Site Optimization: How to Improve Website Load Times

Website load time is the amount of time taken for a website’s contents to be visible to the user. Ideally, a website page should take 2-3 seconds to load. The probability of bounce (someone leaving your site) increases by 32% as page load time increases from 1 to 3 seconds. Websites with a faster load time tend to have better user engagement and conversion rates.

There are several ways to improve website load time. Here are some tips:

  1. Choose a performance-optimized hosting solution.
  2. Compress and optimize your images.
  3. Reduce your redirects.
  4. Cache your web pages.
  5. Enable browser caching.
  6. Use asynchronous and defer loading for your CSS and JavaScript files.
  7. Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.
  8. Leverage a content delivery network (CDN).

You can also use tools like Pingdom or Web Inspector to test your website’s load time.

Choke Points to Monitor

Several factors can affect a website’s load time. Here are some of them:

  1. The performance of your web server and its connection to the internet.
  2. The number and size of all the files needing to travel from the web server to the browser.
  3. The size and type of files you have on the webpage.
  4. The number of HTTP requests made by your website.
  5. The use of external scripts and plugins.
  6. The use of redirects.

Website Design Considerations

The design of a website can affect its load time in several ways. Here are some of them:

  1. The amount of resources a website needs to load makes a huge impact on site performance.
  2. Even if a website is designed to be lightweight, it may not load quickly in browsers due to network slowness.
  3. If content has to travel a long way to arrive where it is needed, this results in a high amount of network latency.
  4. The infrastructure that hosts the website and its optimization can affect page load time.
  5. The amount, type and weight of contents on the page can also affect page load time.

A fast page load time is essential for a website as it affects search engine rankings and user experience. Google uses a particular algorithm to determine a website’s positioning, and the page speed is one of the factors analyzed. A load time of more than 3 seconds affects your site’s ranking in SERP and the conversion rate. Website users won’t return to a site that loads slowly as no one likes the waiting game. Speed is an important ranking factor for search engines. Websites that optimize for speed have a higher chance of ranking as Google prefers faster sites.

Mobile First Optimisation

Mobile use affects website design considerations in several ways. Here are some of them:

  1. Most of the website visitors will be from handheld devices.
  2. A mobile-friendly website design will help you address the needs of these users, and you can communicate your messages better.
  3. Websites have been optimized for desktop users traditionally, but as browsing habits have evolved, designers tend to follow a mobile-first approach in design.
  4. Short mobile sessions mean that we must design for interruptions: save state for users and allow users to save state.
  5. The mobile app or website must save state at all times and be prepared for such interruptions.

Changes in mobile connectivity will have an impact on web design too. It’s up to you to consider how the latest connectivity tools will impact the way users browse the web. Additionally, you may find that you have more space to explore the advantages of using larger content (like 4K video) within a website.