How many times have you been surfing the Internet only to run across a page that loads like its from the 90s? Let's face it, we are all impatient web surfers and with broadband speeds get faster each day it makes site load time more important than ever. Speedier web pages result in more time spent on the site, higher conversion rates, better search engine rankings and less bounces. Visitors tend to place more trust in sites that load faster as well. If you want the best load times with the most possibility for success you should read on and consider implementing some of these tips.
Choose a Good Host
A website is only as fast as the server it is hosted on. Choosing a reliable web host that features advanced, uncrowded servers is the foundation for speedy pages. If you are a large company going with a dedicated hosting service is extremely flexible because your IT department can choose their own operating system or hardware like a rackmount chassis to store your server. A smaller company that may not have the resource to have their own server can go with shared hosting or even cloud servers. Webmasters should research different hosting services and read reviews to find the right fit as there are many options to go with all with varying degrees of quality.
Use a Content Delivery Network
An easy way to speed up a site is by using a content delivery network, or CDN. A CDN works by offloading objects such as scripts, videos and images onto other servers in different global locations. This allows for the fastest delivery of these objects by utilizing a server closest to the visitor. The CloudFlare CDN is offered free by many web hosts.
Once a CDN is in place, the webmaster can reduce the overall number of objects loading on each page. Every call to a CSS file, script or advertisement can slow down loading time. The optimal number of objects on any page should be less than 20. Reducing image file sizes or converting them to a different type can be another great way to eliminate load time. Managing these data stream can go a long way to reducing your website's loading time.
An easy strategy to give the appearance of fast loading is placing the images, text and style code at the beginning of the page. Those elements will load first, while more complex objects load in the background. This approach works well when used with the steps already covered. Best practice is to keep the code as simple and clean as possible.
Compress with GZIP
Advanced webmasters can compress JSON, HTML and XML file requests on each page by using GZIP compression. This method is compatible with all modern browsers and will reduce unnecessary space for faster loading times for most pages. GZIP also offers the benefit of lower bandwidth usage for the entire site and server.
If you want to go fast then using the suggestions above will be sure to increase the speed of nearly any website, regardless of size. After you've implemented these things you should be able to keep track of how fast the site is loading, how speed is affecting conversation rate, how long visitors are staying on the site and if there are any bounces. Compare the number and see how loading time can seriously help you business' website.