The Need For Speed: Why Website Loading Speed Is Important

The World Wide Web is constantly evolving and the issue at the forefront right now is speed. People want sites to load, and they want them to load fast. Slower websites steer traffic away and search engines, such as Google, are now using load speed as a factor for rating. What this means is that if your site is optimized but is slow to load then your competition will receive higher rankings and appear in search engines first. Individuals expect a site to load in three seconds or less, so if your page is taking five, six or even ten seconds to load you’re losing valuable traffic. Take these measures to ensure your site loads quickly while still delivering the content you want.

1) Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Put media files on a content delivery network to see improvements of up to 60 percent in load speed. These function by spreading your content across a number of servers and allows the individual to receive the content from the server closest to them. It reduces the overall server load and another perk is that it’s a preventative measure against DDoS attacks.

2) Cut Down On Video Embedding & Sharing Options

Tracking codes are useful to look at analytics, but every time you put a new program in place it needs to load and slows down speeds. Place those that you do use at the bottom of the page and avoid embedding videos directly on your site, as they typically use iFrames which are essentially loading another site within your site, significantly increasing load times. Upload videos to another site, such as YouTube, and embed them that way for speed reductions.

3) Clean Up Coding

Everything from a bracket to a white space to a letter takes up space in your site’s code. Go through the coding and remove white space and unnecessary bloat to give your site a quick speed boost.

4) Image Size & Quality

Compress your images to ensure they’re designed for load time. Use JPG for photographs and GIFs for other images. Many photo editing programs also offer an option to “save for web” to cut down on file size without causing a significant reduction in quality.

5) Cache

The cache stores the images, text, and scripts from a web page to make it quicker to load other parts of the page since the user doesn’t need to request the same information for every page while navigating.
A program such as Local Storage allows storage in the browser instead of on your database, while application cache allows web applications to run offline for cost and speed savings.

6) Analytics

Use the tools available to you such as Google PageSpeed Insights. It examines your site and gives you tips on how to make it load faster and allows you to keep tabs on your competition by checking out their statistics too.

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