If you think the speed of your website doesn’t matter, then think again! Delay in page loading of a website results in lesser page views, decrease in customer satisfaction and overall loss in conversion for a website. Most big websites have found an increase by 1-2 % in conversion rate with the increase in loading speed. It is also said that half the users want the web pages to load in 2 seconds or less and around 40% users leave a web page if it does not load within three seconds. So, it means if you want your business to make good profits not only does your website has to rank well but it also has to load fast enough.
Some ways to improve your loading speed are as follows:
Minimize HTTP requests
Load time of a web page is spent downloading the different pieces-parts of the page like images, style sheets, scripts, Flash, etc. An HTTP request is made for each element, so more the components, the longer it takes for the page to load. So, reduce the number of components on each page thus reducing the number of HTTP requests for the page to load.
Reduce server response time
One needs to reduce the server response time and this can be done by using web application monitoring solutions and checking for any hindrances in the performances regularly.
Large pages are usually heavy and slow to download. To increase the speed of their load time you can zip them or use compression. Compression reduces the bandwidth of web pages, thereby reducing HTTP response. You can do this with a tool called Gzip.
Enable browser caching
When you go to a website, the elements of the page you visit gets saved on your hard drive in a place called cache, or temporary storage, so that the next time you visit it again your browser can load the page without having to send HTTP request to the server again. The first time someone comes to your website, they have to download everything that is there on the page. That may be as many as 30 components and 2.4 seconds. Once it gets saved only a few components needs to be downloaded for next visits. This saves time and helps to load pages faster. So, for all cacheable resources set expires to a minimum of one week, and preferably up to one year in the future.
Oversized images take longer to load, so it’s important that you keep your images small. To increase speed of loading crop your image size, reduce color depth and image comments.
Optimize CSS delivery
Use one external CSS stylesheet, when setting up your styles since other stylesheets may require additional HTTP requests. Also don’t include CSS in HTML code, such as divs or your headings.
Reduce number of plugins
Having a host of plugins can slow your site, create security issues, cause crashes and other technical difficulties. Remove and delete any unnecessary plugins. Then take out any plugins that slow your site speed.