How to Improve Website Performance

Website Performance is the speed at which web pages are downloaded and displayed in a user’s web browser. Basically, website performance tells you how fast your website is. A slow website equals less traffic. This means that you could be losing new visitors and repeat customers all at the same time.

According to HubSpot, 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with site performance say they’re less likely to purchase from the same site again. Best-in-class webpages should load and become interactive within 5.3 seconds. Any slower and visitors will abandon your site, reducing conversions and sales. That’s how long it takes to lose traffic because of slow load times – just 5 seconds.

Read below on the steps you can take to improve your website performance.

Step 1: Reduce Page Size

Step 1A. Minification   

A natural place to start when looking to increase your webpage’s load speed is to reduce the size of what’s being loaded. This is where minification comes in. Minification is the process of reducing resource size by removing unnecessary comments and spacing in the source code. These characters include whitespaces, line breaks, and comments which are useful for us humans but unnecessary for machines.    

Step 1B. Compression   

Compression replaces repetitive pieces of code with markers directing to the first instance of that code. Compression’s purpose is to reduce the file size during transfer from the server to the browser. Minification removes whitespace, comments, and non-required semicolons. Compression removes all strings that are repeated.

Step 2: Optimize Your Web Page Elements

Minification and compression reduce the overall size of your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. But what about the elements that these files include?

Here are a few best practices for optimizing the elements on your web page to reduce the page size.

  • Use Google Fonts instead of custom fonts.
  • Use existing video hosting solutions.
  • Compress your images.
  • Make your images responsive.

Using Google Fonts decreases page size. Google Fonts is a collection of fonts that are hosted by Google and accessible to all web browsers. Google has optimized these fonts to be delivered to web browsers in the most optimal way. Plus, they’re free to use and people might already have these fonts cached in their browser, meaning that it’s ready to use — no download required.

Host your videos on an existing hosting solution like YouTube, Vimeo, or Amazon instead of storing your video content on your own server. These solutions can significantly reduce the weight of your page. To display the video on your webpage, you can easily embed the video using the code provided by each platform.

Step 3: Reduce HTTP Requests and Maximizing Page Caching

Whereas reducing the file sizes of your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript impacts your web page’s overall download size, reducing the number of HTTP requests reduces the frequency at which these downloads need to happen. Less frequent downloads mean your website can be displayed faster. If you want to create a high-performing page, aim to have 30 requests max.

The benefits of caching:

  • Decrease network costs by reducing requests to your server.
  • Improve responsiveness by making your website faster for browsers to retrieve.
  • Content will be continuously available even if you experience server outages.