Why Is Website Speed Optimization Taken So Seriously?
If you are an online entrepreneur that depends on the Internet for generating revenue, website speed is a concept which you have undoubtedly encountered at some point. For those who might be living under a rock, website speed refers to the swiftness with which the web page of any online portal opens up on being summoned. For example, suppose you are searching for a recipe and type in the address of a specific website, the time taken by the page to open up and render the information accessible to you would be its website speed.
Now that you have understood the concept, the next step entails comprehending why it is taken so seriously by online entrepreneurs. A novice might wonder what the fuss is all about, especially given the negative connotation of speed in other spheres of life. Contrary to tasks like driving and cooking, speed is imperative in the context of websites; the reasons are as follows-
Crucial For Retaining Visitors
Instant gratification is the byword that drives this era, and in the case of websites, it is gauged in terms of website speed, or in other words, how quickly your web page loads. To this effect, the following are some shocking revelations that go on to emphasize how vital website speed is-
- If your page consumes more than 3 seconds to load fully, the chances are high that you would lose as many as 40% of your visitors.
- Almost half - namely 47% - of the Internet users who visit your website prefer that your web page should load within 2 seconds, or even less time if possible.
- Even a single second's delay in loading could put off a large fraction of users, amounting to a loss of 7% viewers.
- In case of an e-commerce site, delay of 1 second in the loading of a web page could translate into a loss of revenue to the tune of a couple of millions.
Impacts Website's Ranking on Leading Search Engines
Among all the search engines used globally, few enjoy more prominence than others, and Google is one such example. So, for your website to receive visitors from all over the globe, a high ranking on this search engine is a must, and a pre-requisite for this is high website speed. Google PageSpeed Insight flags a website whose 'Server Response Time' is more than 200 millisecond or 0.2 seconds. This, in turn, would cause your website to slip down the ranks, which in turn would have an adverse impact on its visibility.
Impacts Your Website's Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is another parameter that search engines use while assigning a rank to your website, and it also happens to be a direct consequence of website speed. It is a metric that indicates the number of visitors who might have visited your web page but left within a few seconds without clicking on anything.
Usually, online visitors tend to desert a web page without taking an interest in whatever it might be offering if it takes too long to load. Thus, the bounce rate spikes up, leading Google to interpret user experience on your website as being poor, and downgrading your website's rank. Considering that Internet visitors neither have the time nor the patience to wait for the page to take more than a few seconds to display, bounce rate is bound to be higher if your website speed is slow.
For an e-commerce website, conversion is of utmost importance since it determines the revenue earned at the end of a specific duration, which is the ultimate objective. In website parlance, a conversion occurs when an online visitor, after spent some time on the website, clicks on the 'call to action' button to make a purchase or initiate the next course of action. Given its importance, every website depends on conversion for survival and one way of ensuring this requires you to speed up your website load time.
After all, how can you expect a visitor to convert into a client if your page takes a long time to load and drives him/her away to a competitor's website which loads a lot faster? Speed up your website load time to retain old customers, attract new clients and thereby improve conversion rate.
'Viral' is what determines the popularity of online content, and much of it occurs through verbal communication. Whatever your website speed might be, the chances are that it passes around in a matter of a few days and very soon you would have unknowingly cultivated a reputation on the Internet. While a good website speed would have earned you a positive reputation, the vice versa is equally valid and can even cause long-term damage to your image.
Is your website compatible with Google PageSpeed Insights? Don't waste another second and check it out right away!!
Website Speed Optimization Services
Owing to these factors, it is but obvious that you must think of ways to speed up website load time, and this is where we come in. All you need is excellent website speed optimization services that would reduce your web page's loading time and enable you to perform well on most of the search engine parameters, if not all.
Place an order for our website speed optimization services and improve your website's optimization score dramatically at Google PageSpeed Insights.
Discussed as follows are features which we intend to use to speed up your website:
- Enable compression through Gzip: Wherein it conforms to the configuration of the web-server and renders the files sufficiently small to speed up the transfer process. By opting to compress, you effectively reduce the file size to save on bandwidth and this, in turn, would improve website speed.
- Leverage browser caching by editing HTTP headers such that some files would expire beyond a pre-determined time-frame. As a result of caching, web pages and images are stored in the visitor's browser so that they do not have to be downloaded every time someone visits your website. This serves to speed up website loading time considerably.
- Remove Query strings from static resources, such as CSS and JS by adding filter hooks, and facilitate their caching, thereby scoring well in the Google page speed test. URLs' that contain symbols like question-marks are known as Query strings, and as a result, the caching of resources are blocked.
- Image optimization is a must if you are keen to speed up your website load time. Some ways in which images tend to hinder website speed are a large size, unspecified dimensions, complicated formats like TIFF and BMP. Website speed optimization services that we provide focus on all these factors to improve speed.
- Lazy load images, a technique wherein the images are loaded on the page as and when the portion comes on the browser's viewport. Incorporation of this technique ensures that images in a particular section are loaded only when you come to it; otherwise, they would remain off the page. Various scripts ensure this, and the onus is on you to opt for this feature to improve website speed.
- Base64 Encoding of images entails inlining of images into the HTML code using a method known as Base64 encoding. The purpose of Base64 is to transform various types of data, including images, into letters and numbers which are recognized by HTML. Using this encoder means the website does not require an external image and this reduces HTTP request and the page loading time.
- Minify CSS, wherein minifying means making smaller by removing tabs, spaces, line-breaks, and comments, and when applied to large CSS files, the coding shrinks, thus rendering the page more optimized and faster to load.
- Minify HTML, like JS and CSS, and minification is done in order to improve website speed. In the process, we remove additional spaces, tabs, line breaks and comments from large blocks of HTML codes to speed up the loading time of the web page.
- Combine CSS & JS files, and reduce your HTTP requests till it is just one for each, ie. CSS and JS. It is indeed possible to compile all the external files of CSS and JS that web pages use into one single file which so that everything can be downloaded once and for all. Irrespective of the technique used, it greatly improves your page loading time.
- Add Expires headers, for specific files and file types so that the number of HTTP requests sent to the server is reduced. When you set this attribute for specific files and file types, the browser will check if the images can be displayed from the browser's cache rather than being downloaded from the server. Drastic reduction in the number of downloads reduces the burden on the server and this, in turn, has a positive impact on the page load time.
- Add Keep-Alive headers, with the help of codes, so that the browser and the server remain connected and are sufficiently immune from intermittent breakage. It is an HTTP connection that remains open in between multiple requests.
- Reduce DNS lookups, because when every different domain requires a separate DNS lookup, these can add up over a period of time to interfere with the speedy loading of the web page. One way of speeding up DNS lookups using DNS prefetching, a function that enables the browser to conduct DNS lookups in the background on the specific web page. For this, you need to add some extra coding on to the header that would activate DNS prefetch, pre-connect, or prerender.
- Page caching: Page caching is a must-have feature for a database-driven website like WordPress, Joomla, Magento etc. This technology takes a snapshot of a whole page, saves it into text or HTML file and serves it upon future request. Page caching reduces the execution time by providing the cache instances instead of reading the same page from the database over and over again.
- CloudFlare CDN, on being made to work in tandem with your website, accelerates the loading time of the web page by a significant degree. It works by caching the copies of web pages on its servers so that every time the web page is called, CloudFlare retrieves a copy from the server which is closest to the visitor's location.