Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
It’s not only search engines that will penalise you for slow page load speed. It’s users too. Let’s take a look at how to improve page load speed, what it is and how to manage it.
It does what it says on the tin: it’s a web performance metric that indicates how long it takes for the page to fully load in the browser after being clicked on.
This is not to be confused with site speed.
Page load speed refers to the amount of time it takes content to load on a specific page.
This is something to keep a close eye on because:
So – if not dealt with, the consequences can be hugely damaging, particularly when it comes to sales.
Luckily, it’s a problem that can be easily fixed.
There are a number of different ways to improve it, including:
Make sure that your images are compressed and aren’t larger than they need to be. Also make sure they’re in the right file format (e.g. PNG or JPEG, depending on the type of image).
This should go hand in hand with any other image optimisation you carry out.
Waiting for multiple icons or graphics to load on a page can have a negative impact on UX. So, for graphics you use frequently (e.g. buttons) it’s advisable to use CSS sprites, which combine these into one large image that loads at once. This can make load time significantly quicker.
Every time a page redirects to another, users face additional waiting time. So, where possible, try and reduce these.
Minifying code is the process of compressing and optimising it to make a website smaller and faster. Ways of doing this include removing any unnecessary characters e.g. commas.
Also, take care to remove all unused code.
Of course, a slow server response time will have a negative impact on page load speed. Optimising your Time to First Byte (TTFB) can significantly improve this.
A Content Delivery Network refers to a group of servers that work together to promote the faster delivery of Internet content. These can help you dramatically reduce the impact of loading on your original server and therefore improve TTFB also.
So some sites, Accelerated Mobile Pages aren’t worth the hassle. However, for many, they can significantly increase the load time for mobile users.
If you’re unsure where to start, there are a number of tools that can help.