How to speed up web page loading time

Do you have a very unique or valuable content on your website?

Or a content that is wanted by people so badly?

If not, you can’t expect your website visitors to wait more than 5 seconds to load your webpage. When it comes to the web, no one can expect the visitors would be patient and wait. They are in hurry and they want the stuff immediately.

Probably, you are not the only one selling the type of product or service you sell. People have myriads of option and they will go the next option if your website takes too much time to load; no matter how good your website content is.

Page speed is a major factor in the UX of website and Google’s ranking factor. A slow loading website would definitely bring your business down.

Page Speed Really Matters

There is no doubt in the impact of page loading time on the user experience of the website. It is already proved that even a small change in the site loading time directly affect the revenue of the company.

Amazon has many times confirmed that enhancing the loading time has resulted in increased sales. Walmart reported loss of revenue due to slow loading of the website.

Page speed is important for many reasons. Nobody likes to wait and people may leave slow loading websites even if it has the best content.

The proportion of mobile browsers against the desktop browsers is increasing and it is important to provide mobile users with fast loading website. Mobile users may have inconsistent internet connectivity and they will be naturally attracted to fast loading websites.

An ideal website shouldn’t take more than 3 seconds to load. We got you a few tips on how to speed up web page loading time.

How to Reduce Loading Time of Websites

There are many factors determining the speed of the website. It may be due to content, code or server. It is important to make all these three optimized to improve page loading time.


A. Optimize Your Content and Assets

The loading time will increase based on the size of the total elements in your web page. Multiple high-quality images and other assets in a web page can considerably increase the loading time. Here are a few tips on how to optimize the content and asset of a web page to reduce loading time.

Speed up Image Loading

You need quality images but with less size for your websites. Therefore, it is important to use images optimized for the web on your websites. You can use progressively loading images which will give a better user-experience for the visitors.

Use Content Delivery Networks

Each content delivery network (CDN) has several servers across the world and file would be stored on each of them. When a user requests for a file in the CDN, it delivers it from the nearest server which would reduce the loading time considerably.

You might have already used CDN for Bootstrap or JQuery. If your website is hosted on a server in Bangalore and when somebody from US requests for your webpages, it delivered from the server in Bangalore. If you have hosted your large files like images in a CDN, those files will be stored in CDN’s servers across the world. Now, when a user requests for these files, it delivered from the nearest servers which would substantially decrease the loading time.

Additionally, if your website users access the images from your website it may get overloaded when there is a huge traffic. CDN can solve this issue also since the files are not loaded from your server.


B. Optimize Your Code

 

Badly written codes can sometimes slow down the page loading. The code of the websites created with software like Dreamweaver would be really messy. There are standard conventions for coding to avoid slow loading.

Avoid Extra Pieces of Code

Each line of code adds to the size of the file and it would increase the loading time. Therefore, it is important to remove any extra code or blank line in the HTML, CSS or JQuery documents. Sometimes there will be simple ways to achieve the desired effect using fewer lines of code.

Latest techniques in the web development help you achieve the desired effect in a few lines of code. Earlier, it was a hell of a process layout content boxes using CSS float. Later, the advent of CSS flex-box made it possible to arrange content boxes using a few lines of code. Recently, the CSS grid layout system further reduced the length of required for structuring a page.

CSS at the Top and JS at the Bottom

Browsers won’t render the webpages until the CSS is completely loaded thinking it would have to rearrange the sections in the page based on the style.  Therefore, it is recommended to use the CSS at the top of the document and hence the page would load faster.

However, when it comes to the JavaScript, it is recommended to keep the script at the bottom because it may parse the tags before the content is loaded.

Minify Files

You can minify your HTML, CSS and JavaScript files using different tools available for free. Minifying the code would reduce the size of the documents and hence the page will be loaded faster.

You can use HTMLMinifier to minify HTML documents, CSSNano for CSS documents and UglifyJS for JavaScript. These are the tools recommended by the Google and there are many other effective alternatives to them.


C. Server Related Tips

The server hosts your website and it will provide the website whoever requests the access. When a user requests for your website and your server experience a hard time, the page loading time would increase. Therefore it is important to choose reliable hosting companies for your website.

Minimize HTTP Requests

Each HTTP requests to the server further slow down the page-speed and adversely affect the performance of the server. This would become severe if the traffic goes up suddenly because the server would need time to handle all these requests.

Use Expires Header

This is a technique to reduce the number of HTTP requests. This feature instructs the browser to cache files and documents in the webpage. This way, browsers won’t have to load those files from the server again when the user revisits the page which results in faster page speed. This feature is good for static or brand websites while using the feature without a care in a regularly updated website may lead to severe issues in the user experience.

You can set up expiry headers for all files or specific files in the web page.

The browser would save images, CSS or JavaScript files locally and the browser won’t have to re-fetch those files again in the future visits. There is an option for adding a time period for the cached resources and after the time the browser would make the HTTP request again. Care should be taken while implementing this feature because it may affect the user-experience adversely if it used improperly.

Reduce Redirects

Redirecting creates additional HTTP requests which would increase the loading time and therefore use this option when there are no other options available.

Reduce Server Response Time

The server would take a few milliseconds to respond to the request of the browser. The page loading speed will decrease as the response time increase. You can use Google’s Page Speed Tools to analyze the server respond-time.

How to Reduce Page Load Time in WordPress

Here are some additional tips for WordPress based websites since it is the most popular way people build a website. WordPress files are rich with PHP scripts. This may slow down the website because the server processes the scripts before it delivers the content to the browser.

It is not that difficult to optimize the page loading time of the WordPress websites and it can be done very easily by anyone.

Smush Image Compression and Optimization

This free plugin helps you resize, optimize and compress images in the WordPress. This plugin is also useful for stripping the metadata from the images which are good from the SEO perspective.

WP Engine

This is the best option if you are looking for how to increase page load of WordPress websites. Several experiments have proved that WP Engine is the fastest hosting service provider for WordPress based websites. They use different technologies to make web pages load faster including caching. Pricing of their service is expensive but it really worth it.

Use Caching Plugins

If you think you can’t afford WP Engine plans, caching plugins can be your next bet.  There a few good free caching plugins for WordPress websites which would reduce the loading time considerably. WP Total Cache and WP Super Cache are a few examples for this.  These plugins create static HTML version of the web pages and deliver that pages to the appropriate visitors. Once this page is saved it can be served to the visitors without processing the PHP scripts.

The HTML static version of the page is only provided to those who are not logged into the website, didn’t make any comment or didn’t view a password protected post in that website before because they don’t require dynamic results based on their activities.

Use WP HTTP Compression

This plugin compresses the pages in gzip on the back end and provides the compressed file to the browser and the browser decompresses it offline. This plugin can reduce the size of the page around 50-80%. Reducing the size of page size can considerably increase the page speed. There are many other alternative methods to compress pages using gzip. However, WP HTTP Compression is the popular option for WordPress websites and plugins.

Disable Unused Plugins

Turn off all plugins which are not used and which are not essential. They are one of the major reasons for slow loading websites. It is recommended to delete any plugins if you don’t need them.

 Choose Good Themes

While web designers strive to achieve beautiful UI for the themes, they will have to compromise the loading time most of the time. Some good looking WordPress themes take up to 10 seconds to load completely. While you choose a theme it is important to consider the loading time of the website with that theme.

These tips on how to speed up web page loading time would really help you improve the page speed and enhance the UX. Implement all these ideas on your website fast if you have already didn’t.

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