How do you feel when you got a useful blog to resolve something, but it’s loading slow.
Definitely, you will leave that website within seconds because you may get your desired matter from some other sources too, then why you will waste your time to stick on that sluggish blog.
Exactly, this is the same feeling of users when they land on your sluggish blog.
It means your visitor is not satisfied with loading time of your blog.
People love those sites whose Page speed is optimized well.
Now what will happen?
Does website speed matters?
Website loading time matters a lot, it directly impacts on your website ranking and conversion.
In this article, I’ll cover the importance of loading time of you site as well as website speed optimization tips to improve your blog to load under 1-2 seconds.
Image credit: Flickr
Why Page Speed is Important?
Better user experience
Research says, 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. Now think about this. It’s near about 50% people who don’t like slow loading of any website including me and you. So if you do it for your users then in return users will also love your site.
Another way is to use the following guidelines
Less than 1 second = perfect
1-3 seconds = good
3-7 seconds = average
7+ seconds = poor
2. Increased Google Ranking
Basically, google crawlers are trying to serve the best content including page loading time. The main motto of Google is to serve accurate and quick results to the user queries. Means, if there are more than one site which are serving approximately same things, then the site which will load fastly chances of that site is rank well than another slower one.
3. Increased mobile user experience
As you know, mobile users are increasing day by day and loading time is very important on mobile devices because most of the mobile users facing slow internet connection. Sometimes even if they have a good connection but they are in the habit of low patience.
So in the case of mobile users’ your blog loading time is precious.
4. Effect on conversion rates
In the case of larger sites like Amazon, Walmart, etc. Even a decrease in one-second page load time results in loss of millions of rupees and buyers. You can feel it yourself also if you are running an affiliate site or product selling site.
Credits: Web Performance Today
Website Speed Test Tools
There are number of tools to check the speed of your website. I’m providing here three of them:
- PageSpeed Insights(recommended)
If you follow the instructions of these tools to optimize your blog’s speed, definitely you’ll get results.
How to Speed Up Website Load Time
Now you know the importance of site loading results.
But what if your website is loading slower than 3 seconds?
My blogs were also loading slower than my competitors and one day I decided to make it load faster. So I googled all possible ways to improve load time of my sites and some of them were working very fine for me.
And here I don’t want to bother you to write the useless things to wreck your time.
I’m just trying to write here only those things which worked for me and hoping it may work for you also.
First of all, by using website speed analysis tools, save the screenshot of your site to compare it after applying these below tips.
And here I’m categories into two parts;
. Basic Website Speed Optimization Tips
If you are planning to start a new site with high speed optimized then you must have these things. These tips are also useful while you are running a site and want to optimize for speed.
# Use premium themes (never use cracked themes)
Always try to use paid themes because these themes are highly optimized for SEO. And speed optimized theme is the part of SEO. Do not use any heavy theme. This blog is running on Genesis Child theme. Genesis is the one of the best frame.
# Reduce the number of plugins
No doubt, plugins are very beneficial for all WordPress users. But what will be the result if we addicted of using more and more plugins?
You may face slow loading of your site. So always select useful and trusted plugins. Remove unuseful plugins and disable those plugins which do not need to active all times like wp optimizer.
# Choose reliable Hosting
Hosting matters a lot. So always choose your hosting wisely. Earlier, this blog was hosted on Digital Ocean and you can check the review of digital ocean on any network. You may also check the speed of this blog. But it’s unmanaged server, so you must have some technical knowledge to handle this hosting.
Now I am using a2 hosting, which quite well, they are providing SSD server with optimised speed. I have written a review also, you can read the here: a2 hosting review
It will help you while purchasing the web hosting.
# Use optimized images
Actually, images are the only things which matter for slow speed in the articles. Sometimes we have to use more than one-two images to justify our content to the readers. So always try to upload correct size of images.
# Site size
This is a very common reason to slow loading of your site. Try to maintain your site size within 1 MB.
Here are some notes about site size:
Under 500 KB is excellent
Under 1 MB is good
1-3 MB is acceptable
3 MB plus risky
# Turn off ping backs and trackbacks in WordPress
These two things also reduce the loading time of your blog so it’s better to turn off.
# Use a Cache Plugin
It’s always better choice to use a cache plugin W3 Total Cache to optimize your site to load smoothly.
. Advance Website Speed Optimization Tips
Now come to the important part of this post. Here I’m going to suggest you what are other necessary things which make your website load faster.
While your cache plugin is working hard to do your task easier. But still you need to do something at your end.
First check your site through GTmetrix and look what this tool is suggesting you in red mark grades.
As you saw in these above screenshots, I’m going here to explain how to get A grades.
#Add Expires headers to leverage browser caching
This only applies if a user already has a version of your web page stored in their cache, so it will only speed up your site for users who have already visited your website.
It reduces the number of HTTP request again and again for a user who landed more than one time on your site.
Simply add this below code in your htaccess file to reduce the leverage browser caching.
For more check here.
# Enable compression with Gzip
If your page is large (100KB or more) then that page may load slow. At that stage, you need to use the compression technique to serve better without taking much loading time. For doing this task, Gzip comes. Gzip compress your files into a zip file and that user’s browser opened that zip file into their browsers.
Gzip reduces the bandwidth of your pages. Read this article about Gzip compression to get more.
You can enable Gzip by simply adding the following code to your .htaccess file:
You can check whether Gzip compression is working on your site or not by using Gziptest.com.
#Minify your CSS and JS files
Whenever we install any plugin, CSS and JS files added virtually on each time.
It is also helpful to save bandwidth. HTTP Keep Alive refers to the message that’s sent between the client machine and the web server asking for permission to download a file. If you enable it, means you allowed to download various files without asking for permission each time.
To enable Keep Alive, simply copy and paste the code below into your .htaccess file.
<ifModule mod_headers.c> Header set Connection keep-alive </ifModule>
# Clean up Your Database
Not weekly but on the monthly basis, I like to optimize my database files. It depends upon your log activity which affect your SQL files. So do remember to clean your database, you may try WP Optimize plugin.
# Fix All Broken Links
Broken links are not only dangerous for your vistors point it also responsible for drainage of your bandwidth. So you must try to fix them all to get better user experience.
# Reduce Redirects
Redirects create additional HTTP requests and increase load time. So try to remove unnecessary redirects.
Nowadays, most of the sites are responsive it means we are sending mobile visitors to mobile version of your site. To understand it correctly you can check the post on VerveSearch.
#Speed up High Traffic Pages
We pay particular attention to our homepage. But the truth is 80% of our traffic come from 20% of our pages. So we should optimize like a ninja to those pages to maintain SERP.
Remove unwanted sliders, heavy images and identify those factors which causes slow speed and remove them.
Making your home page and other high traffic pages faster will improve the speed for 80% of your visitors.
# Use CDN (Content Delivery Network)
This is last but not least for this article. If your blog is still facing slow speed or want to improve more then use a CDN, you’ll definitely get the positive result, trust me.
CDNs work by hosting your files across a large network of servers around the World. When a user from Canada access your site it delivers the content from the nearly located server.
It also protects your sites from DDoS attacks and traffic spikes.
Now check your site again through GTmetrix and compare with the previously saved screenshot. Hoping you have got the better ranking than before.
Wrapping it up
I think if you are really serious about website speed optimization of your site under 1-2 seconds then it’s not a tough job now if you apply all the described tips above. But you must follow basic tips like themes, hosting and others, these all are root.
Simply, put your URL in any speed checker tool and follow the suggestions. You’ll see the changes in few minutes.
As I told you, it is highly recommended to speed up your site to get SERP. Search engine’s crawlers work for visitors, if visitor is not happy then crawlers will not happy with your site. Every single point matters a lot for SEO. So don’t ignore it make your site loading fast, now.