When you start a website, you put its design and content on a very high priority; after all, that is the main purpose of your website – attracting visitors and grabbing their attention.
But, what is also important is that this content and design should not negatively affect your website speed.
Your website loading speed is a very important factor, playing a crucial role in search engine rankings, user satisfaction and thus, customer conversion rates.
Time is precious. Therefore, nobody likes to wait for more than a certain limit. And in fierce competition on the internet, if your website doesn’t load very fast, you may lose your visitor in a matter of seconds.
Research has shown that a slow loading website could have the following effects.
1 Use Optimized Images Only
Just like you cannot run fast carrying a heavy load, so does your website. With large images, it is bound to load slowly. This problem can be easily sorted out by using simple image optimization techniques, without any quality compromise.
Always use an image conforming to proper display dimensions on the website. Do not try to “fit in” images by shrinking or enlarging them by coding.
Always use JPEG format as a preferred choice for photographs. Use PNG format for all images, such as icons, etc.
Use CSS effects for shadowing and other visual effects wherever possible, instead of images.
You can also use Kraken, it is a great tool to get your images optimized.
2 Use Proper Fonts
Just like images, unnecessary fonts can also hinder your website speed.
Never use more than 2-3 font styles on a single webpage. Excessive fonts mean excessive coding, avoid it.
Do not use bigger font size, unless absolutely necessary. Also, try to make do with commonly used fonts available rather than going for complex fonts.
Prefer the use of simple and low line weight fonts as far as possible.
Use the custom font in place of graphics-based text.
3 Use Proper Coding Techniques
Since every element in coding has its own effects, therefore each of this element should be properly placed. Some important tips are:
Keep CSS files at the top: As your purpose is to display your website design exactly the way you want it to look, therefore CSS files should be loaded first. CSS files are faster to load and also serve the purpose of providing a user with interesting and useful content, before anything else.
Keep Codes minimum: Why waste time loading anything irrelevant, so try to keep everything minimum by including only absolutely necessary elements. Avoid every bit of anything extra, keeping it “short and sweet”.
Use Compressed Files: Compressed files require less memory than uncompressed files and using them can have a huge impact on website loading time, reducing it by up to 70%.
You can use online tools like CSS Compressor and YUI Compressor, to minify coding.
4 Uninstall Unnecessary Plugins
Your website loading speed will definitely slow down with additional plugins on your site. Some plugins are absolutely necessary, but still, you can resort to following minimizations.
Identify the unnecessary plugins, then either uninstall or switch them off.
Always opt for integrated or built-in plugins instead of going for third-party plugins. For example, if you have a WordPress website, using built-in social plugins will greatly reduce your website size and improve your website speed.
5 Choose Proper Server Location
The location of the server which is hosting your website also affects your website’s loading speed. The site takes more time to load if the users are situated at far distant places. While choosing a server location, follow these steps.