Why Page Speed Is Important?

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In today’s time, site speed is far more important than ever. Needless to say, it is presently one of the most critical aspects of every marketing strategy. Not only does it affect SEO rankings, but contributes remarkably to user experience and conversions on the whole.

 Websites with low speed are often seen to have low conversion rates, low page visits and high bounce rates. Slow website means people will bounce off quickly as in today’s fast-paced world no one has enough patience to wait for a webpage to load. Before we discuss its importance any further, let’s us first see what exactly page speed is.     

 What is Page Speed?

 Often confused with site speed, page speed is the speed of a particular page on a website. It can be defined as either the time taken by a browser to obtain the first byte from a web server or the time a page takes to display all of its content. Google’s Page Speed Insights is a great tool to analyse your page speed.

Page Speed Insight Tool

 Why Does Site Load Time Matter?

 Everyone likes a page that loads quickly and we all would agree to the fact that pages that load slowly are annoying. While page speed matters a lot to website users, it is important to know how slow is actually slow. Let’s understand this with some data.

A 2018 study by Google revealed that more than 50% of mobile device users leave a website, which takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Interestingly, the same study depicted that on an average, mobile websites take nearly 15 seconds to load. Another study by MachMetrics showed that most of the websites take somewhere around 8-11 seconds to load. Although it might not appear too long, the truth is that with every second of delay, you lose customers or visitors.

This also affects conversion rates. For instance, Walmart revealed in a report that with every second of enhanced page speed, they observed an increase in conversion rate by 2%. In view of the role of page speed in ensuring a great user experience, Google had introduced new speed algorithm in 2018, making page speed an important factor for every website owner and marketer.

Thankfully, boosting page speed is quite possible. In fact, it’s not a tough problem to solve. What all you need is to find out why your website pages are loading slowly and how you can improve things to enhance their speed.  

 How to Speed Up Your Website?  

Here are some ways to improve your page speed.

  • Optimize Images: Make sure the images on your web pages are of the specified size and format. In general, PNG files are great for graphics with less than 16 colours, whereas while JPEG images are perfect for photographs. Also, check if they are appropriately compressed for the web.

Make use of CSS sprites to develop a template for the images that you use quite often on your website, like icons and buttons. CSS sprites club all your frequently-used images into one large image that loads in one go, which leads to fewer HTTP requests. It then shows you only the parts that you want to display on your website. This helps reduce page load time by not making users to wait for several images to load successively.

  • Make Use of Content Distribution Network: Also known as content delivery networks, content distribution networks (CDNs) are the networks of servers that help distribute the load of content on a website. Basically, copies of your website are stored at several data centres at geographically different locations, so that website visitors can access your web pages fast and easily.
  • Take Advantage of Browser Caching: Web browsers cache too many types of information, such as images, style sheets, JavaScript files, and so on. This way browsers don’t have to reload the entire page when a user revisits your website. Tools like YSlow allow you to check whether your cache expiration date has already been set or not. Once you know this, you can adjust your “expires” header to how long you want the information to remain in the cache.
  • Boost Server Response Time: Factors like amount of traffic your website receives, the server you use, kind of web hosting solution you have for your website, and the applications your server uses affect your server response time. To enhance your server response time, identify performance hurdles, such as slow routing, slow database queries, absence of ample memory and then, fix these issues. The optimum server response is within 200ms.
  • Eliminate Render-Blocking JavaScript: Web browsers require creating a document object model (DOM) tree by HTML parsing prior to rendering a page. If your web browser faces a script during this time, it needs to cease and execute it before continuing further.
  • Decrease Redirects: Visitors wait for a few extra seconds for the HTTP request-response cycle to finish whenever a web page redirects to another page. For instance, in case your mobile-specific redirect model is like: XYZ.com > www.XYZ.com > m.XYZ.com > m.XYZ.com/home, then the two extra redirects will add up to the total page load time, which will ultimately reduce page speed.
  • Minify JavaScript, CSS & HTML: You can phenomenally increase your page speed by optimising your code. This may include eliminating commas, spaces and other useless characters as well as removing code comments, unused code and formatting. Google recommends HTMLMinifier for HTML, CSSNano for CSS and UglifyJS for JavaScript.
  • Enable Compression: Use applications like Gzip to compress files and lower the size of HTML, CSS and JavaScript files larger than 150 bytes. Remember not to use Gzip for image files. Rather, compress them in tools like Adobe Photoshop as these programs let you have control over image quality.

 Tools to Check How Fast Your Site Loads

 Here are a few popular tools using which, you can easily check the speed of your webpage:

  • Page Speed Insight
  • Pingdom
  • GTmetrix

At Alchemy Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing and web development company, we pull out all the stops to ensure optimum page speed of your website. Whether you are looking for developing a new website or want to optimise your existing webpages, you can rely on us so that your digital presence doesn’t suffer due to low page speed or other technical issues.

 

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