When it comes to your website performance, the speed at which your pages load is paramount. But unless you understand how the metric works, together with any and all influencing factors, you might find it somewhat difficult to improve your website page loading speed.
If your website is optimised for speed, you’ll find that the user experience will be enhanced and bounce rates will decrease. Improving website page speed will only benefit your company and the amount of business you get. In this article, we’ll explain exactly what page speed is, why it’s important and how it can be improved.
Website page speed refers to how quickly content loads when a page is visited by a user. Page speed shouldn’t be confused with overall website speed as this, instead, represents the rate at which an individual page on a website loads rather than the site as a whole. There are a number of different factors that influence page speed, including the following:
Page speed should be treated seriously as visitors to your website will dislike slow-loading speeds when they visit a page, resulting in high bounce rates which will, in turn, reduce your rankings in the search engines.
According to HubSpot, “Google research shows that when loading times increase from one to three seconds, the profitability of a bounce increases by 32%”. In addition to that, “if the page takes 5 seconds to load, the profitability of a bounce rises by 90%”. HubSpot also claims that if a page takes anywhere between 1 and 10 seconds to load, bounce increases to 123%.
Essentially, if your pages don’t load within three or four seconds, it’ll considerably increase the likelihood of your well-earned visitors leaving your website altogether. The same thing goes for when pages are generally sluggish – it could considerably harm your ability to drive conversions and overall engagement.
Page speed is also important for both desktop and mobile websites and so it’s imperative that your site is optimised for both. In short, if you want your website to run as effectively as possible, then you should focus on optimising and improving page speed. The first step to this is measuring and analysing your current page speeds and understanding why they’re slow to load in the first place.
There are a number of different tools available to website owners and even marketing specialists that’ll help to determine how fast an individual page loads and it’s paramount that this is done before you make any changes to your website. A few of the most popular, beginner-friendly tools out there include the following:
These online tools are easy to use and understand, giving you a full gauge on how fast, or slow, your website loads. You can then use this information, after analysis, to make a few amendments to your site or you could ask a digital marketing agency, like Kumo, to fix it all for you.
There are several things you can do to improve how fast your individual website pages load and they include the following:
It’s a known fact across the digital marketing industry that pictures, infographics, photographs and other types of imagery help to transform the aesthetic of a website, regardless of the industry you work in or the products or services you’re trying to advertise.
Images also enhance the copy that’s already present on the page, making the content look, altogether, appealing and well worth a visit. However, the larger the images, the longer it’ll take for them to load, therefore slowing your page speed right down.
One of the easiest ways to increase the speed at which your page loads is to compress and optimise any and all images you have. Think of it as reducing the ‘weight’ of an image, ensuring the loading speed isn’t dragging. You might wish to use optimisation plugins such as WP Smush, which will:
Believe it or not, but too many redirects on your website can slow page speed right down. This is because for each time a page redirects elsewhere, it elongates the HTTP request and, therefore, the response process. Although in some cases redirects are necessary, such as when you’re moving to a new domain, some are not necessary and so these should be eliminated.
There are several ways to reduce redirects using WordPress, but if you’re struggling to sort the issue yourself, or if you do not use WordPress, then you should look to a digital marketing agency, such as Kumo, to do it all for you; taking the stress out of it and allowing you to focus on your business rather than its site.
Caching is a quick, hassle-free way of minimising loading speeds. Essentially, caching minimises the work needed in order for the server to generate a website page for a visitor’s internet browser. It requires fewer resources from the server to load a page, resulting in quicker loading speeds. Use a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache which is free and simple to use.
This reduces the size of files in order to make it easier for them to be combined. The results? Leaner website pages, cleaner code and faster loading times. Again, there’s a plugin available for this as well, called Autoptimise. This makes it far simpler for you to minify your scripts and styles as it’ll do it automatically.
This refers to a network of servers that look to improve website page loading speeds. It does this by hosting and delivering copies of any static content you might have on your website, all from servers located around the world. A CDN will work with the host rather in place of or alongside it.
A CDN can also be leveraged to distribute copies of any and all website files among data centres that have been strategically selected. In turn, the distance data requests have to travel from browser to hosts’ servers, and vice-a-versa, will be considerably reduced. As well as this, site performance will also be maximised – just another benefit of leveraging a CDN.
Too many plugins can slow your entire website down, not just individual pages and the same goes for plugins that aren’t well-maintained or that aren’t up to date. In fact, the aforementioned could even pose a security threat to your site and you might well experience compatibility issues along the way, also.
With this in mind, it’s important that you limit the number of plugins that you’re using to try and mitigate these issues. If you don’t use them anymore or if you’re seeing no real benefit of having them, then delete them.
Kumo Digital is a highly-experienced digital marketing agency with a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise behind us. We have a specialist team of experts who, together, will be able to meet your every marketing need. Whether you need a website designing and building or informative articles writing, Kumo will always be on hand to help. If you’d like to learn more about all of the marketing services we have to offer, including SEO, PPC and content writing, then get in touch with a member of our friendly, professional team today – we’re always happy to hear from you.
As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.