Last Updated on May 4, 2022

It’s no secret the extent to which a website’s speed and performance can influence its future. Your website delivers the first impact about the kind of value and services your business is going to the extent to the visitor. A slow-loading webpage can seriously affect the conversion rates even if the content on your site is one of its kind. To run a successful website, you need to create a strict check on the maintenance of low bounce rates, engagement, high return visits, higher organic search ranks, and incredible user experience. Users generally take only 3 to 5 seconds to decide whether they want to stay on a certain webpage or move to the next, hence, you’ve got these five seconds to build a reputation that’s going to last. This is why reducing the page loading time and investing to achieve a better user experience for your website is crucial. This can positively impact sales and marketing by attracting more qualified leads who will potentially turn into customers.Ways To Improve Your site Performance

Three Factors That Influences A Website’s Performance

The most common web performance metric used is page load time, which is the time required by a site to show/load a page on the user’s screen. Web speed optimization can influence these three key factors of website success:

Visibility

The load time of your site or technology blog determines how easily a user can find and access your website. Google considers a website’s speed when ranking sites and a website with questionable user experience and low overall performance scores less in the search results. Hence, to avoid getting filtered off of a search engine’s first page you need to improve your site’s performance.

Conversion

Making your site’s visitors do the desired action on-site is referred to as conversion. The quicker the webpage loads, the higher the conversion rates as even a 1-second delay can reduce around 7% of conversions according to research.

Usability

Just like load time, a website’s response time to user’s requests can greatly influence customer retention. The more comfortable a user is when using your website, the more satisfied they’ll leave. Thus, focusing on a better user experience can build you a large and strong customer base.

Three Ways To Improve Your Website Performance

You can boost the performance by focusing on server-side scripting optimization (Python, PHP, Java), hardware (webserver), and the front-end (CSS, HTML, images, JavaScript) areas of the site. With that in mind, here are the simplest 3 ways to improve your website performance.

Save Images in the Right Format

Every kind of website has images, and it’s probably one of the best ways to attract and keep visitors engaged to the pages. Everyone loves eye-catching pictures, illustrations, and graphics when going through content online, and they can greatly improve engagement. According to a survey, around 66% of consumers stated that they like to see three to four images of a product at the very least before buying a product. The downside of using images on a website is their large file sizes which slow downloading speeds. It is perhaps one of the most taxing actions when it comes to site performance and speed but removing them altogether is not an option. The extent to which it can slow down can vary with resolutions, image compression, and some other factors. Generally, you don’t want images on your website that are several megabytes in size when you can easily get away with 200 KBs or less without losing considerable quality.

The best way to downsize your web images without having to compromise on the quality is to compress them. This is usually done by using tools like gzip, JPEGmini, Kraken, or ImageOptim, but this can also be done by adjusting the image size with the HTML responsive images and attributes based on user display properties.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network or a CDN is a set of web servers distributed across geographical locations for providing web content to the users at every location. When a website is hosted on a single web server, all of the user requests are received by the same hardware which needs more and more time to process each request as they increase. This increases the load time which is further increased as the user goes farther away physically from the server. This system is responsible for the delivery of static content like CSS, HTML JavaScript, videos, and images and can also prove to be a great tool for improving performance as it segregates static content from the application server. User requests from anywhere in the world are redirected to the nearest server which delivers content to the user quickly and more efficiently. Shorter proximity results in much faster load times. Some prominent CDN providers include Google, Cloudflare, Akamai, and Rackspace amongst which Akamai is considered the most expensive option. Once you understand how they work, CDNs like Cloudflare can also be used for anticipating site crashes in case of increased traffic in addition to providing optimization and security features. Though a bit expensive, a Content Delivery Network has proven to be quite effective for optimizing the load time on a website.

Pick the Right Hosting Service

It is understandable why most of the new website owners prefer cheaper & reliable web hosting solutions, which can be enough in the beginning as well but would need an upgrade once the traffic starts to flow in. This is why it is advised to start with a hosting plan that best suits the kind of website you’re creating and the expectations regarding traffic. There are three types of hosting that you can choose from, Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, Shared Hosting, and Dedicated Server Hosting. The most favored and used hosting type is shared hosting as it is the cheapest option amongst the three. With shared hosting as your hosting plan, you share disk space, CPU, and RAM with other websites that are sharing the server. Due to this, shared hosting is not as fast as the other two options. It is an appropriate option for sites with low traffic flow but websites that get high volumes or occasional spikes in the traffic don’t do well on shared hosting.

In VPS hosting, you still have to share the server with other sites but there are dedicated portions of the server’s resources for your site only. It’s the perfect in-between option as it offers relatively better speed at a cost way lower than dedicated hosting. A VPS works with multiple servers to distribute content. While the server is still shared with other clients, your configurations stay independent from other users. This kind of host is ideal for eCommerce sites or medium-traffic websites.

Then comes the most expensive option, a dedicated server! This is your very own physical server where you will need a system administrator to maintain the technicalities and pay server rent. The price is completely justified by complete control and tons of available space for hosting. To avoid getting your website’s performance affected by another site’s traffic spike, consider upgrading to a dedicated server. This way you get a server all to yourself and can customize everything while enjoying the consistent performance. This is a performance-focused hosting solution that has been designed for speed and certainly worth the investment.

Conclusion

It’s imperative to own a fast, responsive and attractive website today if you want to keep the audiences wanting more. This is not an easy task, failing to reach the user’s expectations can result in loss of visitors and/or potential customers. If you face issues with your website’s load times and performance in general and need the top three ways you can improve your site, this article is for you. You can start with evaluating key factors for the site’s success, consider visibility, conversion, and usability, and locating the cause of the problem by speed testing your site for speed. Then prioritize and work on features and pages that define conversion success the most. You can optimize the most speed-reducing aspects of your website and make sure that it’s equipped with everything it might need to rank better in every search engine.

Author

CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.