Do you know page loading speed is a vital ranking factor? In early 2014, Google announced site speed as a ranking factor, and later in 2018, mobile page loading speed also joined the ranking factors list.
So, yes! Your website needs to load faster on desktops as well as on mobile devices to offer a great user experience on your site.
This is a digital era, and users have a plethora of options out there on the internet. No user waits for a website to load if it’s taking a few more seconds. They readily bounce back and look for a fast-loading website. Google being the most popular search platform, always wants to improve itself to offer users valuable search results and a great user experience. Hence, ranks the site that loads lightning fast.
So, what actually page loading speed is?
A page’s loading speed is the average time it takes to load and show up on a screen.
Now, let’s dive deeper and understand the importance of page loading speed and various ways with which you can improve your site speed.
Why does page loading speed matters?
Page loading speed really matters a lot. Search engines rank the faster loading pages in search results as compared to the slow loads. Although a site’s ranking is determined by various ranking factors, still page loading speed is an important factor among them.
A study revealed that improving page speed by 0.1 seconds could increase the conversion rate up to 8 %, and another study discloses that a delay of 3 seconds on mobile devices increases bounce rate, and around 53% of users left sites immediately.
There are various benefits of faster loading web pages, such as it improves your site’s performance, page views, organic ranking, site engagement, lowers bounce rate, and boosts conversion and revenue generation.
Thus, page speed matters and a slow-loading page can hurt a website badly. It impacts the user experience and site’s performance, increases the bounce rate, and you may even lose your loyal customers. Unsatisfied users might never return back would never recommend you to their family or friend, which may affect your web traffic.
Effective ways to improve your page loading speed.
Now, after getting an overview of page loading speed and its importance, let us explain 14 effective ways you can use to improve your page loading speed, enhance your website performance, and give a boost to the user experience and SEO rankings.
Let’s discover them one by one.
1. Choose a blazing fast host
Your website’s speed is majorly dependent on the web hosting you choose. Thus, the first and foremost thing to improve your page loading speed is to place your website on blazing fast servers.
Slow and shared servers can slow down your website. If your website is well established and enjoys huge traffic, you must opt for dedicated hosting. This will help you relish the uninterrupted speedy servers and premium services that can surely give a boost to your website.
2. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Using “Content Delivery Network” is a proficient way to speed up your page loading speed. A CDN is a global network of geographically distributed servers which are also referred to as POPs’ “Points of Presence.” They are widely used to move your site’s content to the nearest servers. This reduces the latency, delivers content to your users more quickly and efficiently by using the nearest servers based on their location, and improves user experience.
3. Optimize your images to boost page loading speed.
Images are the major cause of the slow loading of web pages. Many sites upload larger images that slow down the page loading speed, impacts user experience, and end up hurting their website performance. This is why you must optimize your images before uploading them to your website. There are various ways to optimize and compress images, and one of them is using plugins. There are plenty of plugin choices in the market that can help you compress your image size without hurting its quality. Thus, image optimization can help you speed up the page loading speed and boost your website performance.
4. Use other video platforms to upload your videos.
If you practice adding videos to your website, this might be the major cause of your slow-loading web pages. Videos are larger multimedia and take up much space and much time to load properly. Do not upload them directly on WordPress. Practice uploading your videos to any video platform, such as YouTube, and embed its link on your website. This will speed up your page loading speed and enhance your site’s user experience.
5. Manage your media library and remove unnecessary images
Over time, your site might have gathered vast media that might include duplicate, unnecessary or unused images. This can use a lot of space and might hurt your website speed. In order to speed up your website, remove unnecessary images and clean up your media library.
6. Compress files with Gzip
Keep in mind that most CDNs enable GZip compression by default, so if your website is using a CDN, it’s good to go.
8. Reduce your page’s HTTP requests
The more files a page contains, the more HTTP requests it needs to make, and the more time it will take to load properly.
This is why reducing the page’s HTTP requests is another effective method to reduce the page load time and speed up loading.
When a visitor searches for a query, the web browser sends the HTTP request to the server, and in return, the server responds to it. The browser renders the responded content and makes it visible on the searcher’s screen. However, if the page comprises multiple files, the browser needs to send multiple HTTP requests. Sending multiple requests takes up time and affects the page’s speed. Thus, in order to speed up your page loading time, you need to reduce the number of HTTP requests.
9. Reduce HTML Bloating
HTML bloating is when a site contains code that is unnecessarily long. This slows down your website speed and wastes resources as well. If you witness your HTML pages containing a vast HTML code before any content that’s HTML bloating. It’s necessary to reduce and streamline your bloated HTML code to speed up your website.
10. Remove unnecessary Plugins
Plugins are very important to maintaining a website and adding additional functionalities to it. However, too many plugins on your site can slow down your website and hamper your site’s performance. Keep the plugins that are in use and remove unnecessary plugins. You can also check for the plugin that is hampering your page loading speed and find its best alternative. This will help you speed up your website and enhance your site’s performance.
11. Organize and Clean up your database
Over time, your database might accumulate unnecessary and unused data like files, images, and more, just like your media library, which can hamper your site’s loading speed. Thus, you can organize and clean up your database through data optimization. This process helps you identify and eliminate unused and unnecessary data from your database. This will speed up your website and improve its performance and user experience.
12. Cache your web pages
Caching is another effective way to give a boost to your websites. It stores the copy of your site’s files and minimizes the work of the servers that are needed by it to process and serve it to the searchers. Basically, it minimizes the processing time, which enables it to serve the content more quickly and efficiently to users.
In server-based caching, a web proxy is utilized to retain the responses, which effectively reduces the load on servers and latency. On the contrary, there are various plugins such as W3 Total Cache that lets you cache your web pages easily and boost page loading speed efficiently.
13. Enable browser caching
There are various plugins for this, and WP Rocket is one of them. It’s a potent caching plugin that helps you optimize the speed of your pages and boost the page loading time.
14. Avoid URL redirects whenever possible.
URL redirecting is a process that redirects the users from the old URL to a new URL when the old one is removed temporarily or permanently. This is done to forward the SEO value of the original page. However, redirecting slows down your page’s loading speed. This is because redirecting a web page to another takes time and thus slows down the loading speed. Therefore, it’s always best to avoid redirects and, if necessary, try to use minimum redirects.
Page loading speed test tools
Here’s a list of a few testing tools that can help you test your page loading speed and your website’s performance. As you’ve understood how you can boost your page loading performance, it’s best to test web pages before and after you make the changes. This will help you determine how the changes are effective in speeding up your website.
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Pingdom Website Speed Test
- BrowserStack SpeedLab
- Dotcom-Monitor Website Speed Test
- Uptrends Free Website Speed Test
Since page loading speed is an essential ranking factor, you must optimize your pages to boost their loading speed and enhance your website performance. This is crucial because your visitors will bounce back readily if your page takes much time to load, even an extra millisecond. This way, you can lose your traffic and hence the revenue.
Fixing up your page loading time might seem a daunting task, but this will reward you with better results. Here, we have discussed around 14 effective tips that can help you enhance your site’s performance and user experience. However, you are not required to implement them all at once. Perform a speed test using any of the above-suggested tools and analyze the cause that is greatly impacting your page loading time. Take the appropriate steps by determining the problem and fixing it using one of the methods described above.
Repeat this process and figure out the best way from the list that can give you a boost.
Even a small change can help you enhance your site’s performance and hence your ranking on SERPs.
We hope that this written piece has given you a better understanding of page loading speed and the various methods you may increase it. Perform a frequent speed test on your website to make sure that everything is in working order.