In today’s time, load speed can make or break a website. A fast loading website leads to longer dwell sessions, improved engagement, and increased conversions. When users are able to access information fast, they are more likely to stay on your page.
How fast should my website be?
Ideally, a website should load within 3 seconds. In fact, a research by Google shows that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds. Therefore, if you want to keep people on your site, your website should not take longer than three seconds. In addition to this, research also shows that people would not return to websites that took longer than 4 seconds to load and formed a “negative perception” of a business and tell their family and friends about their experiences.
How to improve website loading speed?
Your website loads in pieces, and the load time depends on different factors such as pages, users, browsers, devices, internet speed, etc. While some of these factors are out of your control, like a user’s internet speed, there are still some strategies where you can optimize your site to ensure that your pages load faster, so users have a positive experience.
- Minimize HTTP requests – HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) requests are counted whenever a browser fetches a file, page, or image from a web server. These requests tend to take up about 80% of a webpage’s load time. This means that the more HTTP is requested, the longer it takes for the page to load and retrieve them all, increasing your web page’s load time. You can decrease HTTP requests by doing the following:
- Combining CSS/JS files
- Use queries to only load what’s needed
- Reduce the number of images you use
- Browser caching – Browser caching is one of the best website loading time optimizations. It allows assets on your website to be downloaded to your hard drive once into a cache or a temporary storage space. These files are stored locally on the website’s system, allowing subsequent page loads to increase in speed.
- Optimize images on your site – When designing a website, it is always great to include visuals to keep it appealing and engaging. However, the downside of this is that too many images can slow down your site’s speed. To prevent these images from negatively impacting your page load time, you can optimize and reduce the image size.
- Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) – Beyond the server that hosts your site, a reputable online advertising agency says that you can also use other networks of servers to decrease load times for your visitors.
Using a CDN is essentially a way to host your website in servers throughout the country and/or world. It shortens the distance data must travel from browser to server by mirroring your site in a network of geographically separated servers. While this may not be much of a concern if you deal with a server locally, you can’t afford to not use the streamlining power of CDN if you wish to reach a geographically immense area.
- Host your videos on an external platform – Just like photos, videos can hurt your site’s load time. Host videos on an external platform to prevent videos from slowing down your website. When you host your videos on those platforms, the videos’ weight isn’t on your site. Your site will still load quickly, and you can still reap the benefits of having video on your website.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the strategies mentioned above, Creativo’s team of experts is here to help. With over 2 decades of experience in website design and development, we know how to optimize sites to improve load time.