Websites are crucial for your business because they make either a positive or negative impression about your products, services, and the image of your brand.
Therefore, your site should be intuitive, user-friendly, and easy enough to navigate. It should also need to be optimized for different kinds of mobile devices.
But, sometimes, in the process of building a website, you tend to focus on the big picture such as the content, design, and marketing aspects that you tend to disregard the stuff that keeps everything operational and fast ‒ web performance optimization.
Speed is a crucial element when running a site, and should always be on top of your list. Faster loading sites have higher conversion rates, better SEO ranking, and user engagement.
However, there is a lot of work to achieve this. That’s why, in this post, we are going to talk about the eight website performance techniques that you should try:
Optimize images on your website
Do you know that 61 percent of a website’s page weight (on a desktop) are images? So, you have to make sure that the images you put on your site are appropriately sized.
You can also try new image formats like JPeg XR, and WebP to help reduce the image weight by approximately 20 to 50 percent without having to sacrifice the quality.
So do not upload original photos on your site, because chances are they are too heavy. Instead, you can use tools like Kraken.io, TinyPNG, and JPEGmini, which significantly decreases the size of the image without compromising the quality.
Reduce HTTP requests
What exactly is an HTTP request? It is a response or request protocol that is utilized by the web browser to take the files from the web server. The more HTTP request your web page will have, the slower it will take to load.
There are several ways to reduce the number of requests:
- Utilize CSS Sprites
- Minimize assets like third-party plugins to make a bigger number of external requests
- Minimize third-party framework unless needed
- Use less code
- Combine your JS and CSS files
The total number of requests a website must make differs from site to site. Running a site speed test lets you know how many requests are required to create a specific page.
Review your hosting service plan
There are three types of hosting:
- Virtual Private Servers (VPS) hosting
- Shared hosting
- Dedicated server
The cheapest way to get your site out there for a minimum amount of time is through Shared hosting. Through shared hosting, you are sharing a disc space, CPU, and RAM with other sites that use the same server. That is the main reason your website is not as fast as a VPS hosting or a dedicated server.
On the other hand, both dedicated servers and Virtual Private Servers (VPS) hosting loads a lot faster.
VPS uses several servers for content distribution. Let’s say you have an e-commerce site that is generating a couple of traffic spikes during certain periods. This hosting service option is perfect for you.
The most costly hosting option is a dedicated server, which acts as your physical server. You are usually paying for the server rent, and hiring an admin to maintain it properly.
Fix 404 errors
A 404 error essentially means that the page that the user is viewing is “cannot be found.” This message is usually given by the hosting to search engines and browsers if the page no longer exists.
To be able to correct it, you need to use error detection plug-ins and tools. But having additional plug-ins can also negatively impact your site speed. So, for error detection, it is recommended to run the resource through external tools.
After detecting these 404 errors, the next step is to assess the type of traffic that they generate. If it just consumes your server resource, and it does not bring any visits to your site, then just leave them as they are.
However, if there is still traffic coming from these pages, then you need to fix the link addresses for external ones, then set redirects.
Remove unnecessary plugins
Plugins add functionality for a website. However, the more plug-ins you install, the greater the resources you will need to run them. This results in greater security risks, and your site may load slower than usual.
Also, there are cases wherein some plugins are forgotten and ignored the more you install some of it. So, regularly check the plugins that you use and consider deleting the old ones.
It also helps that you run performance tests to find out which plugins are slowing down your site down. It is best to avoid plugins that have a lot of scripts and create several database queries.
The best solution is to regularly keep your plugins up to date, and get rid of the unnecessary ones.
Use website caching
Web caching optimization decreases bandwidth usage, server load, and latency. CDNs are using web caching software input copies of data that passes through their system.
Leveraging your browsing cache is essential. Usually, it is ideal to have at least a max-age of 7 days. That will make things a lot faster, and helping you save server time as well.
It also depends on the platform your website is developed on. You can use the plug-ins like W3 Total Cache and W3 Super Cache if you are on WordPress.
If you are using a dedicated server or VPS, it is possible to set up the caching under general settings.
Reduce website redirects
According to Sytian Productions, web developer Philippines, “Redirects will kill your website’s performance. That’s why it is crucial that you avoid them, as much as you can. A redirect usually creates added round trip times. As a result, it doubles the time needed to load an HTML document, before your browser even loads your other assets.”
Run a site scan to identify all the redirects on your website. Then, see if they serve their purpose by leaving only the vital ones.
Over to You
At the end of the day, your website’s primary goal is to generate traffic and help you make money.
While those trendy styles and high-quality images are great, they can be detrimental to your site’s performance, especially if visitors have to wait approximately 10 seconds for it to load fully.
So, it is essential that you go through with these eight tips we have discussed above. Then, make sure that your site is optimized, and everything’s running as efficiently as possible. Not only web users will thank you for it, but you will be happy with the returns as well!