15 Ways to Increase Website Speed for Better Ranking

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Ever left a site because it doesn’t load quickly enough?

You’re not the only one. Visitors to your business site do the same. Not only does speed affect user experience but it also affects Google ranking.

Getting a faster site earns you better rankings in search engine results.

Even a one-second delay on your page load time can decrease your page views by 11% and decrease your customer satisfaction by 16%. That’s a total of 7% loss in conversions, which means that it’s important to increase website speed to stay on top of your competitions.

A few extra seconds of load time can mean a huge negative impact on the way you engage with your visitors. It affects your sales and it affects your ranking in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Slow speeds can kill conversions, making it essential to increase website speed.

How Speed Optimization Influences Conversions

With the steady advancement of technology, most customers expect your websites to load fast. In fact, 47% of website visitors expect your page to load within the first 2 seconds.

Failing that, 40% of visitors say that they will abandon a website that loads within three seconds or more. What this means is that if you don’t increase website speed, you lose about half of your visitors before they see your website in its entirety.

For the people that decide to let your website load, it discourages them to return in the future. Around 79% of website visitors say that they won’t return to businesses that don’t increase website speed. They see it as a sign of poor performance, which could ruin their first impression of your business.

How to Increase Website Speed in 2018

There are a lot of factors for you to consider when it comes to the loading speed of each page on your website. There are a lot of ways for you to increase website speed and improve your customers’ overall experience.

Here are 15 tips for you to increase website speed to improve your ranking:

Minimize the HTTP Requests

Around 80% of a web page’s load time involves downloading its different elements. The more elements you add on your website, the more HTTP requests it takes for it to load to its full form. The first step to increase website speed is to figure out how many requests your website makes and use it as a basis on how to minimize it.

You can use Google Chrome’s Developer Tools to check the number of HTTP requests your website makes. A simple way to do this is to right-click the webpage you want to analyze and select “Inspect.” Click the Network tab to see the element name, size, and the time it takes for it to load.

Minify and Combine Your Files

Now that you know the number of requests your website makes, you can work on reducing the number. A good place to start is to inspect your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript Files. These files are important to your website because they help determine how it appears.

However, they can add to the number of HTTP requests your website makes whenever a visitor uses it. You can help reduce these and increase website speed by combining your files. It helps reduce the file size and the total number of files your website requests.

Use Asynchronous Loading for CSS and JavaScript Files

After minifying and combining your files, you can reduce their load times and optimize it on your pages. CSS and JavaScript have two ways of loading: synchronous and asynchronous. The former can load elements one at a time, in the order they appear on your page.

If your page loads asynchronously, some of your page elements load all at once. This can help speed up your pages because browsers load pages from top to bottom. When it encounters a CSS or JavaScript file, the page stops loading if you don’t use asynchronous loading.

Defer JavaScript Loading

What this means is that you prevent the script file from loading until the other elements finish loading. Deferring these files means that the rest of your files can load without problems and this can increase website speed. This works best if you have a WordPress website since you can use the WP Rocket Plugin to defer your JavaScript loading.

While WordPress websites need to check the box next to “Load JS Files deferred” to perform this, doing it in an HTML website needs you to place a call on an external JavaScript file before thetag.

Minimize Time to First Byte

Aside from the total time it takes your page to load, you need to look at the time it takes before it starts loading up. Time to First Byte (TTFB) is the number of time browsers wait before it gets the first byte of data from the server. Google’s recommended TTFB rate is 200ms or less.

This isn’t a front-end factor that you can focus on since it’s more of a server-side concern. The most common reasons behind slow TTFB are network issues, dynamic content creation, and traffic. Of all these problems, you can control dynamic content creation.

Reduce Server Response Time

Another factor that affects the speed of your website is the amount of time it takes for your DNS lookup to finish. When users type your website URL into their browser, the DNS server translates the URL into its corresponding IP address. The DNS lookup process helps to find your website’s IP address through a specific DNS record.

The amount of time it takes for your DNS lookup to finish depends on the speed of your DNS provider. If you want to increase website speed, you need to see if your DNS provider’s monthly rankings. It can help you determine whether or not it’s time for you to get one that can give you faster lookup speeds.

Choose the Right Hosting Options

If you’re a new website owner, one of the most common pitfalls you can experience is choosing a web host because they’re the cheapest one around. Inthe beginning, getting the cheapest host around can fit your requirements. When you start getting more people, you’ll need to upgrade to scale to their needs.

When you’re looking for hosting, you have three options:

  • Shared hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated server

The first one is the cheapest option for you. Common rates for this can start at around $5 per month. The problem with this is that you’re sharing some resources like CPU, disk space, and RAM with other websites on the same server. VPS gives you more dedication server resources but if you want to increase your website speed, you’ll need dedicated hosting.

With a dedicated server, you get more space and have total control over your hosting. You’ll need more work with configuration and technical setup as well as maintenance if you opt for this type of hosting. It’s worth the effort since your website loads faster.

Run a Compression Audit

If you have lots of pages and content, you need to compress your files to speed up load times. If you want to know how compression can help speed up your website, you can use a lot of tools to run a compression audit. Some tools tell you the uncompressed size of your page, which can serve as a basis to measure the results of your compression efforts.

Enable Compression

To increase website speed, you need to make your files smaller. Compressing your files is one of the easiest, most effective ways to reduce your site’s load times. Enabling compression is one of the most standard practices in web development.

Compression works best with CSS and HTML since both have repeated code and whitespace. Most web servers can compress files before sending them. You can do this using a third-party module or use the built-in routes.

Enabling compression through the use of Gzip can reduce your load time by about 70%.

Enable Browser Caching

Whenever visitors use your website, the standard scenario is that your website elements get stored in their hard drives in a cache or temporary storage. If they do, they can access your website much faster next time because they don’t need to send another HTTP request to the server.

Their subsequent visits to your site become faster because they don’t need to download as many components as they did when they first accessed your site.

The problem is that around 40-60% of your visitors come in with an empty cache. It’s important to make your website load fast for these first-time users. Using the cache can cut off a big chunk of loading time for returning visitors.

Reduce Image Size

Images play a huge factor in how fast your website loads. Often, these files can slow down your website because they’re big files. Removing them isn’t a good option because it makes your website unappealing to people.

If you want to see how much impact your images have on your website, run a page speed test using tools you can find online. Look at the requests by its content type. It’s most likely that images can make up over 40% of your page content.

What this means for you is that reducing image size can have a big impact on your page load time. Reducing a 22MB image down to 300KB can reduce its time to interact by 70%. That means people have less time to wait before they can interact with your website.

One good plugin to optimize images is WP Smush. You can use this tool to reduce image sizes without losing quality.

Use a CDN

You can use other server networks to reduce your website load times. When you have your website hosted on one server, each user sends a request to that server all the time. If your website traffic goes through the roof, it takes more time for each request to process.

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help stop this issue. It caches your website on a global network of servers.

Whenever people visit your website, the nearest server in their region shows it to them. This eliminates lag and latency issues for users far away from your website server.

Use External Hosting Platforms

You can use external hosting platforms for your larger files to help make your CDN strategy more effective. If you have a lot of videos, using these platforms can increase website speed. Don’t upload it directly to your site using FTPs or WordPress editors.

Videos take a lot of space, so hosting it on your own server isn’t a smart thing to do. Use third-party services like YouTube, Vimeo, and the like. Upload it to these video platforms then embed them on your website, saving you space and speeding up your website load times.

Optimize CSS Delivery

Your page’s style requirements come from CSS. Your website accesses it using two methods: In an external file or inline. The former loads before your page render while the latter is in the HTML document itself.

If you want to increase your website speed, don’t include the CSS in your HTML document. Put all of it in an external stylesheet. It helps reduce the size of your code and it makes the code cleaner and less prone to code duplicates.

Prioritize Above-the-Fold Content

You can increase website speed and performance by prioritizing elements above the fold. It’s okay even if the rest of the page takes a few seconds to load. This method is “lazy loading” and it’s great if you have a lot of content below the fold.

If you have a blog post that has 20 photos, your visitor’s browser needs to download all of it before displaying everything else. With lazy loading, you can load the content within the view first and get to the photos later. It’s a great way to reduce the load time on posts with a lot of images.

Increase Website Speed and Boost Your Ranking Today!

It’s important to get a good ranking for your website. This means people can find you easier, making it less difficult to get a loyal customer base and convert people to new customers. To achieve that, you need to boost your website speed to deliver the best customer experience.

Do you have questions? Contact us today and we can help you start out!