7 Best Practices for Website Speed Optimization and Better Performance

 7 Best Practices for Website Speed Optimization and Better Performance

One sure way to lose an audience is when your website frequently lags and crashes. With countless content online, they can quickly move on to other websites with better and faster performance. A split-second difference can either make or break your website. The best way to make your audience stay is by optimizing your website’s loading time and performance.

According to the Search Engine Journal, the average loading times for websites in 2020 is within three seconds. If your website goes beyond that, you risk losing traffic and opportunities for your website. It is high time you start applying some website optimization techniques to improve performance. This way, you can offer a better and seamless experience to your audience.

With that, here are some best practices on how to improve website performance.

1. Choose your website host wisely

Investing in fast and reliable web hosting is one way to make sure your website can run smoothly. Hence, choose a hosting software service that matches your needs.

There are different hosting types. Some examples are: 

  • shared hosting
  • dedicated server
  • cloud hosting
  • virtual private server (VPS) hosting. 

Each has its pros and cons. If you are looking for speed optimization, it is not a matter of which type to choose. It is which plan or package to go for.

Going for the cheaper option might sometimes cost you more. It is especially true once your traffic starts increasing. Basic packages have weaker and lesser capabilities compared to the more expensive ones. So when you think that your website needs some optimization, you should consider upgrading your hosting plan.

2. Optimize image and video sizes in your website

Adding images and videos to your website can improve engagement and increase traffic. However, this can also be the cause of your website's poor and unstable performance. Images and videos are always the last to load up on a webpage. They take up a significant portion of your bandwidth compared to other files. If left unchecked, these two can also pull down your website's loading time and performance.
You can avoid this scenario without sacrificing your website's design by reducing the file size of your images and videos. Use compression tools so you won't alter your graphics' quality. You can also use the HTML-responsive image's attributes, which adjusts your images based on your audience's display properties.

3. Manage other files on your website

Your website contains other static files like CSS and JavaScript. There is also your HTML file, which dictates the structure of your website. And while these files are relatively smaller compared to images and video, it can still affect your website’s loading time and performance.

Minifying your CSS and JavaScript files can help with website loading time optimization. You can remove the unnecessary parts of your files to reduce their size, making it easier for your website to access its content. It also limits the HTTP requests coming to your website.

You can also enable Gzip compression to minimize your webpages’ and style sheets’ size before it gets sent over to the browser. Doing so can drastically reduce transfer time.

4. Reduce the number of plugins

Plugins are useful, especially if you want to add more functions to your website. However, these additional components usually take up resources from your website to run properly. As a result, it can slow down your webpages’ loading time.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean you should stop using any plugins at all, as they still have benefits. Some can even serve as great website optimization tools, such as image compression plugin or caching plugin.

You simply need to determine which plugins you think are essential and which ones you can do without. You might be surprised by just how many plugins are completely unnecessary for your website.

5. Enable website caching

Normally, servers need to retrieve your data and files each time a browser requests access to your webpages. This process can be time-consuming, especially if your website has many components to it. Imagine having to do this repeatedly each time a user tries to access your website. Wouldn’t it be great if there is a way to make a server remember everything your website needs instead of having to perform the same tasks again and again?

Fortunately, there is. Caching is the process of storing your website’s data and files on the hosting server to make it easier and faster to retrieve them again when needed. So instead of having to render everything from scratch, your server already has a copy of your webpages.

However, not all servers provide such features. If that’s the case, you can use other add-ons and configurations to enable website caching.

6. Use lightweight themes and fonts

Your theme is basically your website’s foundation. It provides the structure for all your web pages. Likewise, this dictates how your content is presented to your audience.

Using heavy and complex themes can give you great web designs, but it can also slow it down. This is also the same as your website’s fonts. In the end, you might have to choose between aesthetics and functionality.

Consider using lightweight themes. This helps cut down page loading times compared to using more complex ones. Not to mention, most lightweight themes offer you a great amount of flexibility to design your website. This way, you can still make your website look stunning without sacrificing its performance.

7. Install a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Location can also affect your web page's loading time. The farther your users are from your servers, the slower your website will load on their end. To avoid this, you can use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for your website.

A CDN is a set of web servers distributed across various geographical locations. It redirects your users to the nearest server for quicker loading time. This also avoids overloading your hardware since it distributes all user requests across other servers.

However, this can be a rather expensive alternative for those looking to optimize their website loading time. But this is one of the most effective ways to improve performance. In fact, demand for CDN is expected to grow by 28% in the coming years.

Better performance of better user experience

As the world plunges into the digital age, having a website has almost become mandatory. But this also means vying for your audience’s attention is more challenging than ever. With countless content 

easily available online, you need to make sure your website stands out from the rest.

While web designs help you attract attention, it is your website’s performance that ultimately defines their experience. Say your website looks aesthetically pleasing, but your target audience wouldn’t even bother with your content when it constantly lags and crashes. You will end up turning them away instead.

With that, your number one priority should always be your website’s performance. Apply these website optimization tips to make sure you can provide the best experience for all your users. It will be what sets your website apart from the rest of your competitors online.

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