There’s nothing more frustrating than a slow loading website. According to Kissmetrics, 40 percent of internet users will abandon a site any time beyond three seconds of delay. According to the U.S. based data analytics platform, 47 percent of the users expect a page to load in two seconds or less. The truth is that the speed of a website has a great influence on page ranking and user satisfaction.
As indicated, a slow loading website is not only bad for the end-user; it’s a disaster for the website in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and website ranking. Sometime in 2006, Amazonreported that for every 100 milliseconds they increased their website loading speed, they saw a 1% increase in revenue.Perhaps you’re wondering, what are some of the causes of a slow loading page?
The most common causes of a slow loading page include; lack of domain sharding, un-optimized images and those without caching information, and content served without http compression as well as server performance. Other, less technical causes of a slow loading page include; lots of traffic, code density, outdated CMS, too many file requests and plugins, or unnecessary redirects.
Most browsers can typically support up to four concurrent downloads of static resources for every hostname, which means that if your page is loading many static resources from the same hostname at the same time then the browser will restrict access to all content. This is what domain sharding means. So by splitting resources across two different domains, you can double browser speed.
Un-optimized images are impacting 90% of slow loading websites. They are these images that can be reduced in size without visually impacting the user. The method of optimization is called lossless optimization. Images that are optimized using this method should be same in size to their original, only stripped of irrelevant metadata (useful to the designer – not the user) that describes them.
Image optimization is just one way how to speed up a slow loading page though, the others include improving your hosting plan, understanding http requests, using plugins sparingly, cutting down on external scripts, compressing JS and CSS files, taking advantage of caching programs to allow your browser to save a copy of an image for some time, eliminating web baggage, and using CDN.
Improving a hosting plan is one of the simplest ways how to speed up a slow loading website. Often, when establishing a website, we go for the cheaper way and up for shared hosting. What happens then is that as sites grown in content and usage, they get slower. To get rid of this, you can upgrade your hosting plan bymoving to aVPS or opting for a dedicated channel. VPS is even a better option.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a request and response protocol between one computer and another. To see how many requests a page on your site makes, you can run a speed test on Pingdom. When such requests are too many, you may need to reduce or eliminate using the many available methods. As for plugins, you can try avoiding them whenever possible or just reduce them.