A successful website is much more than an intriguing design, layout colours, fonts and images. That’s not to say that these factors aren’t important but effective websites focus on much more than that.
Today’s users seek an effortless browsing experience. Most online customers would compromise on anything but speed. Every extra second your website takes to load can move your potential customers a step closer to your competitors’ websites.
Your website could have a visually appealing design and be equipped with cutting-edge functionalities, but if it takes too long to load, it is eventually going to become a source of disappointment and frustration for users.
Page load time is amongst the key factors that determine the performance of a website as well as directly influence user experience. If you have been keeping up with current studies and statistics on website load speed, you would know slow websites are bad news to website owners.
The research revealed that 53% of mobile users leave a website page if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. In addition, even a delay of 1 second in page response can result in 7% reduction in conversion rate of a website. There are many other studies that indicate the importance of page load time in creating a positive user experience and driving conversions.
We dug deep into the matter and found out what might possibly be holing things up behind your website. So, here’s the list of factors that could be the reason of your lazy website.
Too many of large elements in the code structure is a common cause of a slow website. These junk elements include white spaces, empty new lines, inline stylings, unnecessary comments etc. which serve temporary or no purpose while causing the size of a website to increase. You can remove many of these elements without affecting website functionality. The process is technically known as minifying which helps to shrink the file size and improve page load time.
Insider tips and takeaways:
- Use CSS compressor tools to combine several CSS files into one.
- Remove unnecessary code elements (minify).
Complexities with visual content
Images are an inevitable part of content marketing and go a long way to enhance user experience. However, the size, dimensions and format of images can contribute to the loading speed and time of web pages.
Using a large amount of unoptimised images on your website can add extra load to it, slowing down the website. Besides, image format also affects the website speed. For example, web pages using JPEG images load faster than those having PNG or GIF files. There are even heavier formats like TIFF and BMP which you want to avoid, if possible.
Insider tips and takeaways:
- Check the image tag to optimise the size of images.
- Crop images properly so as to avoid distortion.
- Consider using JPEG format in case of larger images.
- Use CSS sprites to combine multiple images into a collection and reduce the number of image requests.
Lack of browser caching
Caching has long been used as a proven method to drastically improve website performance as well as user experience. The technique allows a browser to save scripts, images and other data points of a webpage in the cached memory. Now the next time a user requests the same content, the browser will take less time to load the page as it doesn’t have to download all the elements of the page again.
To reduce the large number of HTTP requests which often cause the website to slow down, it is suggested to enable browser caching and side-server caching. While caching will certainly improve your website performance to a great extent, keep in mind that all of the saved cache files will become obsolete once your website is updated.
Insider tips and takeaways:
- Use ETags with every file of your website for more efficient caching.
- Do not forget to add an expiration date to validate the cached data.
- Set a max-age for cached files in the header to specify the maximum time for which the retrieved data can be reused.
Poor hosting plan
When it comes to website performance, your web hosting plan has a crucial role to play. A lot happens between the time a user clicks on your website and the time the requested page completely loads in the browser. When a visitor requests a web page on your website, their browser sends a request to your server asking to load up all the required information and data on the requested page.
The longer the server takes to respond, the more wait time for the user and the poorer their experience. Your hosting provider and their service can be blamed for poor server performance. An unreliable host can run your website on a shared server in the name of a cheap deal, when your website actually needs a dedicated hosting environment.
Being a reliable web hosting provider in Australia, Amaze provides you tailored advice to help you make the best hosting choice within in your budget. Our experts work with you closely to understand your needs and optimise your website performance with result-oriented web hosting solutions.
These were some of the factors that may be accounted for your website’s poor performance. There are definitely many other factors in the list that we haven’t mentioned in this blog but significantly affect page load speed.
The hosting experts at Amaze can assist you with your website performance issues through bespoke advice and well-thought-out website optimisation solutions. Connect with one of our customer support professionals to get a bigger picture of our hosting services.