The Complete Guide to Website Speed Improvement for Businesses

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website speed improvement

Is your website loading too slowly?

As you probably know from your own experience, few things are more annoying than a slow website. If your site is taking too long to load, or if certain elements within your site take longer than others, it could cost you.

Webpage loading time has an enormous impact on user experience, conversion rates, and search engine optimization. A sluggish site could deter customers, anger visitors, and hurt its search ranking.

So it’s no surprise that website speed improvement is one of the most important issues for web development and maintenance agencies. But how can you get faster website speed?

That’s what this article will explain. Keep reading to discover some ways to decrease webpage loading time across your site.

Start Website Speed Improvement With Testing

Speeding up websites should always start with testing website page speed. Testing will give you a baseline to measure improvements against and help suggest insights into what needs to be improved.

A website speed test, like those at WebPageTest.org, can tell you how your website is performing. Testing your website often while you make changes and updates can help you track downgrades and improvements.

There are other website performance tests you might want to try. One of them is Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which provides detailed page-by-page performance testing.

Optimize Images

As you’ve no doubt noticed, images play an enormous role in web development. An eye-catching picture or informative graphic can keep people’s attention on your website and message and prevent them from being distracted.

Unfortunately, having a very image-heavy website can slow down your loading speed, too. That’s why it’s so important to optimize the images you use on your site.

Image optimization involves reducing resolution, compressing files, and cutting down dimensions to make images and image files smaller.

You can accomplish these tasks in a photo editing app like Photoshop. Some apps and services will even optimize images for you automatically.

Reduce HTTP Requests

Most web pages force browsers to make several HTTP requests for different elements on the page. Images, scripts, and CSS files can all require their own HTTP requests, often amounting to dozens of individual requests.

As you can imagine, all of those HTTP requests can add up fast and bog down your website. Not only that, but having multiple HTTP requests adds complexity to your site, especially if assets are loaded from different providers.

To prevent potential errors, including a slow website, it’s best to have as few HTTP requests as possible. This means keeping the total number of resources to be loaded to a minimum.

You should also use speed testing to identify and address requests that take the most time to load.

Use HTTP Caching

Web browsers use temporary storage locations, called caches, where they save copies of static files from recently visited websites. This allows browsers to load frequently visited websites much more quickly.

That means they don’t have to request the same content every time a site is visited.

You can make it easier for recurring visitors to access your site by instructing browsers to cache elements of your site that don’t change often. These instructions are included in the headers of HTTP responses from your hosting server.

Leveraging HTTP caching can greatly reduce the amount of data that your server has to send to revisiting browsers. As a result, loading times for frequent visitors can be significantly reduced.

Avoid Unnecessary Redirects

Redirects happen when website visitors are automatically forwarded from one webpage or URL to another page instead. Redirects can add a few fractions of a second, or even entire seconds, to a page’s load time.

Sometimes, redirects are necessary. But most of the time, they can and should be avoided. Every second counts when it comes to loading speeds, so do whatever you can to avoid unnecessary redirects.

Use a Content Delivery Network

Content delivery networks, or CDNs, boost website speeds by caching content in multiple locations internationally. Caching servers are usually geographically closer to end-users than the original host, so less time is required to load assets.

When a web browser sends a request for content, it goes to the nearest CDN server instead of the origin server. Depending on where your users are located, using a CDN can dramatically decrease page load times for your website.

Minify CSS and JavaScript Files

Website code often ends up with unneeded elements that take up bandwidth without providing anything to the user. Code comments, white space, and redundant semicolons in JavaScript and CSS files are common examples.

Minification can make CSS and JavaScript files slightly smaller, resulting in minimal speed improvements. However, by implementing this strategy alongside the others on this list, significant performance improvements can be made.

Get World-Class WordPress Support With WorkHero

And with that, you now know some simple strategies for improving website performance. But what if you don’t want to do all the work yourself, or you have other technical issues that you can’t seem to solve?

That’s where WorkHero comes in. We’re a WordPress development and maintenance agency on a mission to free businesses like yours from the hassles of running a WordPress site.

Whether you need help with website speed improvement or Google Search Console issues, we can help. Check out our simple monthly plans and find out how we can support your business.

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