The speed of your website makes the first and most important impression of your business. You don’t get a second chance when it comes to user experience. Long load times can prevent potential customers from accessing your resources.
A well-performing website results in higher search engine rankings, high return visits, increased engagement, higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates, and an improved user experience.
Conversely, a poorly performing website can damage your reputation and bottom line. You can positively impact sales and marketing by reducing page load times. You’ll attract more qualified leads and get higher traffic.
Now, here are nine steps to improve performance.
There are three possible hosting types for your website: dedicated, VPS and shared hosting. The last one is the most commonly used in the world. It’s a cheap and fast way to get your website online, but it can fall short in terms of quality.
With this type of hosting, you can share RAM, disk space, and CPU with other users on the server. The result is even worse performance.
Dedicated and virtual private servers are much faster. VPS uses multiple servers to distribute content. Your site doesn’t affect other users, although you still share the server because everyone has their own separate section. If you experience traffic spikes, a VPS is the best solution. For example, if you have an e-commerce business, you would do it during the holidays.
Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option but guarantees the best performance. You pay rent for the server and have it maintained by professionals.
There’s also cloud hosting, where you can rent resources from Google, Microsoft Azure, or other public providers. The solution can include on-demand and unlimited expansion.
Finally, you can opt for a serverless architecture, which completely removes the server setup process and maintenance.
A content delivery network is a set of web servers spanning different locations. If your site is hosted on a single server, the same hardware receives all user requests. Therefore, it takes longer to process each one. Loading times increase when the user is far from the server.
When you set up a CDN, user requests are redirected to the geographically closest server. The speed of the website will increase as a result. While this will cost you some money, it’s a very effective way to optimize performance.
Visual appeal is an important part of a website’s success. Attractive images are essential for businesses in industries such as e-commerce. Your engagement increases when you have lots of product images, photos, and graphics.
On the downside, images can be large and slow down your website. You can use tools like Kraken, JPEGmini or ImageOptim to compress images without compromising their quality.
Alternatively, you can use the “size” and “secret” properties of the HTML responsive image to resize.
While you can’t live without plugins, you should try to use them sparingly. The more you have, the more resources you need to run them. Website performance is affected and you may experience security issues.
Over time, the number of plugins will increase. Check your website for plugins you are not using. Remove those and perform a performance test to check which slows things down. Speed is also affected by plugin quality. Avoid content that triggers too many database queries or loads a lot of styles and scripts.
When many users try to access a page at the same time, the server needs more time to deliver the content. The website cache is where you store the current version of your website and display it before updating it. A cached page doesn’t make a database request every time someone tries to view it.
If your website is built on WordPress, you can use the plugins W3 Super Cache or W3 Total Cache. Sites on dedicated or VPS servers have caching under normal settings. If you use shared hosting, website caching is nearly impossible.
Too many web fonts can adversely affect load times because each font adds an HTTP request to your resource. To reduce traffic size, you can do the following:
· use only those character sets on the website;
· Use the WOFF2 format for modern browsers;
· Select only the desired styles.
Finally, run a site scan to identify redirects and leave only the critical ones.