Speed matters. In today’s age of instant gratification, making a potential client wait can be the difference in earning their business or seeing them go to another firm. As you know, this applies to most areas where clients expect to see a sense of urgency – including your website. In fact, 53 percent of mobile visitors will abandon a page that doesn’t load within three seconds.This post is the first in a series on tips for optimizing your website speed and performance.
Google is also considering the speed of your website.Not only are slow load times annoying to clients, but they also affect how your website ranks on search engines. Slow websites are more likely to fall to the bottom of the search results page as Google is beginning to take user experience into account more than ever before.
This is why Google’s Page Speed Insight Rules are something you need to understand and pay attention to. Begin by plugging your URL into their PageSpeed Insights, and take a look at your current breakdown. You’ll notice two scores – one for Page Speed and one for Optimization. If what you find shows your site has room for improvement, check out these tips to start speeding up your site.
Stop using landing page redirects. They can slow down rendering and have a negative effect on a mobile user’s experience. Ideally, you have created a responsive site that adapts to different devices. If you still need to use redirects, make sure you’re using the correct ones (for example, ensuring you’re using a 301 – permanent redirect – when you delete old content and direct to new items).
Leverage compression. In short, this reduces the size of your content. That’s important because doing so can reduce the time it takes to download content and improves the pages rendering time. Gzip is a good tool to look into to help with this process.
Check your server response time. Use tools like WebPageTest.org, Pingdom, GTmetrix to test your speed and see what might be slowing your content delivery down. Google recommends that server response time should always be below 200ms. Make sure you also look at Real User Measurements (RUMs) because users on an older generation device will experience different speeds.
Properly use browser caching.When a client or prospect is looking for resources online, a roundtrip between them and your server means longer delays and potentially higher data costs. You can help mitigate this slow process by implementing caching policies that are friendlier to your website visitors. Put in place explicit policies that answer whether a resource can be cached, who can cache it, how long it will be cached, and how it can be efficiently revalidated.
Check the blog for the next post on optimizing your website speed for more great tips and in-depth instructions on how to optimize images, CSS delivery, and more. And as always, if you have any questions on this or any other web or digital subject, just reach out!