How your website performs – and how fast it loads – is of the utmost importance for you and your visitors. Remember that most Internet users expect your page load time to be under two seconds on their selected browser.
If the website speed test score is too low, it affects the user experience – so, yes, speed is one of the principal factors of website performance.
Having a site that has a quick load time means you’re one step ahead of your competition. So, if you’re not sure how to improve website performance, continue reading and see our top tips!
10 Ways To Improve Website Performance & Website Speed Test Score
Once the website is published, that certainly doesn’t mean that all the work has been completed. One of the best things you can do for your business this year is focus on your website and your organization’s online presence.
The world moves fast, and the Internet moves even quicker. So, it’s always a good idea to review your current position and think about what you can do to boost your website performance and grow your online presence. You don’t want to fall behind your competitors!
Not to mention, considering constant Google updates, there is an urgency to take specific measures. Website performance, in general, is measuring how quickly its web pages load in the particular browser – meaning faster websites are performing better.
The first impression visitors experience is significant as it impacts how the visitor feels about the website – and your overall business or organization, based on the website speed.
1. Improve User Experience (UX)
User experience (UX) affects every aspect of a website. The goal is always the same – improving it. A high-performing website will improve UX, leaving a better first impression on the visitors.
If your web pages and elements are slow, you’ll likely leave a wrong impression. So, the main question is – how fast the website needs to load to impact visitors positively?
The page loading time depends on many factors, and a website speed test can show what is up. The latest research shows that two seconds is the loading time most visitors will “tolerate.”
You could employ so many different strategies to improve UX, including finding problematic plugins, choosing fewer fonts, caching, and more.
Ways To Test Web Page Speed
The first tool that comes to mind is a free website speed test – and there are several out there at your disposal. For example, GTmetrix is a free website speed test you can take advantage of. Another free website speed test to consider is the Google Page Speed Insights test. It can analyze the content of a web page and provide suggestions on how to make it load faster.
Here’s how the speed testing tool of Speed Insights works:
You enter the web page’s URL you want to test, and Google then provides an overall score. The site performance score is based on several best practices related to performance testing and goes up to 100. This free website speed test will show your website’s response time, and it’s a helpful tool for anyone willing to improve web page performance, along with waterfall charts – which can include DNS, SSL, first packet, and so on.
Like other website speed checkers, Google uses several parameters to determine how well your website performs. All of that comes down to what users think of the website. They won’t have complaints if they’re satisfied with the website speed. However, users will likely skip using it altogether if the wait time is too high.
The website speed test can be catered to one of the global locations around the world, for specific information crucial for web developers – how your web pages perform in the particular location, where the majority of your potential users might live, and they instantly test if you are dealing with a slow website and other browser issues.
Also, we can gather some crucial data for WordPress users and web developers in charge of your business web page – how the site performs on specific desktop devices of different forms – like foldable, touchscreens, and different-sized monitors, which impact the responsiveness and image size decisions severely, all affecting the website speed test significantly.
Furthermore, various services offer website performance monitoring for you – checking your website speed from time to time, and informing you (or your web developers) about the current performance metrics. This feature includes server monitoring, slow website alerts, and overall web performance metrics delivered to your inbox or via notifications. Google’s Search Console is one of the pioneers in this niche.
2. Focus On Mobile Web Pages
Every day, more and more searches are happening on smartphones. This trend will only grow as more people rely on mobile devices as their primary computing tools.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly yet – well, it should be. A responsive website design across different devices should be a part of your optimization strategy – and it should retain all of your load speed and other features, especially if your users are dealing with slow connection speeds.
Some visitors might never visit the desktop version of your website, so ensure that they can do everything they need on a mobile device. If your current site isn’t responsive and you’re looking for a way to improve it and increase page loading time, we can help.
We are website development Toronto experts, and we will create a beautiful, fast, responsive site for you that ranks you high. We can provide website monitoring services and do performance testing to ensure the best website speed test results.
The website speed is usually much lower on mobile devices than it is on a desktop, which is the first mistake – focus on mobile-first.
3. Search Engine Optimization
An important aspect to consider regarding website performance monitoring is that it affects how your website ranks in search results, affecting your business, not just the website speed test.
Google has included load speed in its ranking-related algorithm for many years now. Sure, website loading speed is not the most mandatory factor for Google to recognize your website, but it may still play a role and impact your website’s pagespeed insights on real browsers.
Google will rank the faster one higher between your and your competitors’ websites. So, better page performance means better rankings in search engines, which is why website speed performance monitoring is vital for getting more views.
4. Reduce Page Weight
Web page weight refers to all the files on the website – such as images, embed, page size, code files, and so on. The higher the “weight” of all the page elements on your website, the slower the site will be.
And when it comes to images, they can slow down the website’s loading speed significantly and cause performance issues on Chromium-based browsers. Still, luckily enough, you can do something about it.
How To Improve Website Loading Speed If Your Website Is All About Images?
There are a few solutions, rather than one tool to improve website performance, including:
- Decreasing the overall photo size in Photoshop or a similar editor
- Slightly cropping the image
- Saving the image in a JPG or PNG format.
Remember that simplicity is vital for web performance and that perfect score on the website speed test. With that said, the solution for reducing large files is to remove certain excess characters on the website, such as spaces, line breaks, and similar to allow many users to start interacting momentarily with your website.
Another thing you can do, if you’re not keen on decreasing photo sizes on a regular basis, is to optimize images for mobile users during monitoring.
For a WordPress website, you could install various image optimization plugins available online to compress the photos and large images on your website to improve the page loading time.
5. HTTP Requests
Generally, all websites follow HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). For a website to load in the browser, it must send an HTTP request to a large target website’s hosting server, and the server then responds by sending a requested resource.
The larger the website and its files, the more HTTP requests it needs, and the more requests it has to respond to, the slower the page loading speed, reducing the website speed test. Reducing HTTP requests is an excellent way to consider improving your website’s loading time, including discarding the HTTP headers.
6. Web Browser Caching
Caching stands for storing file copies in a cache. The purpose? To quickly access cached content. When returning visitors return to your website, they’ll get the cached version of content – instead of the original one. That helps improve web performance during the dotcom monitor.
Web browser caching is essential if your website features static content that doesn’t change frequently (blogs, for example), as this type of content should not be cached, and you should aim to find the right balance.
Browser caching can genuinely improve slow websites, as loading everything every time can kill your website speed performance. With the cached version, your website doesn’t have to render the entire page over and over in the browser – and all you need is a browser plugin tool to improve the regular performance monitoring and tests.
If you’re using dedicated servers, or a VPS, you don’t need a plugin tool – you can set everything up using the general settings to optimize performance.
7. Web Hosting
When it comes to web hosting, it’s essential to know that a good web host is a foundation for a successful website. It affects a website’s performance – and hosting capable of handling more traffic is definitely worth the investment.
While there are different locations, always choose the hosting plan to help your website perform brilliantly during tests. If your website consists of large images or files, you should avoid shared hosting options for the optimal dotcom monitor.
When choosing a web hosting provider, remember that having a dedicated server will improve the page’s speed more than you think!
Three Types Of Hosting To Consider When Using A Free Website Speed Test
There are three kinds of web hosting – shared hosting, virtual private servers, and a dedicated server – we’d like to go over here.
Shared hosting is the most popular option, but as we mentioned, shared hosting is not the best idea. It is the most affordable way to improve the loading time, but it doesn’t offer the same site speed as the other types of web hosting.
VPS – or a Virtual Private Server – is a type of web hosting consisting of several servers that distribute content and other media files on your websites. With a somewhat average amount of users on your website, a VPS should suffice.
A dedicated server is one of the best web hosts you could go for – especially if your site tends to load slowly. With dedicated web servers, you get an administrator who takes care of maintenance. Plus, with this type of web host, all the resources belong to the website owner.
8. Content Delivery Network
Reducing the page’s weight can be a handful, but using a CDN can make a genuine difference in the page load time. Hosting your media files, such as images and videos, will do wonders regarding your page loading time and speed.
A content delivery network works by hosting your files on a lot of different servers all around the globe. That way, when a user enters the site, the website finds the server closest to them and downloads the files from there, improving the server response time.
There are plenty of CDNs out there to choose from, such as Cloudwatch, Static, and Cloudflare.
9. JS and CSS files
You might have to minify your JS files and CSS files for a good page load time. These files can be rather large and cause your site loading time to drop significantly.
The issue with these files is that every time you add a new plugin to optimize the web content on the content management system such as WordPress, you add multiple files, slowing down the page load times.
What can you do to improve website speed?
You need to minify these files to improve the web performance of your site. Minifying usually consists of reducing the number of files by compressing them into one. Then, you can take your time and make the files even smaller by deleting the “white space.” That can improve the page load speed, especially for mobile versions.
And that creates the impression of a faster page load time.
10. Broken Links
Broken links – which lead to that awful “404 Page Not Found” page – are simply the worst, and they leave a negative effect on the user experience and worsen the website performance overall.
The broken links usually mean that the page people are trying to access doesn’t exist anymore or its link has changed.
Some tools and plugins detect these broken links – leaving you to change them or delete them altogether during the website speed performance monitoring.
Since we’ve already talked about excess plugins slowing down your website speed, it might be better to stick to the external tools to find the broken links. Our website design team can locate all the broken links and handle them on your behalf for quick wins in finding the right balance.
If these dead (broken) links don’t generate any traffic – meaning they don’t consume the server resource, either – consider leaving them as they are. They are not harming your page load time – but there might be other things that are. Choose your battles wisely to improve performance during the speed check.
A website isn’t something you can develop once and then forget about. You need to test your website by using website speed tests or other tools, continuously focus on trends and customer needs, and adapt your website design to meet the needs and wants of your customers.
That’s why you should work with a Toronto website design team that understands your needs – and the needs of your customers – and sets out to make them a reality.
We can help speed test your web pages around the world and handle the site’s performance and speed monitoring if you engage with us on a new project. Whether you need database optimization, web server hosting, improving the user visits, dotcom monitor, or a general site scan – we can do it all!