Useful tips for improving your site’s loading speed
If you want to improve your website visitors’ experience, you need to make sure your website loads faster. Even though this sounds probably too simple and straightforward, it is a fact that website visitors, and internet users in general, do not have a very long attention span. If they cannot access a certain website in an instant, they will probably move on to other, similar websites.
Responsiveness and ranking
However, a fast site loading speed will improve not only its responsiveness, but also its search engine rankings, as well. A couple of years ago, Google implemented a feature, whereby a website’s page load time is taken as an important factor for search engine ranking.
Even though this doesn’t seem like a critically important matter, in cases where two websites are vying for the same position in the SERP, the upper hand will always get the one with the faster load time.
An important edge
As you can see, a faster load time will not necessarily make your website the number one in search results, but it will give it an edge over its closest competition when trying to reach or hold a certain position.
Search engines aside, a website that loads fast will simply improve your business’ image and its perception with the current and potential customers. When it comes to the internet, even mere seconds are important, and nobody wants to spend dozens of seconds, so as to open a website. If you have a problem with your website’s load speed, the following tips will show you how to improve your site’s loading speed.
1. Optimize the graphics and resize the images
To edit and lower the file size of your images, use an image editor, instead of just shrinking them with coding. Always try to use png or gif formats, instead of jpeg, because the latter ones have a much larger color pallet, which makes their file sizes much larger. Use jpeg. Exclusively for photos where you want to emphasize the colors.
2. CSS stylesheets
Do not use multiple stylesheets. Instead, use a single one. A single, large stylesheet will always load faster than some smaller ones. Also, try to use CSS for your website styling, instead of HTML
3. Keep the majority of your images and videos at the bottom of the page
By doing this, the vast majority of your website page will load much more quickly, leaving the rest of the content, in the form of images and videos, which are much slower, to load last. Most visitors prefer reading initial texts and info first, while the images and videos are loading in the meantime.
4. Minimize your graphics
As mentioned above, graphics and images are much larger than texts and take much more time to load. However, if you absolutely must use graphics, try to specify their width and height in your image code. This way, the browser will use these as placeholders and allow a simultaneous loading of both the images and the rest of the page content.
5. Avoid excessive plugins, flash, and scripts
While these can serve their specific functions and, in a way, embellish your website, they will, more often than not, substantially decrease the loading speed of your page. Make sure to use plugins and scripts that are necessary for your website to function properly, and nothing more. Many website owners think that various floating adds, pop-ups and special effects are quite attractive. However, the truth is quite the opposite, as visitors mostly despise these. Make sure not to make the same mistake, and keep these to a bare minimum