Imagine one day you decided to research for airfare prices for a trip.
You go to Google, enter the keyword “cheap airfares,” and an ad grabs your attention.
When accessed via mobile device, 5 seconds passed, and nothing on the page opens.
What would you do?
You will be so frustrated and will go back to search results again.
It is frustrating to see a website load very slow.
Knowing this, Google has been evaluating pages loading speed for many years as a ranking factor in search results.
On January 17, Google officially announced that the Page load speed would be classification criteria from July 2018 to rank a website on Google.
Google wants to prioritise the user experience and give best results for the users.
So the usual question is
How to speed up your website in 2018
Improving the load speed of your website or blog is a fundamental task for good user experience.
Load speed also affects the organic rankings and even conversion rates.
After all, we want more conversions and have to make more money.
Then it is time to optimise your website for speed.
Let’s get started with few tips.
Monitor Google Page Speed Insights
Do you know that Google provides a useful tool to diagnose problems with your pages?
Google provides a tool called Google Page Speed Insights to test your site for free.
Testing your website with this tool is very simple.
Enter the page you want to see insights for and wait for results.
Once the tools complete the test, it will give you various information about the optimise your page.
Many think that the rating for the homepage is worth for the whole site.
NO, it is not.
Remember Google Page Speed Insights evaluates per page, not per domain.
As an example, let’s look at the information regarding an example website.
There are different factors which impact these metrics.
This tools also gives you suggestions on where to improve.
Based on the browsing history of the Chrome browser, Google evaluates two categories of load speed optimisation focused on user experience, FCP, and DCL.
Let’s dig deep into them.
The First Content Display (FCP) metric measures when a user sees a visual response from the page.
With faster responses, there are more chances of keeping users involved.
The DOM Content Loading (DCL) metric measures when the HTML document was loaded and parsed.
The faster the website, the lesser will be the bounce rate.
Not all sites are graded; they need to have enough traffic and data from the Chrome user experience report to be graded.
For example, my Website has no data for page speed:
You can also see the list of optimisations to improve speed.
Now let us go in deep with the optimisation techniques.
Images are primarily responsible for the slow loading of the website.
The size of the images does matter.
The larger the image, the longer it will take for the image to download it on the size, thus the higher load time.
My recommendation is to have an image size less than 100Kb, but it is not always possible.
For example, banner images that have larger dimensions use more pixels.
But there is an effective way to reduce the size of images without losing quality.
Tools like compressor.io can help you reduce the image size without losing quality.
Access the tool, upload the images to be optimised.
You can then download the compressed images for use or replacement on your site.
You can see how much the above image is reduced and you can check the quality.
Read More: Video Marketing Tips for 2018
Leveraging Browser Cache
Leveraging browser cache is bit hard task over the years.
But not now, with some excellent plugins.
Cache stores data for future requests to serve the data faster.
The search for page resources on the network is slow.
Every time you visit a website, all the resources will be downloaded to your browser.
The download may require multiple round-trip journeys between the browser and the server, which slows down processing and can block rendering of page content, as well as causing data costs for the visitor.
All server responses need to specify a cache policy to help the browser determine in which situations it is possible to reuse a previously searched response.
On Apache servers, it is possible to determine cache validators via .htaccess of each site file type.
Before using these plugins, please take a backup of your site.
Reduce HTTP Requests
These are the requests which are sent to the browser to download your website files when a visitor visits your website.
When a webpage loads in the browser it downloads flies like images, stylesheets and scripts.
These files make a request whenever a page is loaded.
High the on-page components, higher will be the load time.
The best way to reduce the HTTP requests is to reduce the number of on-page elements.
You can use Developers tools from Google Chrome to find the requests made.
Try optimising and removing unwanted images, files and scripts.
This could help to boost the page.
Read More: Seo Checklist
Another factor which impacts the speed of your website.
You need to understand how browsers behave.
Before rendering a page, the browser needs to fetch all parts of layout rendering, styles, and effects by analysing HTML markup.
During this process, whenever the parser encounters a script or CSS, it has to stop and run it before continuing to parse the HTML.
The scripts required to render page content can be inserted inline to avoid extra network requests.
However, the content you enter needs to be small.
In case of CSS, it is more or less the same principle.
Developers have the custom of creating several external CSS files, and some of them are small.
External CSS files increase the demand for searching the files on the network, which causes latency.
It is necessary that small external CSS files are inserted inline in HTML.
For large files, you need to insert inline the part responsible for rendering the content above the page fold.
My site can serve as an example of CSS optimisation.
It is essential to compress, or rather to eliminate, unnecessary content in such files.
Depending on the quantity and size of files, it makes a huge difference in loading speed.
Try compressing all these files to improve the load times.
Reduce server response time
The biggest factor to load a website is it DNS.
Website speed depends on how long it will take for the DNS lookup to execute.
A Domain Name System is a server with a database of IP addresses and their hostnames.
How DNS works?
When you type a URL into your browser, the DNS server translates that URL into the IP address online.
DNS lookup starts the process of finding the DNS record associated.
Your Internet Service providers will perform a DNS lookup to find the IP address related to that URL.
The time taken by these steps to complete the process determines how fast your DNS provider is.
If not, it may be time to change to a faster DNS provider.
Choose the Right Hosting
Choosing the right hosting provider can help you increase the load speed of your website.
There are different types of Hosting Providers:
Shared Hosting Providers
Dedicated Hosting Providers
Shared hosting uses tens or thousands of websites on the same server.
This reduces costs, which are distributed among customers who share the same server, but in many cases they limit RAM.
The response time for file transfer of the site is compromised, and your site may only use part of the resources the server.
In shared everything all resources are limited, and you will have more server response time.
Always opt for dedicated hosting, because in this case, the server will be only for your site and the performance is better than shared hosting.
Response time can also be reduced in Dedicated hosting
On the other hand, the cost is much higher for a dedicated server, but it will pay off.
Read More: How Website Hosting Affects SEO
Use a Content Delivery Network.
If your site is getting a decent amount of traffic, you need to use CDN to reduce server requests.
When your website was hosted on one server, every user who visits your site sends a request to the same server.
This increases in the time to process each request, slowing down the load times for all users.
For the users who are away from your server, the load time will be higher.
A Content Delivery Network can help you eliminate these issues.
With CDN, the file requests from the user’s browser are routed to the closest server, caching your site on global server network.
For example, your site is in India and a person visits from the USA, while you are using CDN, the routing looks like this.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, a project that involves Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.
The goal is to create a default HTML page so that it loads faster on mobile devices.
AMP is a set of HTML settings that optimise page loading time on mobile devices.
Thinking of implementing AMP to your sites?
Read More: SEO Tactics to Avoid 2018
Improving on page speeds is tough nowadays. But it not impossible.
The above tips can make a significant impact on page speed if you do it right.
This could also improve your SEO rankings.
Even though few things are complicated, if you start working on today, you can slowly build tasks and reach your goals.
With our Dsquad Website, we achieved 0.9 seconds, and we can help you get the same.