Is your website loading slowly? Then it surely is a great loss for the business owners, why? Coz 47% of customers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less, according to skilled.co. The only result you end up with is a drastic increase in the Bounce rate of the website. Up to 79% of customers who are dissatisfied with a website's performance say they're less likely to buy from the same site again.
From the data,
Pages that loaded in 2.4 seconds had a 1.9% conversion rate
At 3.3 seconds, the conversion rate was 1.5%
At 4.2 seconds, the conversion rate <1%
At 5.7+ seconds,the conversion is <0.6%
And the number keeps on decreasing. Let’s assume, 1000 visitors came to your website but your page speed is greater than 5.7 seconds (Page speed >5.7 seconds). Then, you could only retain 6 visitors but if the same page has a page speed of 2.4seconds, the visitor retained would have been 19. The loading time difference doesn’t seem too much, but here you are already losing more than half of your traffic. So Page Speed is crucial for business, most importantly for ecommerce Sites.
So if you run an e-commerce website then, it’s time to overlook this page speed insight.
Besides an Increase in Sales, Page Speed also helps to better website ranking i.e. SEO. Google has given priority to Mobile Speed over Desktop Speed. The number of Mobile Users is increasing at a rapid rate. The global mobile devices reached astonishingly more than 5.1 billion users by January 2019 (Fareportal).
Test Your Website Page Speed?
There are many websites online that test your website page speed. Many people have different preferences but you could use one of the mentioned below for the best results.
- Google Page Speed Insights
- Pingdom Tools
- web page test
Speed Optimization Techniques
Many people may use different approaches, but all the techniques eventually play a significant role to leverage the page speed. As per emarketer.com, US marketers has taken, image, video files, or other media files optimization as a top priority. Next, backend fixes like improved caching and hosting solutions. Other includes, Minification of CSS, JS, and CDN.
So you can follow these steps instead. We are using Google Page Speed Insights here. The Google Page Speed insights rank the page speed for both Mobile and Desktop on a scale between 0-100 where 0 being the worst and over 90 being the best.
-Serve images in next-gen formats
Many websites consist of media files like images, videos, etc. We often use JPG, PNG images as default but there are many other image formats like JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and Webp that often provide better compression than PNG or JPEG, which means faster, downloads and less data consumption.
Do you know?
WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. But Webp image isn’t supported by Safari, old version Microsoft Edge. However, Chrome and Firefox do support this file format.
How to implement this technique?
You can use an online converter to convert JPG or PNG images to Webp or JPEF 2000. It is feasible for websites with a limited number of image files. But what if your website has hundreds or thousands of images, then you can use plug-in or software.
-Leverage Caching Policy
Caching is the process of storing temporary files in a cache. Caching helps to reduce the time to fetch the data from the server each time when a client sends requests. The cache is temporary storage that may reside in a browser or in a hard disk. A long cache lifetime can speed up repeat visits to your page. A long cache lifetime can speed up repeat visits to your page.
How to implement the Caching Policy on the Website?
Note: Not all JS would have the expiry date of 1 year. Some JS like Google Webmaster Tools verification code on the website has an expiry time of 2-3 hr.
-Enable Gzip Compression
Gzip Compression is a method of compressing the website files for faster network transfers. Usually, you don’t get more than 95% of compression. The maximum compression ratio of the deflate format is 1032:1. Overall it reduces the size of files sent from your server to increase the speed.
How to Implement Gzip Compression?
First of all, check if Gzip compression is enabled in the browser. You can use an online website. Check one of the websites that have implemented Gzip Compression.
How to Implement JS and CSS Minification?
You can simply take your CSS file and JS file and Minify using an online Website. It’s quite easy. Once minified CSS or JS code, replace the CSS or JS code with your CSS and JS files.
- Avoid Using Too Many Plugins: Plugins have made a lot of tasks easier and faster especially on WordPress Websites. Though Plugin can be useful a lot of time the excess use of plugin may ruin your website page speed. The more plugin you use, the heavier the site becomes and the higher the response time. So choose wisely which plugin to choose and don’t download unnecessary plugin each time. Too many plugins can lead to security breaches on your site, site crashes, bad performance, slow loading speeds, and more. A good rule of thumb is to never exceed 20 plugins.
- Use CDN(Content Delivery Network): As per Wikipedia, A content delivery network or content distribution network is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to provide high availability and high performance by distributing the service spatially relative to end-users. Using CDN, we can load the file externally without having to implement the code on the website. CDN can be useful for CSS, JS, or other media files. A CDN takes a majority of your static and dynamic content and serves it from across the globe, decreasing download times. These are the best practices that you could use to increase your page speed. Besides this, there is another list that you could use to further increase your page speed.
- Combine images using CSS sprites: An image sprite is a collection of images put into a single image. A web page with many images can take a long time to load and generates multiple server requests. Using image sprites will reduce the number of server requests and save bandwidth
- Serve scaled images: Resize or scale the image in Photoshop to use the exact size needed. Don’t scale using Html height and width elements.
- Avoid bad HTTP requests: Remove the broken links that return 404 pages or other errors other than HTTP 200.
- Avoid Landing Page Redirects: Avoid Landing page redirects so as to increase the page response time. Use HTTP 301 or HTTP 302 redirect to redirects. You can redirect by using code in the .htaccess file.
If you go through them properly, then it is surely going to increase the page speed. Page Speed can’t be neglected and has always been a ranking factor in Google Algorithm. Here's an example of a website design company from Nepal that I helped to leverage the page speed score from below 30 to 93 by simply using the above techniques.