Quick question; “Is page speed a factor considered while ranking sites on the search engines?” If so, how do you improve your page loading speed without losing other important features on your site?
Even before diving into the tips that I have in store for you today, I would like us to familiarize ourselves with the terms surrounding a websites’ loading speed;
Page Speed – This is a measure of how fast a page takes to load its content.
As per Google’s page speed insights, page speed can be categorized into three groups.
Page Load Time – It’s the overall time a page takes to display its content fully.
FCP – First Contentful Paint.
Time To First Byte – This is the time a web browser takes to receive the very first byte of information from a web server.
DCL – DOMContentLoaded.
DNS – Domain Name System.
Now that we are done giving definitions, it’s time to talk about the more serious stuff. “The 10 Tips On How To Improve Your Page Loading Speed.”
Let us get started;
1. Enable compression
To compress files easily, enable Gzip compression.
Gzip enabling is necessary when aiming at reducing page speed, to check whether your site is Gzip enabled, Click Here.
If your site is run on WordPress, enabling Gzip can be achieved by using plugins like WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache.
As most browsers now support Gzip enabling, having your site Gzip enabled can greatly improve your page speed.
If your site is not Gzip enabled, I highly recommend that you rectify that to improve your page loading speed.
Learn more about enabling GZIP compression here.
2. Enable browser caching
This is a great way to improve your page speed for your returning visitors, it’s an easy process and provides a good user experience to your visitors.
Upon visiting a specific site (one that is cache enabled) a cache is created that contains components of that site.
On re-visiting that site, a browser loads that page fast and easily, and doesn’t have to send another HTTP request to the server.
For WordPress sites, the W3 Total Cache plugin comes in handy, just hover over to add new plugins, search, install, and activate the plugin.
Once it’s activated, go to general settings and check the enable box
By enabling browser caching, you will save your returning visitors a load of time. If you are yet to enable browser caching, I recommend you do that now.
Learn more about browser caching here.
3. Reduce image size
Large images can greatly lower your page speed, using compressed and small sized images is the way to go about improving your page loading time.
But, using compressed images doesn’t mean sacrificing their quality.
To compress an image without losing its quality use this site Tiny JPEG.
You can also use plugins to improve your page loading speed for WordPress sites. Imagify is among the plugins that seem to be working quite well.
Having your images optimized will in the end provide you with a faster page loading time.
Learn more about image optimization here.
4. Use a CDN To Improve Your Page Loading Speed
CDN is an acronym that stands for Content Delivery Network.
This is a network of servers that can work independently of your primary hosting to cache your site on a global level.
Using a CDN reduces the time a visitor takes to have your view content presented to them.
In most cases, a site runs on a single server before advancing to other techniques such as using a CDN.
Before using a CDN, each request is sent to that single server. When website traffic increases, the time taken to execute a single request also increases.
With an increase in page loading time comes a decrease in page speed.
Using a CDN also reduces the distance a request takes to travel by ensuring there are servers close to your site visitors.
By having servers close by, loading time reduces which in turn increases the page speed.
If you want to reduce the loading time by providing you content on closer servers to your visitors, I highly recommend that you start using a content distribution network.
Learn more about content distribution/delivery network here.
5. Optimize CSS delivery
CSS holds information about your pages’ style.
This information can either be inline where it is incorporated in the HTML document or can be external, meaning its loaded first before your page renders, and it is usually loaded in the head of your HTML document.
Having your CSS in an external style sheet will; reduces the size of your code, portray clean code, and also reduces code duplication.
But, having additional stylesheets will increase the number of HTTP requests.
Its, therefore, recommended that you only have or use one external style sheet.
In cases of multiple CSS, combine them where possible, this is because a page loading time increases with an increase in the number of CSS.
Learn more about optimizing CSS delivery here.
6. Implement Lazy loading
This is another great and easy way to reduce your page loading time.
For WordPress sites, plugins like WP Rocket, Lazy Load, BJ Lazy Load, and Phastphress come in handy.
Lazy loading works by prioritizing what loads first on a page.
For example: if a page has multiple file types like images, and videos, prioritizing what loads first is essential in reducing the Time To First Byte.
By doing so, a site visitor does not have to wait too long for everything to load, instead, content is prioritized in terms of what shows up first. Putting these into action can be used to improve your page loading speed.
Therefore, you can customize what loads first, and how it loads. For images, you can utilize the fade-in effect to ensure your images show up smoothly.
Learn more about Lazy Loading here.
7. Reduce the number of plugins you use on your site
Plugins are both good and bad when it comes to the overall health of a site.
Too many plugins however can slow down your sites’ loading speed, which is bad for SEO.
To improve your page loading speed, reducing the number of overlapping, unnecessary and outdated plugins can result in a boost in terms of reducing the page loading time.
You can go over your plugins one by one, disabling them, and running a speed score, noting that down to understand how each plugin affects your page speed, or you can use another plugin to do the work for you.
A plugin like P3 Profiler helps you better understand how each plugin affects your overall site performance.
You can then use the information gathered to decide on what plugins to keep and which to deactivate and delete.
Plugins are very easy to install and activate, they also make it easy to customize different features on a page without necessarily typing a line of code.
Therefore, with time, it can become tempting to keep on installing different types of plugins for different uses.
But, limiting your plugin installation frequency and deleting the unnecessary ones will prove among the great ways to improve your page loading speed.
8. Reduce server response time
The time taken for a DNS to perform a look-up, that is; convert a URL request into an Ip address is also a page speed score influencing factor.
Depending on how fast and slow these processes take, a page speed score can either be affected negatively or positively.
Therefore, depending on your DNS provider, a site can either be slow or fast.
To reduce your server response time, check your current server loading speed, and if the time taken is too long, switch to a faster DNS.
Learn more about how to reduce server response time here.
If your site isn’t using this feature, you will get a recommendation to correct this after running a page speed test on google page speed insights.
If you need a faster site and keep getting such a recommendation, putting it into action will be another great way to improve your page loading speed.
10. Reduce redirects
Ideally, redirects are important for deleted or moved pages.
But, it’s good to keep redirects to a minimum or zero if possible.
With each additional redirect, comes an added time to your page loading time by adding more HTTP requests.
By reducing the number of redirects there are, you will be reducing the time it takes to FCP which improves your page speed score.
Among all, this is the easiest tip you can implement to improve your page loading speed.
One very important aspect of redirection is to avoid redirecting requests to already redirected pages, by doing so, you will save so much loading time by avoiding unnecessary extra HTTP requests.
Learn more about reducing redirects here.
Page speed is an important factor in SEO.
Ensuring that your page speed score is at its best is a daily task for any aspiring webmaster.
But, every site is created differently.
To improve your page loading speed, use different tactics, and monitor how each affects your page speed score.
Therefore, it’s upon you as the webmaster to figure out what best suits you. By doing that, you will have taken a huge step closer to a faster page loading time.
All the best providing a super-fast page loading speed to your page visitors.
Copyright: Johnny @ nomadicsense
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