reduce the image size without affecting quality.
- Add images to your website in a way that doesn’t cause the page to load slowly. You can use plugins like Native Lazy load to do this.
- To ensure your images are viewable across all browsers, stick to popular formats like JPEG and PNG. These formats have been around for a long time and will continue to be supported by most modern web browsers.
- Using CSS Sprites: combining common images into one larger image and then referencing that image in the CSS file with a background-image property can speed up a website’s loading time.
Even if it is not mentioned as a feature or part of their service, all web hosts provide DNS hosting. We are fairly confident that your business has it at this very moment. The DNS hosting infrastructure is essential to the operation of the Internet – without it, you would not be able to access any website or domain name.
It is a core service provided by all domain registries and web hosts; without it, you would not be able to browse the web, and there would be no such thing as email. When your site’s DNS is slow, website visitors have to wait longer for pages to load. But if you use a fast DNS provider, you might be able to speed up page loading times.
The good news is that switching to a premium DNS hosting service like Cloudflare can give your site a significant speed boost.
Third-party scripts are any scripts that have been embedded on your website by another company, like a chatbot or the YouTube video player.
They are the tools that give your website functionality, like social share buttons, comments, and page analytics.
Your website is likely to be slow if you have a lot of third-party scripts on it. This can harm your user experience and e-commerce conversion rate.
Many third-party scripts are blocked. This means that they prevent the rest of your website content from loading until they’re finished executing. For this reason, it’s important to find out which of your third-party scripts are not asynchronous.
Adding extra scripts to your site can slow it down. When deciding which third-party scripts to include, think about how important a given script is to your site. Is it necessary on every page? If not, maybe you could include it only on the homepage.
In general, you should always aim to have as few blocking scripts as possible on your website.
A CDN is a system of servers spread across a wide geographical area that allows for web content to be accessed from any device, no matter where you are.
It takes longer to load a website for users living farther away from the server hosting the website.
CDN has multiple servers for content distribution so that users will get to the publisher’s information as soon as possible.
There are many benefits to having a CDN. Your website loads faster because it has an optimised path between the browser and web server. Another is that your web server handles less traffic because the CDN caches the content.
Another benefit is that CDN helps protect your site from a DDoS attack. These attacks usually target one server or network, and when using CDN, the attack gets distributed across several servers, making it much harder for attackers to take down your sites.
CDNs use multiple servers located in many places across the globe to deliver web content to users. All these servers are connected with high-speed internet connections, allowing users to access web pages faster than ever before.
CDNs reduce your website load time by storing static files like images, HTML, and CSS on different servers spread worldwide and delivering them according to visitors’ locations.
If you’re reading this article, the chances are that you’ve encountered a 404 error before. 404 errors often indicate that a website has been disabled or removed from the Internet.
It may have been deleted, moved, or it never even existed in the first place (yes, some people type in random URLs in hopes of getting some free stuff).
A 404 error isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you own a website or blog and have ever done any work with SEO optimisation, you know that seeing 404 errors on your web pages is a good thing.
That is because when Google crawls your site and sees links that lead to nowhere, they can take action and update those links accordingly. This helps ensure that users aren’t sent to broken websites or dead ends. However, not every 404 error is beneficial for you and your site.
A 404 error can leave a user feeling confused and frustrated and make it hard to continue on your site.
If your 404 error page has a variety of references to other websites, consider setting up 301 redirects to be automatically pointed towards your new pages.
The extra backlinks to the old page will also be included in your new URLs ranking. For a new webpage indexed as soon as possible, manually add it to your website’s sitemap.
When you land on a webpage, your browser loads additional content from that site. This can slow down your website experience.
Redirects can shave seconds off your website speed, but only when used appropriately.
However, the problem is that redirects are often used unnecessarily or just for convenience. This can lead to a chain of redirects and increased page load time.
If your website has a lot of redirects, you should examine and optimise them to improve website speed. Excessive redirects can delay page rendering and negatively impact the user experience.
These delays cause visitors to abandon your site before it loads, resulting in lower conversion rates (the percentage of visitors who take the desired action) and higher bounce rates (the percentage of visitors who leave a page without interacting with it).
How to fix it:
- Avoid unnecessary redirects. If you want to redirect user A to URL Z, don’t redirect via URL Y or URL X; go straight from A to Z.
- When possible, try to use HTTP status code 301 “moved permanently” instead of 302 “found,” as search engines treat 301 redirects more favourably.
A browser cache is temporary storage space on your computer’s hard drive when you visit a website; your browser stores smaller elements like pictures and CSS files from that site.
To avoid the unnecessary download of data, we should use caching. It means that some data is stored locally on the user’s machine so that next time this data doesn’t need to be downloaded again, and the page loads faster.
The browser will check for new versions of cached files every 24 hours. If there’s no new version available, it will load them from your computer rather than downloading them again from the server. This greatly improves loading times and saves bandwidth.
Browsers, as powerful machines, will store elements that websites send to them. When the user returns to the same website, their browser can present the pre-stored data instead of requesting it from the server. This decreases load time for the web page by up to 80%.
Therefore, when visitors come to your website again, they will not have to send another HTTP request because the plugin has saved the request.
If you’re an e-commerce business owner, you want your store to be as fast as possible, so customers have the best experience and are more likely to convert. A slow website can be frustrating for shoppers, especially if they’re trying to buy something from you.
Still, browser cache isn’t a silver bullet. If your website is quite dynamic, with frequent changes and updates, caching might not be for you. But if your website features a lot of static assets (like images, videos, and CSS files), then browser caching is something you need to consider.
In the context of web development, to “minify” means to optimise code by removing unnecessary spaces, line breaks, comments, etc. The result is a “shorter” file version that requires fewer bytes to download.
Minifying is removing unnecessary characters in code to reduce its size.
As a WordPress publisher, you need to ensure your website isn’t slowed down by messy code. If you want your website to rank well in search engines and load quickly, you need to make sure that your site is coded efficiently.
More than half of the world’s web traffic is generated on mobile devices.
This growth in mobile traffic can be attributed to increasing smartphone adoption and the shift to remote working and learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is reported that both desktop and mobile e-commerce sales increased globally due to the pandemic.
Therefore, to help your business thrive in the Google mobile-first index – and to beat the competition – your website must be mobile-friendly. It is important that your website is responsive and adjusts to fit smaller screens.
Lazy loading can help you save bandwidth, reduce page loading time, improve user experience, and lower bounce rates.
Today, the concept of lazy loading ads is gaining momentum. This technique effectively optimises your page’s speed and improves the user experience.
For example, if you have a long article, you can get more engagement from your readers by serving ads only when they reach the bottom of your post.
When you enable lazy loading for ads, it means that your ad won’t be loaded until a user scrolls down to where the ad will appear on their screen. In this way, a viewer doesn’t have to wait for an ad to load before they can read the rest of your site content.
There we are! Remember that you shouldn’t expect instant results, and it will take a while before you see an improvement in your page speed.
It’s important to remember that improving your page speed is an ongoing process. As you continue building and maintaining your website, you should emphasise on-site optimisation and performance.
That said, if you’ve followed all of these steps, you should have made some great headway towards faster load times.
Improving your website speed requires time and resources, but its potential benefits make it worth the effort. It is worth noting that this is a continual process. You do not need to implement all of the tips mentioned above at a go.
First, you need to assess the current speed of your website. You can then look at the tips mentioned on this list to improve it. Once this is done, measure again to see the progress.
If you are experiencing low conversion rates, you need to look at your website speed and design. Also, get in touch with us for more custom recommendations on how to achieve both goals without spending a fortune.
Frequently Asked Questions About Website Page Speed
1. What is the recommended speed of a website?
Page load time is based on the history of page loading, so there are no hard-and-fast rules. But we base our guidelines on the best, average, and worst pages we have encountered.
2. Why should I be worried about my website’s page speed?
A slow website will frustrate users and lead them to leave your site. If you want to avoid losing potential customers, your homepage should load quickly.
3. Is Page speed an important SEO factor?
Of course. If your page takes too long to load, you may lose visitors.
4. How can I ensure my site loads quickly on smartphones?
When a site loads slowly on mobile devices, the images are often too large for the screen. Compressing images can help save the day for you.
5. How does Website speed impact my business?
If your site loads too slowly, customers will likely give up and go somewhere else.