What is Page Speed and Why it is important

People usually get irritated if the website takes too long to respond. No one has got a spare time, especially when it comes to web pages that take much time to get loaded.

When the user gets his/her desired web-page loaded quickly it creates a favorable influence on his/her mind.

Waiting for a website to get loaded be like…

Tech giant Google considers website’s loading speed as a ranking factor and that’s why we should work to reduce our websites loading pace. Slow sites are likely to pay the price in terms of lower search ranking.

Also, nowadays in this competitive environment, page loading speed becomes one of the essential factors for all the websites.

Further discussion is about, why each second is essential for a web-page to get loaded?

 

IMPORTANCE OF EACH SECOND :

Here are some facts and stats from well-known sources :

  • A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
  • A 1 second delay in page load time means 11% loss of page views.
  • 47% of user expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.

  • Just guess if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost $2.5 million in lost sales every year.If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you could be losing nearly half of your visitors, according to data from Akamai.

It is clear from the above paragraphs that why page-speed is important for a website. Now let’s see what precisely page-speed is and how does it work.

 What is Page Speed?

Let’s suppose you type a URL xyz.com and clicked enter, now the time your web page takes to fully display the content (images, videos, design…) on the requested web browser that is referred as “Page-Speed”.

The basic definition says Page-Speed is a measurement of how fast the content on your web-page loads.

HOW?

How can we measure website’s page-speed?

-Several tools are available on the internet, in that you just need to enter the URL, then the tool will analyze the content of webpage by its own algorithms and will give you results out of 100. Results are based on the how fast is the webpage on the requesting web browser.

Here are some well know web-page speed tools available. Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, GTmetrix and many more.

Let’s know in short how Google’s analyzing tool works.

Gif of “Google’s” website page-speed score

-First, open the link.

-You will be asked to enter the web-page URL.

-Once it is done, then click the “Analyze” button.

-After analyzing it will provide you the results.

 

Score            Review

80-100           Good

60-80             Needs Work

60>             Poor

The results are calculated for both Mobile and Desktop viewing. This tool will suggest you some possible optimizations, for making it more rapid.

Everyone loves a fast site. Here are some ways to speed up your website:

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  Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Optimize your code (by removing spaces, shortening up the long variables names into a single variable, and other unnecessary characters), you can effectively increase your page speed. Also remove code comments, formatting, and unused code.

 

CSS(Cascading Style Sheets):- It is a simple design language, which is mostly used to make the web page fit to be seen.

JavaScript:It is a light-weight dynamic programming language, whose implementations allow a client-side script to interact with the user and make dynamic pages.

HTML(Hyper Text Markup Language):- It is used for creating web-page, it also describes the structure of web-page. HTML elements are represented by tags<>.

Google recommends HTMLMinifier to minify HTML, CSSNano and csso to minify CSS, Closure Compiler, UglifyJS to minify JavaScript. Alternatively, the PageSpeed Module integrates with an Apache or Nginx web server to automatically optimize your site, including resource minification.

Improve server response time

The amount of time required to load the HTML document of a website from   a server is known as server response time

First, let’s see few factor that affects the server response time:

Poor web hosting  — One of the aspects of running a website is making sure that the website has a good uptime (availability). Slow Load Times, Low Security are also some of the characteristics of poor web hosting.

 

Increased trafficIf your website gets hits more than the capability of the server, it may be possible that user will experience slower response from the server or even error codes such as bandwidth limit exceeded.

 

 

Bloated webpages — It simply refers to the contents of a webpage which are not optimized properly. For ex: Oversized images, non-responsive images (compatible with both mobile and desktop), non-minified CSS/JS files etc.

 

Lack of caching — Cache memory stores data in volatile memory and delivers the content quickly. So if there is an issue in caching the content it decelerates the server.

 

 Ways to Improve Server response time:

While Apache is well known and attractive option, there are many other better options using something else, such as Nginx or OpenLiteSpeed.

There are pros and cons to each web server although Nginx has been known to offer better performance in many circumstances.

Putting in a bit of time, in the beginning, might seem troublesome task, but it will pay off later as you are better able to handle changes in your server needs.

 

Optimize Your Web Servers

Once you have chosen your web-server successfully, the web-server can be configured to increase performance. There are numerous techniques including web server caching, enabling gzip compression and setting cache headers that help reduce load per visitor.

 

 Improve Database Performance

There are various ways of optimizing database performance and it can potentially turn into a large undertaking depending on the current state of your existing database. In order to increase performance, you will need to monitor your database first. You can trace and then load it in SQL server profiler to find out which are the slowest queries. After that, you can concentrate on them.

 

  • Reduce redirects

What is redirect?

Redirects are instructions or methods that robotically take user of one file, to another file or location. Which means your page-speed would get affected.

How does it affect page speed?

“Have you ever asked someone where a restaurant is and when you reach the location you find that, the mentioned restaurant has been shifted to some other location? ” It is just like that.

Redirects cause your pages to load slower because it is a wasted effort to go to one place just to be redirected to another.

Everything has its own pros and cons. There are many good and legitimate reasons to have redirects but it should be kept in mind that redirects cause substantial performance and speed issues.

 Use a content distribution network

content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver pages and other Web content to a user, based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and the content delivery server.

 

CDN improves the performance, security, and reliability of a website. CDN is useful for distributing the static content of your websites like images and videos and put them in a location closer to the people you are serving the content.

Optimize Image

As a general thumb rule, larger file takes a longer time to load than the smaller files. Yes, that’s true high-quality images makes the good visual experience on the website, but at the same time it degrades the page speed and agitating visitors eagerly waiting for the web page to load.

Some of the ways to optimize images are as follows:-

-Choosing Image

-Images that you select for your content must be related to the text of the article.

-Good quality, with correct aspect ratio and size large enough to be visible on all the device’s screen.

     –Decrease the size of the image

There are numerous offline and online tools available for image editing, which decreases the image file size.

Adobe’s online image editing application photoshop.com doesn’t have all the capabilities but it covers all the basic of image editing and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Other impressive online image editing tools are PicMonkey, Pixlr, FotoFlexer.

Use Image sitemap, How to handle your thumbnails, Know Which Image File Type to Use for the Right Situations are some ways to optimize the image.

 

Conclusion:

Now I hope, it would be pretty much clear about, why page load speed is an important criterion for your web page, what happens if your page speed is slow, and how you can improve your page-speed.

If you haven’t optimized your Web page Speed yet, start on it today.

 

Which of these techniques are you going to use, to increase your website’s page loading speed?