It’s a fast world we live in. It’s a faster world online. Why do you need to find ways to speed up your website load page? Why would you even bother? Here are a few reasons why.
- A 1 second delay in load time leads to 11% fewer page views, 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and 7% loss in conversions.
- 79% shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again.
- 44% of visitors will develop a negative image of the company if the site crashes or the load time is slow.
- If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost $2.5 million lost in sales every year.
- 74% of conversion rate increases when page load time improves from 8 to 2 seconds.
(source: Aberdeen Group)
So yes, slow web page loads means loss in customers and money. But what is the biggest contributor to your page load time?
The size of your webpage.
Browsers take time to download the code that contruct your page. It has to download your HTML, your stylesheets, your java scripts and your images. In other words, the more complicated your page is, the longer time it takes to load.
So how do you cut down on the loading time without sacrificing your data?
Another way to do it is by removing unnecessary codes. There are a few resources that can help you do that including Closure Compiler, JSMin and YUI Compressor, among others.
Images and videos
If you haven’t noticed yet, images or videos would be the last to load after your website layout and your text. The best way to ensure a faster loading time is to scale your images accordingly. If you are not sure what size would be suitable for web media, don’t worry. Almost all photo editor software has an option to save your jpg. or png. file for web use.
If you have more than one images and they can be combined, combine them. Use CSS Sprite to merge your images and help with your positioning. This system will not only save your bandwidth but it will contribute to a faster loading time.
As for videos, avoid uploading them from your host computer to your webpage. Instead use an existing video hosting browser like Youtube or Vimeo. This way all you need to do is copy a few links and scripts to post it to your webpage.
Browser cache temporarily stores your website data on user’s computer or mobile device. This is useful when a user visits your website more than once. It saves time because your user would not need to download the websites data again and can easily browse as soon as they are on.
Your hosting company should be able to help set up browser caching on your server. You can also check these resources to help:
- Apache Caching
- IIS Caching
- Nginx Caching
Take advantage of Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDN is a system that scatters your data across several servers based on geographic locations of the user, the content delivery server and the origin of the webpage. Because its spread throughout the world, and therefore being geographically closer to the user, it enables your page to load faster due to reduced time intervals.
Before investing on CDN, ask if you really need one. If you are getting traffic from the US while hosting your web page in Malaysia, then you might need one. On the other hand, if you are running a small local business’ website that does not have any visits from other continent than a CDN would not be necessary.
If you are looking to use CDN, here are a few of resources that may help:
- Amazon CloudFront
Avoid unnecessary plug-ins
According to a study by Mike on his blog http://startbloggingonline.com/speed-up-wordpress/ he found out that plugins contributed to a massive 86% of his website load time. Plugins load time takes 1.668 seconds to load and as earlier results shows, pages that take more than 1 second to load may cause decrease in number of visitors.
Before you start implementing plug-ins, ask yourself if your webpage really needs it. For example, do you need the pop-up live chatbox or will a comment box be suffice?
In short, there are a lot more other tips you can use to help you improve your webpage load time, but if you are not a fan of working on it yourself, web shots like SingleHop and iPage.com has the necessary resources to help you out.
Or if you want a list of free web hosting sites, visit http://www.hostingadvice.com/how-to/free-web-hosting/
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