Far too often people believe their actions do not affect the speed of their web page loading times. On the contrary, we are in control of how fast our website responds to traffic. Studies show that a 1 second delay will yield fewer page views, a decrease in customer satisfaction, and a decrease in sales. Luckily, there are many different methods to improve the performance of your website.
Simplify your Web Pages
Having a complicated web design can look beautiful. However, the flash and sparkle won’t be enjoyed by your customer if it takes 10 seconds to load. If your customer must move from page to page, it will be even worse! In the fast world we live in, no one wants to wait for a web page to load in order to spend their money. It is imperative that you minimize the HTTP requests when designing or modifying your website. Below is a list of different ways to accomplish this.
- Minimize the # of elements on your page
- Minimize the use of jpeg files
- Minimize the scripts or relocate them to the bottom of the page
Even if your website is full of eye-catching details, a minimalist look will be cleaner and usually more professional. When designing your website, the less space and line of code it takes holds, the better.
Utilize Data Compression
If you must maintain a dense website, the use of data compression must be a part of your arsenal. Forbes has discussed the necessity of data compression and how millennials and phone users are demanding more at faster speeds. Data compression can go far, but it does not make your website perfect. Try to shed as much as possible from your web page and then utilize data compression to push it even further.
In essence, compression will turn you web pages into zip files. These zip files will be easier to download onto your web browser. Utilizing zip files instead of the uncompressed file will also decrease the HTTP response time. Below is a list of many popular data compression methods.
- H.265 HEVC
In order to implement data compression, you must set it up directly on the web server.
Optimize Your Images
An often overlooked part of any website is the image content. These eye-catching details are the main culprit for many slow web pages. “Unfortunately, the flair images bring to a web page are often too large and increase loading time by hundreds of milliseconds, which can add up quickly,” according to AppEx Networks.
On multiple occasions, programmers will forget to format their image to the size of the web page. A programmer will insert a 4000px jpeg image and resize the width to the size of the web page. Unfortunately, the original file remains the original size, and the user experience is hindered. Furthermore, the intensity of color will increase the HTTP response. To remedy this problem, set the color depth to the lowest quality and remove any comments on the image.
Types of Image Files
Utilize jpeg files (only use these if possible)
PNG files may not be supported by older web browsers, but can be used if jpeg isn’t an option
Do not use GIF, BMP, or TIFF files because they will increase HTTP response
When you insert an image file to your website, take the time to resize them. Also, double check to make sure the src attribute contains a valid URL.
Ensure You Only Use Necessary Plugins
Just like imagery, plugins feel and look amazing but we don’t need to have every single one. They are like buying a new piece of equipment; of course, we want every piece, but do we really need them?
Not only do web pages slow down your web pages, they can also bring about a multitude of security issues. In another article by Forbes, they outlined the ten must have plugins for any business website. There are necessary plugins, however, some are irrelevant and others are detrimental to your loading times.
Optimize Your CSS Delivery
The fastest web sites utilize an external style sheet for their website. Why don’t you? If the code is created with inline CSS, you are putting yourself at a huge disadvantage. Inline CSS is notorious for creating multiple code duplications which slow down your loading time. Instead, bring a CSS delivery tool into your arsenal. These tools allow you to view how your pages look to foreign computers. Using this software, you can refine the code.
These methods scratch the surface of perfecting loading speeds. There are many other factors that increase of decrease HTTP response and following these instructions will help you create the best product for your customer.