How to make your website load faster?
Simple and effective.
To stay competitive, you need to make your website as fast as possible. The first step in the right direction is establishing the speed of your website in comparison to others. Go to Google’s webpage speed checker. We recommend that you set your goal to be in the green on the checker.
Here are some tips to increase the speed of your website:
Host Your Website Smartly
Your webpage is sitting on your web hosting services’ servers. And if their machine are inadequate, guess what will happen? Correct. Your webpage will take longer to load. So choose your web hosting service wisely. Do a background check, check comments and reviews of their existing users. Ask the host company to provide links to some of the websites they are hosting, and check their speed on Google’s speed checker. If the speed in not in the green, investigate why and proceed accordingly. Find a quality provider that has an excellent response time and sign up with them.
Have you ever noticed that a website seems to load faster when you visit it a second time? Well, your observation is correct. If you haven’t noticed already, then do this right now. Go to a new website, let’s say www.techverx.com or any of your choice. Just make sure it’s a website you’re visiting for the first time. Note the time it takes to load. And then close the website. Go back to the same website the second time. And note the time it took to load at this instance.
Did it load faster? If yes, it probably has the cache enabled. Which means that some component of that website were stored on your computer the first time it was visited. And hence the next time you visited the same website, it retrieved some components from your own computer’s memory. Which makes the loading faster. Your website visitors will experience the same if you enable caching on your website. This may only help frequent visitors and not improve the first time visit experience, but hey, it’s still something. Google recommends prompt weekly browser caching to ensure efficient loading.
Use a Quality Content Delivery Network
Now what the fish is that? A Content Delivery Network is the network of computers your web hosting company uses to store your webpage files. Usually, a hosting company will copy and store your web files at various locations to ensure safety. This also has implications on the speed. The bigger the distance between your user’s computer and the computer with your web files, the slower the load speed. Imagine if your server is in Connecticut and your clients are in China. That’s a lot of distance to cover before the website is loaded. But if we have the same content copied in a server in Pakistan (which is right next to China) that will be much faster to retrieve. Good web hosting companies have a wide Content Delivery Network that will have backups of identical web files where you need them, i.e. close to your users. Talk to your team and hosting company and insist on a smart Content Delivery Network.
Optimize your images
As you suspected, images on your webpage take more time to load than the text. However, we also know how important images are to make a website communicated better. We really can’t do without them. What we CAN do is to optimize the size of the images and use the minimal possible resolution that gives us the desired quality.
According to Freelancer.com “unedited images can be MASSIVE in size, with a single image taking more space than 10 optimized ones” – Also, a number of different compression techniques can be used to resize the images to a reduced size without compromising user experience. You may also use the next generation image formats – It’s important to convert your image into the latest generation formats recommended by Google which currently are JPEG XR, JPEG 2000 and WebP instead of the conventionally used JPEG or PNG formats.
Obviously, a great deal of your website speed depends on how well it is coded. A well coded website should give you better and faster results. According to Winning WP, “A well-coded website may already load in as little as two seconds.” Better coding will make your code lighter in size and reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred — thereby reducing the time it takes to load a page.
Render-blocking resources above the fold
Above the fold is the area of a website that you see right after it loads without having to scroll down. The terms comes from the old newspaper folding tradition, where the content above its fold was considered the most important on the front page. According to the latest insights from Google, some coding scripts can sometimes be delayed by above-the-fold fonts. Ideally, you want your content above the fold to load fastest. It’s important to structure your coding in a way that enables the web browser to load content in an organized structure, and give priority to above the fold content. Furthermore, above the fold should be interesting enough that it takes user below the fold.