5 Things Your Website Needs for Faster Performance in 2020
Much like customers at a market, website users notice when websites are performing slowly. This results in fewer sales and visits.
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Nobody enjoys a long line at the supermarket or a long wait at the restaurant. Your visitors are the same. They do not appreciate slow performing websites. The worst part is, they express their displeasure through fewer sales and visits.
The Impact of Slow Loading Pages — In Numbers
According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, each second of delay in your website load time results in:
- 11% loss in views.
- 16% reduction in visitor satisfaction.
- 7% fewer conversions.
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The slower the performance of your website, the harder it is to entice customers and convert them. In fact, 64 percent of online shoppers will not return if they find your site’s performance too slow.
The bottom line — fast loading speed is crucial.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be a master coder to optimize your website performance. Just follow the steps below to convert more visitors into paid customers, increase brand loyalty, and achieve online success:
1 – Use Caching Plugins
Imagine many users trying to access your website. Here’s all that goes on behind the scenes.
- Their browsers will first contact your webserver to search for your site.
- Your site then contacts the host through specialized PHP code.
- The host then enters the main database, where all your site content gets stored.
- The database then takes the request, compiles it into a readable HTML page, and sends it back to your website for the user to view.
If all this sounds extremely confusing, that’s because it is. This process also takes a long time to retrieve visitor requests from the main database, thereby slowing down your website. This is where caching plugins come in handy.
These plugins impact your site loading times. They do not build a page dynamically with PHP every time users visit. Rather, they create unchanging or static HTML files and save them for future use.
This process reduces your server’s load, minimizes bandwidth usage, and above all, prevents delays in relaying information.
Moving to a caching plugin can, therefore, cut page load times by 22 to 58 percent.
2 – Choose VPS Hosting
Poor website performance can often be attributed to a cheap web host. They usually provide a shared server where your website is in the queue with countless other sites. A reliable virtual private server (VPS) hosting service is a much better alternative.
Improve the page load performance of your site with VPS hosting in the following ways:
- Prevent other sites from consuming resources, like processor and memory.
- Pick VPS hosting since it features a dedicated server instead of a shared plan.
- Execute requests faster thanks to more processing power and memory.
- Keeps resources directly on the webserver instead of having them on another server as in shared hosting.
- Improve site performance.
- Quick Hard Drive.
- Load files faster compared to standard hard drives with solid-state drives or SSDs.
Upgrade your hosting plan to bump your page performance, especially if your site is resource-intensive. Always read authentic user reviews before choosing a VPS hosting. Allow different users to browse your site simultaneously without affecting performance.
3 — Reduce HTTP Requests
Yahoo claims that 80 percent of a site’s loading time is wasted on downloading various aspects, such as scripts, stylesheets, and images. HTTP requests are made for every single element, so rendering a page takes longer if there are more on-page components.
Minimize your requests to understand the number of HTTP requests your site makes. Establish a benchmark using this knowledge.
- Go to Google Chrome and open the Developer Tools.
- Right-click the page you wish to analyze and open the ‘Inspect’ option.
- Go to ‘Network’. Expand the sidebar by dragging the left border if the ‘Network’ tab is not visible.
- View every file on the page under the ‘Name’ column. See the ‘Size’ column to know the size of each file and the time it takes to load the files in the ‘Time’ column.
- View the total requests made by your site in the bottom left corner.
Reduce the number of requests to increase your website performance. Do this by combing through your files and removing ones that are unnecessary. Combine files if required. Also, fix broken links that create additional HTTP requests and slow down your site speed.
4 — Use External Platforms to Host Your Videos
Add value to your website with videos. Landing page videos, for example, increase conversions by 86 percent. Unoptimized videos slow down your website performance.
- Never upload videos directly to your site through a WordPress editor or file transfer protocol (FTP). This hosts the video on your server and consumes tremendous space. If your website is on a shared hosting plan, adding videos like this can fill the maximum amount of space you can use.
- Do not create hurdles for the user experience like this. Avoid servers with limited bandwidth to prevent stoppages and lags throughout playback.
- Upload your videos to third-party platforms like YouTube. Allow the platform to host your video and embed the video on your site.
Conserve space on your server and improve your website performance with external platforms for video hosting.
5 — Optimize Delivery of CSS
CSS is responsible for your page’s style requirements. Your site accesses the information through:
- External files that load before the page renders.
- Inline within the HTML document itself.
When the external CSS loads in the head of your HTML, the code appears as:
Inline CSS, on the other hand, is nested in the page’s HTML.
- Avoid including CSS within the HTML code. Put all of your CSS in the external stylesheet for cleaner code. Also, reduce the size of your code and avoid more code duplications.
- Use a single external stylesheet when setting up styles. Avoid increased HTTP requests from additional stylesheets. Combine them if required.
- Copy contents of every CSS file and paste it into a single main CSS file. Update the HTML reference for the new file and remove old file references.
Reduce the number of requests from visitors’ browsers and decrease page performance time with one CSS file over multiple. Check for problems with render-blocking CSS just to be safe. Concluding Remarks
Your visitors don’t have all the time in the world. They want smooth websites that load quickly and do not consume a lot of bandwidth.
The performance of your website can improve your business’ reputation online or make you lose visitors over time. Follow the tips above to optimize the performance of your website in 2020.
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