There is nothing more frustrating than a slow website. It not only tanks your search engine rankings but also drives away site visitors. Did you know that 25% of your website visitors will leave your site, if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds? It’s important to have a fast loading website to improve conversion rate and drive revenues. Here are 7 ways to speed up your website and reduce page load time.
7 Ways To Speed Up Your Website and Reduce Page Load Time
1. Leverage browser cache
Browsers have a local cache that saves frequently requested files such as CSS, JS, images and data. So when users visit your website, they’ll be served cached version of your website, unless it has changed since the last cache. This saves a lot of time by avoiding unnecessary server requests. Make sure that your website enables browser caching, both on web browsers and mobile browsers, so that these resources are directly loaded from the user’s browsers.
2. Use AJAX
AJAX allows your site to fetch data from your servers without actually refreshing the entire web page. This allows your web pages to load quickly, and update content while the user is browsing your page, without page refresh.
3. Get rid of Redirects
Redirects cause unnecessary delay by making users wait for extra processing time. Make sure your web pages are loaded directly.
4. Minify CSS and JS files
CSS and JS files can become bloated over time and slow down your website. Minification allows you to remove unnecessary code and characters from your files and reduces their file size, making them load faster. So minify all your CSS and JS files to reduce bandwidth and improve caching. There are many free tools like Minifier, Online JS Compressor. In fact, you can even minimize your HTML files, making your website even faster.
5. Minimize Images
There’s no point of loading high-resolution images unless it is absolutely necessary. They have huge file size, take up more bandwidth and increase browsers’ processing time. So use a tools like Resize Image or ImageResize to resize your image, crop it and reduce its size.
6. Use a Content Delivery Network
Content Delivery Network (CDN) speeds up your website by loading your website content from a server that is near your user’s geographical location. Most of the high traffic websites in the world (news, download sites) use a CDN to load their content. Akamai, Amazon Cloudfront are two of the popular CDNs that you can try.
7. Use GZIP Compression
Instead of serving your website’s files (HTML, CSS, JS, Images) directly, compress them into a GZIP file and send it to the browser. This reduces the file size and makes your site load faster. The browser will automatically unzip it and load your site. Most popular servers (Nginx, Apache, Tomcat) support Gzip compression out-of-the-box. You just have to enable it in its server config file. It is like putting your entire web page into a zip file and sending it to the browser.
Conclusion – Speed up Your Website
There are many tricks (both client & server side) to speed up your website. It takes a combination of optimizations to speed up your website and reduce page load time. The key is to compress your files (CSS, JS, Images, HTML) and serve them as a GZIP. You can also use tools like Google Pagespeed Insights that automatically analyzes your website and suggests ideas to speed it up.