In today’s fast-paced world, every moment is a precious commodity. The idiom ‘time is gold’ can never be held more true, especially if you own a laggy website.
Every 1-second delay in page load time can lead to a significant decrease in page views and loss in conversions. Mobile internet users, on the other hand, abandon a website if a page takes more than three to six seconds to load.
Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line
As mentioned earlier, loading time delays for any website is a major factor in page abandonment. Most users have limited patience for any page that takes too long to load. And here’s the clincher: mobile internet users expect their browsing experience close to, if not at par, with what they get using their desktop or laptop.
You can expect visitors to spend more time on your website if it is responsive and takes a second or less to load each page. Unfortunately, most website owners are not aware of how fast (or slow) their website is and how quickly it is to operate and navigate.
If you find that your website is not operating at peak performance, and you are losing sales because of it, then it’s probably time to do some house cleaning to boost your website. There are ways of doing it painlessly.
1. A Picture and a Video are Worth a Thousand Milliseconds
Though images are static, they are usually the last part of a website to load. Take note that the larger and more detail the picture has, or the larger the video file is, the longer it takes time to properly load on the page.
Both images and video are usually the biggest culprits that take up your website’s load time. A factor that affects this is the size and quality of each asset and the total number of assets that are being loaded for every page on your site.
- To ensure that images won’t take ages to load, the logical step to take is for you to optimise your images, making sure that they are of the right format and size. As we have said, larger images take time to load. Make sure that photos are sized according to the parameters of your website design. Do take note that even resized images could potentially be larger than they optimally are. A solution to this would be to compress your images to significantly reduce the size of the file without degrading image quality.
- Image format is another factor to be considered when incorporating pictures into your website. It is advised that using a compressed image format such as JPG should be used. JPG maintains image quality of the image without sacrificing space. The use of PNG is only necessary when transparency is needed. Avoid space hogs such as BMP and TIFF as much as possible.
- The video also needs to be compressed so as not to tax the loading time of the site. Video, especially high-definition ones, are speed hogs.
- Using a 3rd party video hosting platform is another option to reduce the significant impact on your host server’s bandwidth.
- Limit the number of assets on each page. The more images and videos there are on each page, the longer it will take for your page to load. You must be aware of the total overall size of each page with its incorporated assets.
Having carousels or sliders, videos playing in the background, large images and textures may be all fine and dandy, but adding this adds load time. A balance of good visual aesthetics and user experience should be aimed for in site development. Attractive aesthetics may not work as much as you think if it loads slowly. It is more important to have a faster website than one laden with too much aesthetic detail.
2. Take it easy with plugins
Plugins may provide valuable information and functionality, however, they can slow down page load times. Too many plugins can cause unnecessary bloat that slows down your website.
It is, therefore, a smart idea to limit the number of plugins you use, or even disable or delete plugins that you don’t use. In addition, outdated plugins or those that aren’t well maintained may pose a security threat, some may even induce compatibility issues that affect performance.
It is also prudent that you evaluate the plugins that you have, whether they are necessary or not. Some may have overlapping functions, or there may be others that are no longer applicable to your needs.
Reducing your page load time not only improves the overall performance and user experience of your website, it also improves your site’s SEO as well.
3. Cash in on Page Caching
Another way to improve your website’s page load time is to employ page caching. To avoid time-consuming queries to your website’s database, cached pages are pitched up as static HTML versions of a particular page. The effect would be, the cached web page loads faster while decreasing the server load as much as 80%.
4. Clean up Superfluous Codes in your CSS Files
Before your page becomes viewable to the user, your CSS file needs to be loaded. If you have been using and building this same file over time, it is more than likely to contain superfluous or unnecessary codes. Even an extra space or a line can cause your page to slow down.
Another advantage of decreasing the sizes of your files is that it makes it easier to merge or combine them. This will give you a cleaner code, and leaner web pages that will ultimately load faster.
5. Choose a performance-optimised hosting solution.
Your choice of a hosting provider may seem trivial, but they do play a major role in your website’s upkeep, management and performance. Part of that service is making sure your page loads as fast as Speedy Gonzales can say “Arriba!”
One pitfall business entities do in choosing their host provider is settling for a mediocre host service to, in effect, secure a lower monthly service rate. Sadly, cheap hosting, more often than not, provides low performance.
You get to share resources on what most likely be an overloaded server between multiple websites that can put a strain on your pages’ loading times. The savings you thought you made getting a poor host will make you lose more in the long run in possible sales conversions due to your laggy page load times.
There are a handful of performance-focused hosting solutions you can tap. It is common that these hosts provide a powerful platform designed for speed and don’t offer shared hosting. This means you don’t have to worry about other websites possibly slowing you down as they drain a huge chunk from the pool of resources.
Page load-up time is vital for all types of sites. We can’t stress enough the correlation between your sites’ speed and conversion rate. There are of course other factors that may contribute to your site’s slow load rate, but we outlined the most pertinent ones here.
To avoid this, secure the services of a hosting provider that can provide individualised, high-quality VPS hosting. Make sure that they offer added security, uptime monitoring, and ongoing backups to protect your online investment.
Implementing some items detailed above may require you to employ the assistance of a competent and trustworthy developer.
But why contend yourself with solving this dilemma when we at Accentuate can do it for you? Not only can we assist you with our services, but we can also help register your domains. Get in touch with us today for a quote and to find out more!