Website speed is a critical element for your website’s success. A fast website generates more money, reduces bounce rate, generates more clicks, ensures better ranking in organic search, increases conversions.
One of the major Google ranking factors is page load speed. Over the last few years, with devices becoming faster, Page load time has become very critical to the success of a website.
To save you some time to find and fix the issues we put together a post for the factors that affect your website speed.
Top 9 Factors that Affect Your Website Speed
Too Many Plugins
An effective way to maintain a fast website is by using as few plugins as possible if you are using WordPress or another CMS. Plugins are made of PHP code and add functionality and database queries. The speed of your website goes down if the number of plugin increases. More plugins also mean more bugs and potentially more security holes. Even if you don’t actively use a plugin, the plugin code/CSS is still loaded and this affects your website speed.
Not Caching Your Site
Caching your site helps improve page load times significantly for returning visitors. When you have caching enabled, your web page will save its static files, like images and HTML documents, in temporary files on the visitor’s computer.
Popular content management systems like WordPress and Drupal will have static caching features that convert dynamically generated pages to static HTML files and help improve the Website speed.
A simple method for compressing your website’s files is gzip and it helps save bandwidth and speed up page load times. The way Gzip works by compressing the files into a zip file, makes it easier and faster for the user’s browser to load. The user’s browser then unzips the file and shows the content. The transmitting content from the server to the browser’s method saves a lot of time and it is way more efficient.
You can enable Gzip by simply adding the following code into your .htaccess file:
Content Delivery Network
CDNs are data centers spread across the globe, where you can store cached copies of your website. When someone tries to access it, they’ll get sent to the nearest data center, which in turn means less strain on your servers and better overall loading times for your visitors.
The load on any single server is reduced because the bandwidth is spread across many different servers.
Optimize your images
SEO and usability rely on good quality images and visual elements. Image optimization is the act of decreasing file size without losing quality. You can optimize your images in Photoshop or directly on your website.
Multiple HTTP Requests
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), is the method to which browsers and servers communicate with each other over the Internet.
When a web page loads, it makes many HTTP Requests, which will usually consist of: images, stylesheets (CSS), scripts, videos, etc. Each image, stylesheet and script file will make a separate request to a server for the information.
Your website is using a lot of files where the majority of them are HTML, CSS, and JS. These files contain tons of codes that are auto-generated or written by a developer. Minification is a process of removing redundant or unnecessary data without affecting how the resource is processed by the browser.
It’s considered as one of the top methods used to reduce bandwidth usage on websites and load times.
Too Many Redirects
Each time a page redirects to another one, a user has to wait for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete. This could lead to increasing the time a website takes to load. Every redirect adds an extra network roundtrip for the visitor.
Time spent on redirect is most noticeable on mobile devices, especially since they tend to use slower networks.
Server response time
The Time to First Byte is how long time it takes after the client sends an HTTP GET request to receive the first byte of the requested resource from the server. According to WebPageTest.org, Time to First Byte is the time it takes for the browser to wait for the first byte of a requested resource to be received after the DNS lookup and connection time. In other words, TTFB is the amount of time it takes for the server to respond and build the web page.
A website with a higher TTFB can frustrate its visitors. According to Google, your website’s TTFB should be 200 milliseconds or less.
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