Did you know that your website is getting about 11% lesser page-views because of 1 second?
Page load times was included in the many other factors that influenced search engine rankings, in one the algorithm changes from Google about a couple of years back.
With the recent algorithm update and Google giving even more importance to sites that are mobile optimized, page load speed has become even more important. You might have a mobile optimized site and you might even be using a responsive theme, but if your site itself is not loading fast, all of these things just doesn’t matter.
According to a research done by the Aberdeen Group, a 1 second delay can lead to a 7% loss in conversions.
If you are thinking these are mere quotes then you might want to re-think because there are a lot of statistics that can prove this. Even Amazon saw an increment of about 1% in their revenue for every 100 millisecond improvement in their page load speed.
How to Improve Your Page Load Times
So, how do you improve your page load times? What are the key aspects that impact the page speed?
You will need to spend some time to analyze your website and the reasons behind the slow loading speed. While you might not be able to fix all of it, you can still try to fix at least some of it.
Firstly head over to Pingdom which is my favorite site to check site speed. There are other resources as well like GTMetrix and Google Developer Tools. All you need to do is enter your URL and click submit. You should then get a detailed analysis of your page and aspects that are doing well and that aren’t. The metrics that are not doing well is something that you will then have to go and address.
Here are 3 basic things that you can do to fix your page load speed problems right away and improve your page load times instantly.
Website Theme and Template
So the first thing you might want to check if your theme and how it helps your sites load times. Themes like Genesis from Studiopress and Thesis themes are based on the philosophy of faster page load times. You might want to switch to one such theme if your theme is not already helping you.
Optimize Images and Minify Scripts and CSS files
This is a low hanging fruit which you should be able to fix immediately. All you will need is to install one of the many plugins that are available which can do this for you.
Bigger images take more time to load. These plugins like EWW Image Optimizer, helps optimize images by reducing the size of the files without affecting the quality of the images.
Similarly plugins that help minify scripts and CSS files, reduces the size of these files and combines multiple files into one. They also ensure that non-critical files load in the footer only after the entire site is loaded thus reducing the load time for your site.
Use a Content Delivery Network
Content Delivery Networks help take the load of your server by caching your site. This in turn helps in faster page load times. I use Cloudflare for my CDN service. They have a free plan and a premium plan as well.
Not only does Cloudflare provide you with a reliable CDN service, they also have a lot of add on services that takes care of most of the above 2 things that I spoke about – minify scripts, optimize images and combine CSS files. All of this happens in the background and all that you need to do is just switch on or, off these services.
The below is a nice and informative infographic which gives you a brief of some of the basic things that you can do to improve your sites page load times.
So go ahead check your website’s performance and make the necessary changes. You might just start seeing an improvement in your conversions.
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Great informative content!
I put a lot of my efforts and time to improve my page load speed to remain below 1s~1.5s. I am pretty much successful at it using all the free resources but I will be moving to Genesis or Thesis frameworks real soon.
Thanks for the post! I am happy to share it!
Do let me know in case you need any help.
Many users have this problem but because their lack of coding knowledge they can’t optimize their site. I am one of them.
You are right. A lot of people face this problem and the only solve for that is to find simpler ways which doesn’t really involve a lot of coding. With wordpress at least there are a lot of plugins that can do a lot of these things for you..