In this article I will tell you why speed of your website matters and also show you tips on how to make your website load super fast.
No body likes a slow website.
If a user lands on your website and your website takes more than 3 seconds to load there is high probability that he will leave your site.
As per Kissmetrics study, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less and 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Why It Is Important For Your Website To Load Fast?
If your website loads slow i.e. it takes more than 3-5 seconds to load then your website's bounce rate will increase significantly.
What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who landed on your site and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages within your site.
While there may be various reasons for increase in bounce rate like low quality content, poor design, etc., website loading speed is also one of the important factor. A higher bounce rate also means decrease in your website's productivity and user conversion.
Another important factor is SEO.
Both Google and Bing use page speed as a ranking factor. While there are many factors for a website to rank higher in Google Search Results, one of them is your website speed. Your website's ranking can be penalized by Google if your website is take too much time to load.
Let's see what are the tools available to check your website speed. Read on...
Also see: Learn to make your website secure
How To Check Your Website Speed?
There are many free online tools which allows you to measure your website speed. Some of these tools are:
1. Pingdom: It allows you to see your website's load time, page size, etc. It also shows part of your site that needs attention such as make few HTTP requests, add expires header, compress components with gzip, etc. and improvement of which can significantly reduce your website's load time.
See the result of my blog technicalwall.com in Pingdom Speed Test below:
2. GTmetrix: It is also one of the most popular website speed test tool. It analyzes your site load time, checking both PageSpeed and YSlow scores. It also gives suggestions on how to improve the load time.
You can create a free account at GTmetrix to save your website speed result. This helps when you have made changes as suggested by GTmetrix and now you want to compare your latest website speed result with old results.
See the result of my blog technicalwall.com in GTmetrix Speed Test below:
3. Google Pagespeed Insights: This tool is provided by Google. PageSpeed Insights (PSI) reports on the performance of a webpage on both mobile and desktop devices. It also provides suggestions on how that page may be improved.
See the result of my blog technicalwall.com in Google Pagespeed Insight below:
I think all the three test results of my blog technicalwall.com are impressive, isn't it.
5 Ways To Make Your Website Super Fast
In this section I am providing you 10 tips to make your website load faster. By following these tips you can surely reduce your website's loading time and see improvement in your website performance. Let's begin...
1. Change Your Hosting Provider
This is the most simple strategy which you can apply to improve your website speed result. If you think that your current hosting provider and hosting plan is responsible for your website's poor performance in terms of speed, it is time to change your hosting provider.
You can see that my website's performance in all the three test is quite impressive. You must be thinking that I may be using VPS Hosting or Dedicated Hosting but no, I am not using any of them.
I am using shared hosting for this blog and the hosting provider is a2hosting. The plan I am using is Turbo hosting plan.
The three shared hosting plans offered by a2hosting are LITE, SWIFT and TURBO. See the different hosting plans offered by a2hosting below.
You may go with LITE and SWIFT plan but if you seriously want to improve your website's performance in terms of speed then I would recommend you to go with the TURBO plan. See the comparison of all the three plans below.
A2hosting.com Hosting Plan
Click the button to see all the features of hosting plan offered by a2hosting.com.
2. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare
You should use a CDN for your website right from the start. A CDN provides numerous benefits to your website in terms of speed and performance.
Following are the advantages of using a CDN on your website-
You can use Cloudflare CDN network in your website for free, though it also has a paid plan. But I think that for a beginner's blog or website, a free Cloudflare plan is sufficient.
I am also using Cloudflare as CDN for this blog and am quite satisfied with the performance.
Add your website at Cloudflare by visiting this link - Cloudflare.com
3. Optimize Your Website By Using Minification and Gzipping (Compression)
Let's first see what is the difference between Minification and Gzipping according to CSS genius Chris Coyier.
"Minification does things like removing whitespace, removing comments, removing non-required semicolons, reducing hex code lengths..."
"Gzipping finds all repetitive strings and replaces them with pointers to the first instance of that string."
For a WordPress website, the easiest way to minify the above files is to use a plugin like W3 Total Cache, Fast Velocity Minify, WP Fastest Cache and Autoptimize. You can use any one of the plugin mentioned here.
How to compress your website?
Compression is a simple and effective way to save bandwidth and to speed up your site.
If your web pages are bigger then these files will take longer time to get to your browser and appear on the screen.
So, to reduce the size of web pages we can use Gzip which has to be enabled on your webserver which is relatively straight forward.
To enable Gzip compression in Apache server, add the following text in your .htaccess file (source: GTmetrix.com).
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
# Remove browser bugs (only needed for really old browsers)
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0 no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
Header append Vary User-Agent
Compression of your HTML and CSS files with Gzip typically saves around fifty to seventy percent of the file size.
If you are not compressing your website do it now and experience the difference in website loading speed.
4. Reduce External Scripts on Your Website
These external scripts make HTTP requests every time a new page loads increasing the load time.
Some examples of these external scripts are:
- Facebook Like Boxes
- External commenting systems like Disqus
- Instagram follow boxes
- Google Analytics
- Third party advertisements
I am not recommending to remove all or any of the external scripts as mentioned above.
You have to decide yourself which script are definitely a must for your website, for example, Google Analytics, and remove those which you think are not a absolute necessity for your site.
5. Remove Unnecessary Plugins From Your Website
With time we may install loads of plugins in our website without knowing that they may be a cause for your website slow loading speed.
There may be some plugins which you have installed long back but now you don't use them anymore or it is not doing things the way they were supposed to do or you have found better plugins which performs better.
Whatever may be reason, you must set aside yourself some time to review your plugins. Removing some unwanted plugins can improve your website load time.
These are the tips which I have followed in my blogs and helped my blog to load super fast.
I am sure that if you follow it as mentioned above it will surely help you in improving your website performance and speed.
If you have any questions or suggestions please comment below.
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